January 5th, 2010
03:50 PM ET
12 years ago

Steele: GOP will not take over House in 2010, NRCC disagrees

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/11/24/art.steelegop1124.gi.jpg caption="Steele is dialing down expectations for his party's performance in this year's midterm elections."](CNN) - Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele is dialing down expectations for his party's performance in this year's midterm elections, predicting that the GOP will not retake the House in 2010.

Speaking to Fox News host Sean Hannity Monday night, Steele suggested the Democrats' current 79-seat advantage in the chamber is too big a hurdle to overcome.

"We are beginning to do assessments on the individual races, but I think overall, given what this administration's proclivities are, we are going to see nice pick ups in the House," he said.

But asked directly if the party had a shot at taking over the House, Steele responded: "Not this year."

But a spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee vigorously disagreed with Steele's assessment, saying the GOP has a "very real shot" at wining the chamber.

"The NRCC's goal...has always been to recapture the majority in 2010," spokesman Ken Spain said. "Independent political analysts and even liberal columnists have stated that Republicans have a very real shot at taking back the majority in 2010. Make no mistake about it, we are playing to win."

Given the current Democratic majority, Republicans would need to win at least 40 seats to regain control of the chamber - a sizeable but not unprecedented number. In the historic 1994 midterm elections, 54 seats switched from Democratic to Republican. Steele declined to give a number on how many seats he is hoping to take from the Democrats.

While it is common for party leaders to downplay expectations ahead of an election cycle, congressional Democrats are pouncing on Steele's prediction.

"If the NRCC hasn't convinced the Republican National Committee chairman they can win, it's no wonder that Tea Party activists, Republican small donors, and Republican House Members are not confident and have failed to invest in the NRCC," said Jennifer Crider, Democratic Congressional Committee spokeswoman.

Filed under: GOP • Michael Steele • NRCC • Popular Posts
soundoff (265 Responses)
  1. Storm

    I'm neither a Republican nor Democrat. It is sad to the yellow streak that goes down most of these politicians backs. They are cowards and have been bought by the insurance and drug companies. There aren't to many manufacturing companies left to get big campaign contributions from. How sad it is that this is what makes them vote they way they do. They are not voting for you or me anymore. It's all smoke and mirrors. People listen, most of these representatives are in it for the money. They have to check with their lobbyist before voting.
    I'm a (NAM) veteran and I sure would not want to be on the battlefield with the majority of these felons. They would sell me to the enemy to save their own skin. Dick Cheney is a coward and always has been.
    Avoided the draft around 6 times cause he didn't believe in it. Yet he sure will send your sons and daughters into multiple wars to save his own skin and money. I fear for our country. Our founding Fathers would probably take most of these jerks out and hang them.

    January 5, 2010 02:50 pm at 2:50 pm |
  2. cofcharlotte

    Combination of Terry, Greg and Joel. Small shift (depending on what happens between now and then) and then a slight shift back to Dems in the 2012 election as the economy continues to grow.

    January 5, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  3. MatthewDetroit

    And for all the clowns that say the republicans are against the president...

    NO.. They are against his stupid policies... Like the one that sends terrorist prisoners to Yemen.

    Read the headlines... The Idiot Barack admits that it was a mistake... no kidding you moron.

    But he was afraid to send chinese terrorist to China because the chinese might kill them.... funny how brainless the super genius is..

    January 5, 2010 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  4. Grog in Ohio

    Who would have ever imagined Michael Steele and I agreeing on something???

    January 5, 2010 02:52 pm at 2:52 pm |
  5. Richard L

    I thought this was serious from the headline and then I found out it was from Michael Steele.

    January 5, 2010 02:53 pm at 2:53 pm |
  6. MikQuick

    SOS....What is new here? This is the same line (albeit slighlty different words) that the GOP uses for almost everything..."too big a hurdle to overcome." *Reducing greenhouse gas emissions – too hard. **Identifying the right country to attack -too hard. ***Reform healthcare -too hard to provide to all our citizens...(unless there are incentive$) Kinda like the explanation the "Intelligent Design" advocates give, "Life is just too dogone complex to have evolved (would be too hard for nature) so there just had to have been some "god" behind it...Hey wait a minute! Red state = Faith Based State, Red State = Faith Based State – Got it? Red State = Faith State = TooHardToDo State. On another note – it must have been very painful for Steele to speak those words. lol

    January 5, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  7. Jeremy

    And the president will be gone in 2012 too. The people of America are not (for the most part) Stalinists, Marxists, Socialists whatever you want to call it. We tried the grand experiment, realized it's failure and will move on.

