February 13th, 2009
04:10 PM ET
12 years ago

Are Dems in trouble in 2010, or not?

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/02/13/art.vanhollen.gi.jpg caption="Van Hollen, left, and Menendez head the DCCC and the DSCC respectively."](CNN) - They’re on the same team, but the House and Senate Democratic campaign chiefs appear to be looking at different playing fields when it comes to the political environment their party will face in 2010.

A day after Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Bob Menendez predicted big Democratic gains in two years, his counterpart in the House said he doesn't expect the party will see a "third wave" and would be happy just to "hold the line."

“If you look at first midterm elections historically, the president’s party loses seats,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman, said at a forum in Washington in remarks reported by Politico.

“The historical trend is pretty clear for Democrats,” he concluded.

The president's party has historically lost seats in a midterm election, especially when that party controls both houses of Congress and the White House. The Democratic Party’s decades-long majority status in Congress ended with the first midterm of the Clinton presidency.

But speaking to reporters Thursday, Menendez discounted that trend, and said he was targeting nine currently held GOP seats, and had an excellent shot at winning many of them given the fact several Republican senators are retiring.

But ultimately, Van Hollen predicted, the fortunes of the Democratic Party will depend on how the country's flagging economy performs over the next two years.

“The political challenge will be if the economy doesn’t turn the corner, and trying to explain that,” Van Hollen said.

Filed under: House • Senate
soundoff (290 Responses)
  1. Scott L

    When this stimulus fails to do anything you betcha dems are gonna get steamrolled in 2010. It is a brilliant strategy by the Republicans and I bet you Michael Steele is doing his job keeping the team together to stand tall.

    3 traitors in the senate will go down in history as making a severe mistake by breaking party ranks and voting for this piece of garbage legislation.

    Obama is a zero. Pelosi is a negative. Liberals won't last too much longer at this pace. Wait until the protests in DC by Q4. You will remember Scott L's words.

    February 13, 2009 06:53 pm at 6:53 pm |
  2. Caligirl

    “If you look at first midterm elections historically, the president’s party loses seats,” Rep. Chris Van Hollen, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee chairman, said at a forum in Washington in remarks reported by Politico.


    This may be true of the past, but we are trying to change things. Let's hope this is something we can change. It might not be too hard since the American people can see the GOP for what they truely are; GREEDY OLD PIGS

    February 13, 2009 06:54 pm at 6:54 pm |
  3. Adelita

    Irish – The combination of your venomous rant with your multiple misspellings put your credibility in the negative numbers.

    February 13, 2009 06:55 pm at 6:55 pm |
  4. Obama, first non-US citizen President!

    I wonder if your savior Barack will do as he said in his campaign promises and post the bill on the internet for 11 days for the public to see. Oh wait, he has already broken almost all of his other promises, why should he keep that one. I love the one that he wouldn't put a lobbyist in a post unless he hadn't lobbied for them for 2 years, but yet the military will now have a Deputy Secretary of Defense that lobbied for Raytheon just last July. Thanks, but no thanks. /cheers, here is to a new President in 2012, and his name won't be Obama!

    February 13, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  5. Darius

    People have to spend money for jobs to be created. You can give tax cuts to business all you want but if people are not spending money it wont amount to much. With no revenue coming in small businesses will not hire people. I think that this plan will give the economy the jump start it needs along with some much needed reform in the way we deal with our housing crisis. I think at the end of the day this will work and the republicans will take a hit in the long term because they will look like they are obrstuctionists and are not WILLING to work with Obama. Remember they lost the election so they are not going to get everything they want.

    February 13, 2009 06:57 pm at 6:57 pm |
  6. William A. Schaedler from St. Louis

    The Republican party will make a strong comeback in 2010. After just two years of Democratic mismanagement and incompetemce the voting public will long for something else.

    February 13, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  7. Caligirl

    irish February 13th, 2009 5:52 pm ET

    Wow, I actually don't see all the liberal ranting posts going on like CNN is known for. You know the one's that have absolutely no facts based into them. What's wrong liberals ? Not such a hot stimulas bill after all Huh? The Democrates will be done in 2010. Reid, Pelosi, Frank, Schummer ( ignorant creep), and all other democrates that have shoved this piece of garbage down our throats. Obama, Where is the transparency that you promised in Goverment. You know, the 48 hours for the citizens to review any bills put fourth. You must of flip flopped on that just like you flip flopped on not hiring any lobbiest in your administration. Oh, by the way. Thanks for the $13.00 a paycheck , which you will tax anyway. I'll be sure to buy a new care when I recieve the first installment.

    Do you even know how payroll taxes work? What a ridiculous remark.

    "Thanks for the $13.00 a paycheck , which you will tax anyway."

    The $13.00 will be post tax money; you know, part of your net income.
    How can it be taxed again.

