NRCC predicts tough road for Dems after special elections
September 15th, 2011
05:00 AM ET
3 years ago

NRCC predicts tough road for Dems after special elections

Washington (CNN) - Two days after Democrats suffered losses in special House seat elections, Republican campaign officials are calling the pair of defeats a reflection of President Barack Obama's failed economic record, and predicting similar losses for Democrats running on Obama's ticket in 2012.

In a memo released to Republican members of Congress and their staffs and obtained first by CNN, National Republican Congressional Committee Political Director Mike Shields says Democrats' stances on issues like the economy and Medicare cost the party the two contested seats in New York and Nevada.

"It's now clear that the Democrats' failed economic record and unpopular polices are getting in the way of their goal," Shields wrote in the memo. "With the President at record low approval ratings in swing states and even Democrat strongholds like New York City, their job-killing policies will be the defining issue going forward."

On Tuesday, Republican Bob Turner won the special election in New York's heavily Democratic ninth congressional district. The seat was vacated by former Rep. Anthony Weiner, who resigned from Congress after sending lewd photographs to women on Twitter. In Nevada's second district, Republican Mark Amodei defeated Democrat Kate Marshall.

Shields predicted that going forward, Democrats would continue to experience a drag based on the President's low approval ratings.

"Running on the same ticket with Obama is proving to be a difficult task for many Democrats," Shields wrote. "Perhaps that is why they are having a hard time recruiting candidates in districts held by Republicans."

He continued, "Although these were different elections on opposite sides of the country, the common theme is that for all down ticket Democrats, President Obama's record of failure in Washington will be a very big drag, especially for those who are part of the broken Washington culture."

On Tuesday, prominent Democrats rejected the idea that the pair of special election losses were referendums on the president's agenda, instead suggesting the outcomes were the result of voter anger.

"I think it was an opportunity for people just to say I'm not happy and this is how I'm going to reflect it," House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer said Tuesday.

Hoyer continued, "I think Democrats will stand with the president where they agree with him and they will bring up their alternative views when they don't."

At a press gaggle aboard Air Force One Tuesday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney told reporters that the special election wasn't an indicator of larger voter anger against Democrats.

"Special elections are often unique and their outcomes do not tell you very much about future regularly scheduled elections," Carney said.

He continued, "I think that one election in what had been a Democratic seat is unique to that district, to the circumstances around what was created that caused the special election to take place. And judge it as you will, I think it's a very specific case in a specific district in, obviously, a very low turnout election."

-CNN's Paul Steinhauser, Kate Bolduan and Deirdre Walsh contributed to this report.


Filed under: NRCC • special election
soundoff (6 Responses)
  1. Name king

    Hey I don't understand how a repug congress that doesn't obstruct this precedence policies have the nerves to call his policies a failure when they decided not to make none of his policies go through. The bush tax cuts that is draining our cointry dry Obama had to give up because of repugs taking the country hostage. The health care law which Obama wanted to be in the public sector repugs sabotage it to be in the private sector then they defogged it. The Afghanistan war when Obama and his vice president wanted a culvert opporations which would have cost a percentage of what the war is costing now, repugs held the country hostage once again and demanded 40 thousand more troop surge. As, closing down gitmo was a failure because of the repugs take no prisoner sabotage method. What obama policies are these repugs talking about. This is the repugs policies as far as I'm concerned. The bone I have to pick with Obama is why he didn't fight harder and take the same closing down the government attitude the repugs took to secure bush policies. The repugs policies only works for the rich not the poor and middle
    class. This have been proven for the last 30 years Now America is a true third world country as the middle class is disappearing in droves and leaving only the rich and the minimum wage salary workers.

    September 15, 2011 05:36 am at 5:36 am |
  2. Marie MD

    Look at the poll today about federal spending on roads and for teachers. That's how the country is probably divided in a national election.

    September 15, 2011 06:19 am at 6:19 am |
  3. Anonymous

    I wonder what that same D spin doctor said immediately after the D's upset win in Western N.Y. earlier this year. Did he also say it was a one off, or did he predict it was the changing tide as people rejected the failed policies of the R's?
    this is typical pol spin blah blah. If any of these guys could ever just say the truth as it is.....

    September 15, 2011 06:35 am at 6:35 am |
  4. T'sah from Virginia

    President Obama – with all of this negative RIFF RAFF in the news – he's still BEATING everyone on the RIGHT, including Perry!!! So those who chose to JUMP SHIP and NOT see the big picture – will LOSE in the END!!!

    September 15, 2011 07:08 am at 7:08 am |
  5. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Special and mid-term elections are usually hard on Democrats because most of their supporters only come out for the presidential elections. Many more conservative voters go for all elections. Besides, the NY race had more than just sending a message to the president as a reason some people voted the way that they did. People tend to only see what they want to see. That is blinding our country.

    September 15, 2011 07:20 am at 7:20 am |
  6. Reggie from LA

    So Dems. When we finish punishing Obama, and the house and senate become trumped with Repubs/TParty who don't give a rat about you, (actually have contempt for you and your agendas) you can pat yourselves on the backs for living egotistically and not voting for representation. You can smile and kiss your own butts, but being politically inactive, but it won't do a dam thing for you and the grandchildren that the GOP continuously grandstand. New York was a shocker. How ignorant was that. Sorry Wiener screwed up.

    September 15, 2011 07:40 am at 7:40 am |