September 21st, 2010
01:25 PM ET
4 years ago

Hoyer knocks 'death knell' for Democrats

House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday he remains optimistic about Democrats’ chances in November.
House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said Tuesday he remains optimistic about Democrats’ chances in November.

Washington (CNN) - After several weeks of news coverage indicating Democrats could be on the verge of losing control of the House of Representatives, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer proclaimed Democrats are a "party on the move," and maintained the more the public learns about what Republicans are proposing, the better Democrats' chances are of keeping their majority.

"No I don't think there's a death knell. I think there's a resurgence of Democrats throughout the country," Hoyer said, responding to a reporter's question about whether recent news stories show a "death knell" for Democrats.

The number two House Democrat mocked news coverage of a generic ballot poll done by Gallup several weeks ago that showed the American people favored Republican candidates over Democratic ones by double digits. He noted that he didn't see the same blaring headlines this week when a the same poll showed the parties were virtually tied.

Although Hoyer's tone was confident about Democrats' chances in November, he admitted that the massive budget deficit is a major issue his party must confront.

"We're going to have to adopt policies and they are going to be tough and we're going to have to look across the board to do that," Hoyer said.

Hoyer also shot down a report that the House would wrap up its work this week and go home early to campaign. He said the House would be in session for at least another week to vote on a must-pass spending measure to fund the government. He said leaders may also schedule votes on some other bills dealing with child nutrition and health problems for those who worked at ground zero after 9/11.

But he conceded that members do want to spend more time in their districts campaigning.

"There's nobody here that doubts that our Members – Republicans and Democrats – would like to be in their districts talking to their constituents," the Maryland Democrat said. "After all, they have to ask them to be re-hired."

The Majority leader sidestepped questions about whether the House would have a vote before the midterm elections on extending the Bush era tax cuts, saying House leaders are waiting to see how the Senate handles the issue. But Hoyer pledged that Democrats won't let tax breaks for middle income earners - those making $250,000 a year or under - expire.

"They should not and will not under our watch receive a tax increase as a result of the Republican policy of phasing out the tax cuts for working Americans," he said.

–Follow Deirdre Walsh on Twitter: @dwalshcnn


Filed under: 2010 • Democrats • Steny Hoyer
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Whatever

    If the Republicians think that the Dems or Independents are not fired up and ready to vote and that they will sweep tons of seats and take over... they are C R A Z Y!!!!!!! They should have attempted to help the President not force their ideas (which didn't work the previous 8 years). Polls don't matter all that matters is what happens on election day!!!!!!!

    September 21, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  2. Ferret out the BS

    There is a lot of media coverage being given to the oposition, primarily Tea Baggers because it make news. People will respond in polls accordingly until they finally determine the best course for the country or their candidates. The Democrats have been in the lead for reform for quite some time although the media would have you believe otherwise and have been fighting an uphill battle with a group of partisan politicians who aren't interested in supporting a popular majority. The Democratic Party voters need to see this and vote accordingly.

    September 21, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  3. Padraig

    Hopefully, moving out the door....

    September 21, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  4. gt

    on the move ..yea right .... just like when you eat a box of x-lax...wake up ... the job you and nancy have done has nearly doomed this nation.

    September 21, 2010 01:38 pm at 1:38 pm |
  5. Eli

    After Steny convinces you that the Democrats will remian in power in the House, he will then convince you that the Easter Bunny is real.

    September 21, 2010 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  6. Hunter of the lib hunter

    Progressives will get on board as we get closer to the actual election. Right now, they are not happy that the health reform does not have single payer (this can be fixed with the election of few more democrats), DADT can be repealed with a few more democrats, jobs can be created with a few more democrats in the senate, GITMO can be closed with a few more democrats, clean air and clean water can be addressed with a few more democrats, green jobs can be created with a few more democrats, women's reproductive rights can be protected with a few more elected democrats. The economy can recover much quicker with a few more democrats.

