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. dave

    Wont be long before its time for change and hope!!

    February 13, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  2. Beverly, NYC

    Dems in trouble, not in 2008, 210 or 2012. The Republican party will soon be irrelevant, and wandering in the political wilderness for a long time, after the last 8. I think in 2 years they will be split in two, moderates and Rush Limbaugh's dittoheads. Dems will sit back and watch them implode.

    February 13, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |


    February 13, 2009 02:48 pm at 2:48 pm |
  4. Mike

    4 weeks into Obama's presidency, and we see what true Republican values are – Party before Country.

    Nope, I think the Dems have nothing to worry about.

    February 13, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  5. Lisa

    Yeah right, the Republicans are the ones that got us into this mess!!!

    February 13, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  6. Susan

    It should not "Replubican or Democrat'.........we put the President & Senate in office and they should work together for the people of OUR country!

    February 13, 2009 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. jp,michigan

    If the democratic party continues on the course its on and fails to supply the jobs and turn around the economy, there will be more Republicans voted in. Bush handed the mess to Obama, but in 1-2 years the mess will be his.

    February 13, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  8. REG in AZ

    There seems a concentrated effort to find fault even where there is little substance to focus on. I think it is long past time to move on and concentrate on solving the problems, with or without bipartisanship.

    February 13, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  9. Soccer Nana

    CNN=Rush radio in print.

    February 13, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  10. judesuper

    I never plan on voting for a republican ever again. That does mean that I, along with the majority of neighborhood will be voting republicans out, and democrats or independents in. 2010 will see a lot of retirements for the republicans. Starting with McCain! Time to pick out your rocking chair.

    February 13, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  11. John T from SC 2

    Just as the when many of them came to office when the former president has his policies start to fail the major factor that will determine if they get reelected is if the pres is a success or not (I have many friends who are lifetime democrats who voted for Pres Obama that are now starting to say they might have made a mistake) I didn't vote for him anyway but this is what I hear WITH MY OWN EARS not political spin not politicians BS.

    BTW did the speaker of the house just introduce a man who she said 'worked on this for over a year' HUH???? over a year?

    Tell me I heard that wrong. WORK ON THIS BILL FOR OVER A YEAR????

    I think she had a "VP foot in mouth" moment. WOW!!!! That just played right into the hands of those that said this is a plan that was in the works for a LONG TIME.

    February 13, 2009 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  12. CA Indie for Obama

    Still Waiting, what do you think if the US went towards a more parliamentary-style government whereby if a party did not have a majority, it would have to form a coalition to govern? as a large nation, there are many regional issues that are not properly addressed in our two party system. it would also still continue the tradition of compromise in our governing system if we did go to a multiple party system.

    Just something to throw out there for discussion...and yes, both parties fortunes in 2010 will be heavily dependent upon the economy and patience of the US voter.

    February 13, 2009 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  13. Obama 2.0

    No, They are in trouble RIGHT NOW>

    February 13, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  14. Libertarians Unite!

    I sincerely hope both parties are in trouble, because they look just alike, and have the same ultimate goal, which is control of all we do, say, and think.

    The Republocrats are one group really. The product is the same. The only difference is how they deliver it.

    February 13, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  15. Jerry D.

    The only people in trouble are the ones that will not join this nation to get back on our feet and make this a better place to live.

    February 13, 2009 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  16. Mike NC

    Give the Repugs their own country. Send them to Alaska.

    February 13, 2009 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  17. obama supporter


    February 13, 2009 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  18. Casey | Sebastopol, CA

    I'm sure that depends on where we are in a couple of years with respect to the economy and W's dirty little wars. If Democrats are smart, they'll get on with the business of prosecuting those criminals who've been running this country into the ground for the past 8 yrs...

    Only the GOP would say there's a lack of bi-partisan outreach in Congress... their idea of "bi-partisanship" is for the other party to cave to their ideas. And using the Taliban as an ideal for their political strategy simply shows how out of touch these guys are.

    February 13, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  19. Steve

    I sincerely hope so. They are now or else they would still be the same USELESS party in power.

    For them it's COUNTRY FIRST, ideology and my rich, fat cat friends. Not PEOPLE FIRST.

    February 13, 2009 03:04 pm at 3:04 pm |
  20. Obama 2.0

    Correction: I was reading the title so fast that my mind was thinking Republicans not Dems and I responded acordingly.

    February 13, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  21. jaye

    The republicans are in trouble big time.

    February 13, 2009 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  22. therealslimshady

    CNN and the RNC I can't tell the difference anymore. It's back to MSNBC.

    February 13, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  23. Larry

    Dems are DEAD MEAT-you betcha--you'll be gone in 2010 !!!

    February 13, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  24. Bridgette

    No as long as 500k+ jobs are being lost each month the odds are against it.

    February 13, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  25. Frank C

    in 2010 the GOP will have a negative naughty campaign, the dems willcampaign on ordinary events as the stimulus bill, if, jobs and pocket money double. the GOP have to double dutch. that will be such combine OVERKILL.

    February 13, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
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