    February 13, 2009 06:58 pm at 6:58 pm |
  8. Obama 2.0

    There are those that believe that Obama's attempts at bi-partisanship are a wast of time. I disagree. The reason is that if Republicans step to the plate and work with the Dems then He looks great. If they do not then they cannot use it as a weapon against him or the Dems. Besides, it is part of the mandate from the voters.

    February 13, 2009 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  9. Ben

    When we stop dragging Dems into the mad, then America will be a better country!

    February 13, 2009 07:01 pm at 7:01 pm |
  10. S.M.R.

    Bush left Obama with an 11 trillion dollar debt after Clinton left Bush a surplus, So how can the GOP supporters even bink an eye at this stimulus package when it has a good chance of success? ENOUGH SAID!!!

    February 13, 2009 07:04 pm at 7:04 pm |
  11. kj

    next week taxes will be raised for the working rich somthing around the 50,000 to100,000 depending on marital status and if you smoke or enjoy motor sports and if you voted the right way.

    February 13, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |
  12. Venesa

    No, they are not in any trouble you watch the republican have prayed so had for the Obama administration to fail but you know what he will come out successful. You will see more democrats in both the house and senate.

    February 13, 2009 07:09 pm at 7:09 pm |


    February 13, 2009 07:13 pm at 7:13 pm |
  14. Caligirl

    Spencer/Hampton Roads, VA February 13th, 2009 4:06 pm ET

    I'm officially moving to MSNBC. There must be a republican reading these comments b4 they get posted. By CNN, hello Chris, Rachel & Keith. Way better reporting!


    You really should make the switch, on TV at least. I did and I love it. Chris, Rachel & Keith have a much better sense of humor.

    February 13, 2009 07:14 pm at 7:14 pm |
  15. Sam in NC

    Please somebody show the Republicans the door....After screwing thing up over the last 8 yrs and adding mega bucks to the deficit when Clinton handed Bushy a surplus,,,what do we have to show for it??Nothing...get lost you bunch of Republican quakes

    February 13, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  16. Ryan Borman

    If the stimulus works, they stand a chance of holding the seats they have. But I suspect in two years the news will be asking where the money went, why people are still unemployed, and so on and so forth. The democrats have REALLY stuck their necks out.

    February 13, 2009 07:15 pm at 7:15 pm |
  17. Caligirl

    some republicans should be fired never to return.

    Got that right Cojo.

    February 13, 2009 07:17 pm at 7:17 pm |
  18. Jane NY

    @Greg Smith, Clifton Heights PA February 13th, 2009 4:37 pm ET
    The Obama administration will be known as THE GREAT AMERICAN MISTAKE........Sorry Greg that Title belongs to the BUSH administration!!!!!

    February 13, 2009 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  19. Scott, Tucson

    After two years of Obama and the democrats running things, come 2010 election if the economy is still in the toilet which it should be because this pork stimulus bill does nothing for the average working Joe, they will fall back to their playbook and blame Bush

    February 13, 2009 07:21 pm at 7:21 pm |
  20. Chris

    From the comments of our 'leaders', it's obvious that the stimulus bill is all about one thing -- keeping the Democrats in THEIR jobs!

    February 13, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  21. Peter

    After one year we will have a robust economy and the Republicans will head home like scared dogs with tail between their legs. Every one should be on the look out because their main intention is for President Obama to fail!!! they care less about the Country!!!. Oil, Wars, and the failed Tax cuts, is only the language they understand!! send all their senators home untill they learn a lesson that, UNITED STATES is larger than the republican party and rush limbaugh!

    February 13, 2009 07:22 pm at 7:22 pm |
  22. Steve

    You've got to be kidding me.

    It's at least 18 months too early to be asking that question.

    February 13, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  23. Irishman

    If there was no Kenneday there will never be an Obama.

    Let's embrace our today's Obama!

    February 13, 2009 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  24. Irishman-man

    If there was no Kenneday there will never be an Obama.

    Let's embrace our today's Obama!

    I mean Kenneday!

    February 13, 2009 07:30 pm at 7:30 pm |
  25. Kirk M.

    I cannot believe this question at all. Are you serious? The Republicans spent BILLIONS on infrastructure in Iraq. Let me say that again BILLIONS in Iraq. Yet people are upset that we are about to spend and re-invest billions in American infrastructure. Where were the conservatives rant postings then? Give me a break, they are total hypocrites. I really hope America is smart to see through their own political agenda. The Republicans are going at great lengths to win the 2010 elections even if it means not helping the country. The GOP will not win the majority in either house/senate. If the Economy is even somewhat back on track the Dems will dominate in 2010 and 2012 and the GOP knows it. That is why they have started the rants. Say no to RepubliCONS...

    February 13, 2009 07:31 pm at 7:31 pm |
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