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. Independent_me

    This is a trend that will be broken...Obama's stimulus will be so successful that the nation will vote out the Republicans!

    February 13, 2009 05:58 pm at 5:58 pm |
  2. Big D

    First – knock it off already with the 'is this bad news for Obama' and 'is this a sign of trouble for the Dems'. Where's the similar slant on stories about the GOP?!?! Enough already with the speculative doom and gloom stories about Obama and the Dems.
    Second – knock it off already with speculating about 2010 or 2012. We finally got through a seemingly endless campaign, and you're so desperate for stories that you're already drumming up nonsense stories about the next elections.
    Please try harder.

    February 13, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  3. Ingrid

    They are absolutely in trouble once this "stimulus package" stimulates nothing but a huge debt!!!

    February 13, 2009 05:59 pm at 5:59 pm |
  4. Jashryn

    Whatever happened to the United States of America? Or are we watching the same old Press Party Partisan tactics of polls, percentages, numbers, opinions, Washington correspondents. Of course we know that they know all, have the 'inside information' and will tell us all we need to know. Do you really think the Amerixan public is listening?

    February 13, 2009 06:00 pm at 6:00 pm |
  5. Terry, TX

    I wouldn't have voted yes ...not .for 1,100 pages I was not given time to read... it is a No... these people should be required to read it.
    The waste and corruption that will follow..... I read the first draft ... it was an oinker.

    February 13, 2009 06:01 pm at 6:01 pm |
  6. Greg

    The scary thing is that the Republicans really have become a terrorist party, and holding the country ransom. This is the same party who approved a $1 Trillion a year war, non-contested military contracts for Haliburton, tax cuts which have not 'trickeled down',
    Anyone thinking about 2010, should remember the past 8 years, and the shambles the country is in now. Remember whose responsible; that is the trickle down legacy of the Republican Party, who have not put party before country first.

    February 13, 2009 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  7. Oregon

    WHAT THE WHAT??? The Republicans are in trouble now and in 2010.

    Good grief – who turned this country into a 3rd world nation in less then 8 years?

    Who won by wide margins just this last November?

    What clown is writing these articles?

    Look, the majority of this county is absolutely behind Obama and his stimulus plan to create 4MM jobs..

    Get out in the real world sometime and talk to some real people instead of politicians. (or are you just trying to insticate things CNN... 🙂

    GO Obama! We're all supporting you!

    February 13, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  8. Red states of America

    Mike NC – it's a deal – we'll take the red states, you can have the blue, and we'll see who goes bankrupt first. You'll likely win as you have a huge head start with CA and NY.

    February 13, 2009 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  9. Jashryn

    Yes, I am still waiting for the post to be read by a CNN official, in the event it is posted. Amerixan should read American.

    February 13, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  10. philip

    I think the stimulus would be a big factor in 2010. If it works, the dems would keep moving forward. If it doesn't then the momentum would switch to the GOP.

    February 13, 2009 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  11. Steph

    no, no and no!

    February 13, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  12. sammyo41

    How can republicans face their constituents after voting no to jobs and help for unemployed, the children in need of medical care?

    President Obama is in great shape after the votes are shown in black and white.

    February 13, 2009 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  13. Wendell

    This is why we need Howard Dean. Go after ALL GOP seats.
    50 state strategy.

    February 13, 2009 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  14. person

    uh... what exactly did the rethugs do under Bush that was so helpful?? NADA! Dems are working on it, agreed they aren't as fast nore do they have the balls to get things done but they have more morality than the rethugs.

    stop picking on harry reid and nancy Peolosi!

    February 13, 2009 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  15. Welcome to the USSA

    Yep, the communists at CNN are censoring these responses. I had one that was not inappropriate that was tossed. It must have been that it did not agree with their political support for Chairman Obama.

    February 13, 2009 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  16. Bipartisan


    You are a Democrat masquerading as an Independent. If you love the Democrats and hate the Republicans then you are a Democrat.

    Both parties are corrupt and if you were a true independent you would know this but you are a Democrat partisan.

    Time for Americans to take back this country from Democrats and Republicans. Show them that they work for us.

    And don't fall for wolves in sheeps clothing like Independent_me.

    February 13, 2009 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  17. Presley Garrett

    It is time for the media to start referring to the President as "President" Obama. Not just "Mr. Obama"

    February 13, 2009 06:37 pm at 6:37 pm |
  18. dking

    Get ready for inflation because once the Dems start printing this money to pay for this spendious bill,money gonna be worth nothing but the paper its printed on.who's gonna pay for this pork.

    February 13, 2009 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  19. he is NOT the chosen one after all

    it took Bush eight years to drag our country down...It took Obama less than a month to destoy it.

    February 13, 2009 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  20. Smerlap

    The new Congress and the new President were just seated in office iin January, it is now just February. Mr. Mooney should be fired for wirting such nonsense. Our current ecomonic crisis was brought on by the policies of the last 8 years. I say give the new guys a chance, it can't be worse than George and friends.

    Why don't we get behind our newly elected leaders and get to work ourselves instead of playing show me. The elections of 2010 are still nearly 2 years away they will take care of themselves without idiots like Mr. Mooney trying to undermine the recently completed election.

    February 13, 2009 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  21. Vicki5

    Dems are NOT in trouble. The Republicans are though.

    February 13, 2009 06:46 pm at 6:46 pm |
  22. kate

    2010? how about 2009?
    idiots never learn from history, remember 1994 Dems?
    I'm sure Clinton does

    February 13, 2009 06:48 pm at 6:48 pm |
  23. JJack Jodell

    The Dems aren't in any trouble, but I would say the Republicans, which their penchant for ignoring the suffering of ordinary Americans, non-cooperation, and looking out only for big business and the wealthy, are definitely in deserved danger of extinction!

    February 13, 2009 06:49 pm at 6:49 pm |
  24. S.M.R.

    It is the GOP that is in trouble in 2010. The way they only think about how their big business partners and the rich get their tax cuts. They don't care that the American people are struggling to survive. Its a joke how they want to continue where Bush left off and think thats good for the American people. Anyone voting for any of these clowns needs their head examined. Look where trickle down economics got us and they want to blame Obama. NOT WORKIN!!!

    February 13, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
  25. Rachel

    I am not happy with CNN's articles either. Are you trying to be slanted towards the GOP because they call you "liberal biased. Well that is pretty stupid and its also not a good idea for you to lose your base. I used to come to CNN for FAIR UNBIASED news. It is NOT that way at all anymore. Lou Dobbs is the most opinionated person I have ever seen and a very negative force. Campbell is busy shoving her opinions at everyone. The only ones I really like are Don Lemon, Wolf Blitzer and I do like Anderson but I think he is in the wrong job. If I hear "keepin em honest one more time I'll barf. Anyhow, this article is a JOKE. If anyone is in trouble it is the GOP, the party of Hoover, the party of small minded ignorant far right nuts! And that is who they want to be so I am not calling them names.

    February 13, 2009 06:51 pm at 6:51 pm |
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