July 18th, 2010
01:14 PM ET
4 years ago

Leading Dem: I don't think we're looking at a big loss

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer pointed to a trio of Democratic victories in special House elections to downplay the notion that his party will suffer big losses this November.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer pointed to a trio of Democratic victories in special House elections to downplay the notion that his party will suffer big losses this November.

Washington (CNN) – Pointing to victories in recent special elections, the number two Democrat in the House sought Sunday to buck the conventional wisdom about his party’s prospects in this fall’s midterms.

“I don’t think we’re talking about a big loss,” House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer of Maryland, said on CNN’s State of the Union.

Hoyer told CNN Chief Political Correspondent Candy Crowley that his party has done well in special congressional elections since the passage of the health care bill.

“After the last summer, which was a very hot summer politically, as you recall, we won a number of races during that period of time. Health care was a very hot topic.”

Notwithstanding the potential political fallout from passage of the health care overhaul, Hoyer pointed out that Democrats had won special elections in New York’s 20th and 23rd congressional districts and Pennsylvania’s 12th .

“So we think that, when the real polls are taken, people look at these [arguments on both sides] and say, do I want to return to the Bush policies, which created the worst economy we've seen in three quarters of a century - a time when it was said by economists, if you pursue those policies, worst depression could happen? Or are they going to say, yes, we're angry; yes, we're fearful this economy is not doing what it ought to be doing? We agree with that. We've been working on that.”

Hoyer added, “In the elections that we have seen recently, in this time frame - I don't mean years ago, but I mean in this special election time frame, we've won.”

And, after a week in which tensions appeared to boil over between the Obama administration and House Democrats after remarks by White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on Democratic prospects in the fall elections, Hoyer both acknowledged and downplayed the strained relationship.

“There's always tension,” Hoyer told Crowley, “… The president and the Democrats in the House and the Democrats in the Senate have the same objective: keep this economy moving and growing; keep moving forward. We have a joint interest in the success of both. And the meeting [at the White House] that we had was a very positive one. And the president has been working hard. Joe Biden's been working hard on behalf of our candidates. And we think we're going to do well.”

Related: Pelosi dismisses reports of tension with the White House


Filed under: 2010 • Democrats • State of the Union • Steny Hoyer
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. No Loss

    If every Democrat lost their seat it would not be a big loss for America, but instead a tremendous gain.

    July 18, 2010 01:17 pm at 1:17 pm |
  2. TOTUS 4 PRESIDENT

    Whacked out loony lib Dems, as usual with head firmly planted in the sand. Hoyer is SO FAR BEYOND his sell by date. Needs to get packing along with those other Dino Dems, like Reid, Dodd, Pelosi, Conyers, Biten, Byrd...

    July 18, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  3. timz

    Let's be honest. If the Dems don't take a big loss in this year's elections it's only because enough people remembered how truly awful the Republicans are. It doesn't mean the Dems are doing a good job, or even a half-good job.

    The Dems should thank Heaven every day for the Republicans, because it's only measured against that standard that they look even half-competent.

    July 18, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  4. Karl in Charleston,SC

    And the check is in the mail.

    July 18, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  5. Victim of GOP Taliban

    I don't get it. What on earth would the Republicans actually do ? Give more tax breaks to their millionaire golfing pals and corporate Big $ sponsors? Wow maybe they can find some pretty ex beauty pageant queen, pro-wrestler, or movie star to run against Obama.

    July 18, 2010 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  6. vic

    Democrats will hold majority in both houses in November

    Republicans saying no for every thing BUT

    Republicans doesn’t have solid plan to reduce deficit
    Republicans doesn’t have solid plan to create Jobs

    July 18, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  7. vegage

    They jut need to make sure that people know republicans are just obstructing the efforts to create jobs, to make sure unemployed people continue to put food on the table. I think they have to out there more strongly showing that they are really trying to fix things up but they are not being successful because of the obstructionist of the republicans.

    July 18, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  8. vwrtb

    More good paying jobs please...

    July 18, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  9. Ancient Texan

    The economy was in good shape and unemployment under George Bush was less than 5%, until the Democrats took control in 2006. A return to that situation would be fantastic. Barney and Chris and their claims that Freddie and Fannie were in no danger triggered the economic crisis. And the same two guys crafted the "reform?"

    July 18, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  10. John

    I think Hoyer may well be right that what's in store for the Dems will be no worse than the usual off-year election. The slowness of the recovery has created an opening for the Republicans. But they've spent the last seven months scaring everybody to death with figures like Angle and Paul. When they ran the table in 1994 they did it with mostly pretty anonymous candidates running on a party-set platform. I don't see them doing the same thing this year.

    July 18, 2010 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  11. GI Joe

    Don't be taking any more polls until after the Tea Baggers finish falling like flies. They're losing Dick Armey's money (he wants to make more of a profit and the truth tellers in the TB group need to go).

    Give it a few more weeks, and poll a different group – quit polling only republicans and teabaggers.

    July 18, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  12. Charlie in Maine

    Quick question: What do 1929 and 2008 have in common other than a collapse of the stock market? That's right both of those years started with Republican majorities in both houses of congress and a Republican President.

    Kind of makes you wonder why America would make the mistake again of voting in a GOP congress.

    I am a life-long Democrat and I would be the first to admit that we are not perfect but politics is not about "perfection it is about "comparison". When you compare the choice is a simple one.