    September 21, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  7. Henry Miller, Libertarian, Cary, NC

    Yeah, the Dems are definitely a "party on the move"–on the move out of their offices in DC. I've no great confidence the GOP will do any better, but at least they'll likely waste less money than the Dems.

    September 21, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. Peter E

    Generic surveys are useless. For decades we've seen generic surveys showing dissatisfaction with one party or another. Sure, right now on a generic ballot republicans would be ahead by a few percentage points. But the more telling poll is 'do you think your congressman/woman deserves to be re-elected?' Most Americans answer that witha 'yes.' Regardless of people being angry at one party, they almost always think it is somebody else's fault, not their own district's. You think Nancy Pelosi would ever have gotten elected if it was up to the will of all Americans? Of course not! And yet her seat is safe election after election. Even right now when she has perhaps the lowest general approval rating around the country, her seat is safe because it is up to her district to elect her.

    September 21, 2010 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  9. Rick McDaniel

    They are in total denial of how dissatisfied the public is, with what the Dems have been doing, their screwed up priorities, and their wastefulness.

    September 21, 2010 01:41 pm at 1:41 pm |
  10. bkbf

    I am sick and tired of the Democrats attacking every woman that runs for office. They even do this to women in their own party. They portray every woman as being dumb and stupid. The left media does the same thing. I am a registered Democrat and a woman. I will never vote for a Democrat again.

    September 21, 2010 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  11. Eric

    A party on the move? Eh, not so much.

    More like a party "on the march"... toward socialism and serfdom.
    Thanks, but no thanks.

    September 21, 2010 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  12. T'SAH from Virginia

    "...Democrats are a "party on the move," and maintained the more the public learns about what Republicans are proposing, the better Democrats' chances are of keeping their majority..."

    Yes we will!!! And Hoyer is RIGHT about the Gallup! You see it when it FAVORS the RepubiCAN'Ts but you don't when it FAVORS the Dems. Truthfully, I still don't believe the Gallup was right when the RePUBs had a 10-point lead. Also, every TICKER story on CNN is about the RepubliCAN'Ts!!

    DEMOCRATS will UNITE the BASE and the Politicians need to STATE the CASE and we will WIN this RACE in November 2010!!!

    September 21, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  13. Help Save Maryland

    Come November 2, Steny, Van Hollen and their ilk in the House turn back into nameless/faceless mushrooms.

    September 21, 2010 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  14. Monster Zero

    Just goes to show you how out of touch Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi are. They single handedly crammed this abomination of Obamacare down our throats, they did not even know what legislative crap was in the Bill first hand by their own admission. Think of some left wing liberal young legal intern inspired by some Van Jones type BS writing and approving little blurbs of legislation hidden deep within the bowels of some 2700 pages... That is Democratic Leadership for you in a nutshell, and America has now seen that the nuts are on the outside of the shell.

    September 21, 2010 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  15. Sonnie

    The change Obama promised never came?????????
    Now the voter's, what ever party they are with in the past
    will oust those in office responsible for the current mud slide
    It is time for real change and that would be WE THE PEOPLE
    WANT TO BE REPRESENTED.
    It is a right we have
    So we will vote out those who put us in financial straits and put
    more and more laws on the books to take away our freedom and
    liberties. We don't like socialism. Or manditory health expenses.
    Or the stimulas that did not work. Or the TARP!
    Nov will tell the story. The so called Death Knell won't only be from one party as most all of Congress needs to be replaced. Hoyer will be wrong in his prediction. This is a long overdue correction in the current political landscape. About time.

    September 21, 2010 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  16. Ron in Califonia

    I'm hoping to be a pall bearer for democrat incumbents.

    September 21, 2010 01:50 pm at 1:50 pm |
  17. LacrosseMom(the real one)

    Even the polls that CNN has cited that the GOP has the "upper hand" has them beating the Democrats by 3%. That's within the margin of error, as my mathematician husband points out.

    Also, the thing about polls is that they do not poll those millions who do not have landlines. In my 58 years, I have never been polled. Nor do I know anyone who has. Makes me wonder.

    IF America give the TeaPartiers(GOP) power back, we deserve the consequences of returning to the failed policies of the past.

    In NOvember vote NO for the Party of NO!

    September 21, 2010 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  18. Term Limits

    Another poster child for term limits. Tax cuts for everyone, it is the only way to promote growth and jobs.

    September 21, 2010 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  19. Steve- Illinois

    "I think there's a resurgence of Democrats throughout the country,"
    What is this guy smoking!!! He'll be saying goodbye to his house majoeity leader job.

    September 21, 2010 02:00 pm at 2:00 pm |
  20. Justice

    Of coarse he really does not believe what he said.When Dems go running away from Obama and his policies they helped to install,things are not good for them.Has anyone seen Prince Al Gore,no you haven't,because he's a loose cannon.Same as Biden.Triage has already started before the fight even begins.

    September 21, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  21. Phil in KC

    I do think the news stories could be a self-fulfilling prophecy. No one wants to be a loser, so those who have no strong feelings one way or the other may choose whom they percieve to be winners, based on the news stories of the day. I also think Steny is right on this count. If people really examined the issues and how it impacts them, rather than a knee-jerk emotional reaction, I think they'd vote Democrat.
    Just this morning I saw a news story that Richard Shelby favors repeal of the consumer protection laws. Who does that favor? Big business, obviously. Who does it hurt? All their customers.

    September 21, 2010 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  22. Chessnutz of Liverpool NY

    Nothing better than the old sticking one's head into the sand and hoping it all goes away huh? Well what is Mr. Hoyer going to propose to reduce the national debt? That is what the democrats keep saying to the republicans but the shoe is one the other foot. The US debt bubble is about to burst and there will be no taxpayer backstop for bail outs when this bubble busts.
    I have not heard one proposal that will reduce the 13 trillion plus debt. Not from either side.
    These two parties better start to work together and solve this problem and soon or the American voter will find new parties to vote for.

    September 21, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  23. Matt

    I don't think that November is going to be as good for the GOP as the news media would have you think. I certainly have not been polled, neither has anyone I personally know of, and the excitement is definitely there. These polls consist of little over 1000 people, which pollsters consider an adequate 'sample size'. Who has time for polls when you're working? Seems to me the people polled are either very young, or very old. Remember the lessons of the past elections that put John McCain sweeping Obama, and other races that went exactly opposite of how they would normally. The thing about these polls is, they're nowhere close to accurate. In any case, the Dems have a lot going for them, if they could just market it right. The GOP has no ideas, no chance of passing legislation, and no real strategy, and people will pick up on that in November. Heck, they don't even have a clear party message, or a leader. Only mud slinging and scare tactics. The Dems have a better shot than people think at retaining a majority.

    -Matt

    September 21, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  24. stufit

    He also called those of us in the TEA party names, said the stimulus would keep unemployment below 8%, that Obamacare would not cost us more money. He is another corrupt union toady with a bad history of lying as well as being wrong.

    September 21, 2010 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  25. charlie from the North

    Here is some electoral math:

    25% of America thinks a lot of stuff: Obama is Muslim, the world is 6000 years old, global warming is fake, George W Bush did a good job, the world is flat, etc.

    Now whatever you think about that 25%, they vote. So if you would like that 25% to be the majority just stay home on election day because that's what will happen if you do stay home.

    After all just one vote doesn't mean much and they are all the same anyway. Yeah tell that to the millions of people whose lives were touched by the Bush Administration.

    From what I've seen of the lunatic fringe replacing the GOP I might find myself missing the GOP. I certainly am missing the "grown-ups" who used to run the GOP. I did not agree with them much but you could count on them to put the country first.

    Honestly the Tea Party is as much a danger to the country as it is to the GOP. Democrats should not cheer the destruction of the GOP though because once they destroy the GOP they are coming after the rest of the country. All "liberals and moderates have to do to help them is not vote.

    September 21, 2010 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
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