    July 18, 2010 02:08 pm at 2:08 pm |
  13. joe

    i for one am willing to give the dems more time to turn things around. the majority of the facts are on their side. the stock market has rebounded. we are not losing 500-700 thousands jobs a month. heck, even the pro-GOP chamber of commerce recently credited president obama for stablizing the economy and preventing another great depression. not bad. i have not forgotten which party got us into this mess. its clear to me who i want in charge of getting us out. God bless our president. america is praying for you and your family. thanks for all of your hard work. we will not forget!

    July 18, 2010 02:14 pm at 2:14 pm |
  14. It's NOT 1994 like the GOP hoped.........

    He's correct. It's not the same year as 1994. Time has passed, and the stupidity of the baby boomer generation has yielded to the next generation who is completely realistic and politically informed.........

    July 18, 2010 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain

    Democrats need to get out and vote in November!

    President Obama and his policies – despite all of the GOP's efforts to make him and our country fail – kept our country from going into another Great Depression.

    As promised, 95% of Americans got a tax cut.

    We've got health care reform, which will help the Middle Class and business.

    We've got financial reform, which will help avoid another global financial collapse.

    We're engaged in Afghanistan and actually have a strategy, unlike GW Bush who started the war and then ignored it.

    We're cooperating with the international community again, a welcome change from the arrogant "us vs them" mentality of the previous Administration.

    All the Republicans have to offer is saying NO to everything – because their policies are PROVEN FAILURES. That's all they've got – and it's pretty pathetic, if you ask me.

    Vote to help America – vote Democratic in November!

    July 18, 2010 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  16. Solutions and not Rhetoric

    As an Independent I’ve watched both parties politicize everything. However, all I’ve seen are Republicans wasting tax payer time and money while managing to divide the nation. I believe we need additional parties who will truly represent the American people but for right now, I will no longer be voting for Republicans. My vote did not go to Obama and the Democrats in 2008 but at this rate it will this November and in 2012.

    July 18, 2010 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  17. Four and The Door

    If the Democrats in the House and the Senate have any interest at all in the economy, why did they cram ObamaCare through? Why did they spend all of the Stimulus money on stuff that doesn't create jobs? Why do they continue to grow government which is just a killer for private sector jobs forever? Because they don't understand economics. At all.

    July 18, 2010 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  18. michael t

    I think the Democrats desire to avoid big losses will actually be worse for them in the long run. There is no question that Obama is running the country into the ground and more and more people are getting sick of his blaming everyone for it. If the Democrats retain both houses then they will have no one to blame but themselves for the condition of the country which will be in 2012, at least, far below the expectations the had in 1/09.
    The Republicans might pick up enough numbers to blunt Obama's agenda. I doubt the Tea Party whackos will be of much significance in 2012. They're learning that they can't win general elections and are better off supporting moderate Republicans. Let that voter anger built up for bigger wins later on.

    July 18, 2010 02:49 pm at 2:49 pm |
  19. Peter E

    People may not like the deomcrats, but they haven't forgotten that it was republicans who brought the current crises upon us either! And they know that republicans don't offer a viable alternative! Republican plans are just to return to the Bush Jr. agenda that produced this recession in the first place! No thanks!

    July 18, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  20. ib

    another liberal living in a dream world.

    July 18, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  21. Ed FL

    WE Democrats need change in the leadership in the house and Senate ,you guys are only interested in your selves not the American public.Why both parties spend their time trying to disregard the other and very little gets done.You should do away with seniority automatically heading committees. Those old fogies[being nice] including you need to step down and let some new young blood run the show. they might have some new ideas instead of the same old cr-p of getting a position just because you are voted in by your old freinds.Smarten up and work together or be gone.

    July 18, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  22. Fed Up

    I hope the Dems do record a big loss. We can't afford any more years of Nancy and Harry and Barack spending our money. It's not their money folks. It is OUR money. Vote 'em in. Vote 'em out.

    July 18, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  23. Lori asks her fellow Dems to stop complaining and stop letting the Republicans wrongly define our President! We need to galvanize our base like we did in 2006 and 2008!!!

    Thank you. Finally someone says it. The Republicans act as if they've won every election since 2008. The Republicans also fail to realize that their so-called "Republican" in Massachusetts is more liberal than he is conservative. I see losses as with every governing party in history. But what I don't see is huge losses at all!!!

    July 18, 2010 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  24. JB

    I agree. We'll see some losses for the dems, that's just kind of a historical fact, but a tidal wave? I really don't think so.

    The republicans have no shame in their displays of outright cynicism for the American people. They think you're stupid! When asked on the morning shows what exactly their plans are, none of them could answer. McConnell wouldn't answer, neither would Cornyn and Sessions.

    They have no plan but the old plans that landed us right where we are today. They've had the same policies for the last 30 years, and it landed us in this mess.

    Do they REALLY think the American public is going to fall for the same old ideas and believe that THIS time the results will be different?

    July 18, 2010 03:19 pm at 3:19 pm |
  25. Jim

    Elections are more about the candidates running and their campaign strategies than they are about one party versus the other. Just a few months ago the media was telling an "anti-incumbent" story and it turned out that incumbents won 99% of all the primaries. You have to look at the polls in each race and not the President's personal popularity to have a sense of what is going to happen.

    July 18, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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