    January 5, 2010 02:54 pm at 2:54 pm |
  8. Republicans are better...

    I hope that the republicans take over the Congress, if for nothing else but to stop/slow down the Obama policies that are ravaging our country–over spending, doubling the debt, nanny state, killing jobs....

    January 5, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  9. joel palmer

    Oh yeah the gop kept us safe all right; Sept 11 2001 and the President is caught wit a deer in the headlights look and then bolts aboard AF 1 for an Odyssey around the country while Darth Cheney barks orders to evacuate all Saudi friends of the Bush family.

    The gop is sheer and utter incompetence with a huge helping of arrogance and entitlement thrown in. These losers will never again hold either house and may never elect a predient again. People have vivid memories of the last decade; financial ruin, two wars, no plan, huge debts to the chinese, Katrina, torture, attack on the Constitution by the AG. yeah, these guys are terrific

    January 5, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  10. suzy

    We want the party of PEOPLE, not the party of ME!
    Please, everyone who votes – don't forget to!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Dems 2010!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 5, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  11. Harrisburg

    GOP = Freak Show! In the last year, what have the Republicans contributed to the pressing issues of our nation? They sit on their hands cry like babies while the Democrats and the President try to get the things done that the 2008 election was all about! I honestly don't get it; how pathetic!

    January 5, 2010 02:56 pm at 2:56 pm |
  12. Mark

    Of course the GOP won't win back the House. But it's really odd for the party president, who is essentially the main cheerleader for the party and often the voice of the base, to concede something like that publicly this early on. Doesn't really seem strategic. Traditionally, you don't admit that until the recounts are completely done – although you might relent on election night once the networks have made the call. I just find this weird.

    January 5, 2010 02:57 pm at 2:57 pm |
  13. Gregory York

    Oh good Nazis will not take control House. Thank you, Steele to supporting Nazi party.

    January 5, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  14. Juan

    Can someone please explain to me how the Republican party had a man who still belonged to a country club that did not allow minorities slated to run the GOP. Then to make it appear that they were a diverse group they handed the reins to idiot Steele who thinks his party repsects him. How can they respect him when he was not even in the runnings until the last minute. I am sure some do, but most probably just tolerate him.

    January 5, 2010 02:58 pm at 2:58 pm |
  15. larry

    Has America ever been more messed up ? What has happened to any intellectual positions from the right ? We watch America imploding from here ( Canada ). Can you imagine the state of world politics if any of the leading Republicans were to assume power ? They have no interest in real issues and governance. Cutting taxes and smaller government is not governance ! A government fixated on an agressive foreign policy and ignoring domestic issues is not governance ! The Republicans have gone over the cliff. The Democrats are the only ones thinking with foresight and intellegence. Obama is the best thing to happen to your country. Sadly patience has been replaced with immediate expectation and results. Americans need to wake up, educate themselves and recognize the future of the country is in serious jeapardy unless the right moves more to the centre.

    January 5, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  16. Mitch

    Steele finally said something that isn't fantasy. But as with all things, the only thing that matters is the final tally. If he or anyone can accurately say how many seats will be won by either party 11 months out, then lets hear who will win the 2011 Super Bowl, the World Series, Stanley Cup and the Mega Millions numbers.

    Remember, there are voters entrenched in their ballot. Nothing sways them. The majority vote at the time of the ballot. If not, then why didn't McCain win? He had Palin on board with 8 weeks out...but the voters said no to her. In other words...why get all worked up on this when it's moot?

    January 5, 2010 02:59 pm at 2:59 pm |
  17. Larry

    Steele is finally sprouting a brain.

    January 5, 2010 03:00 pm at 3:00 pm |
  18. An American

    "A terrorist incident may occur. I know that Republican leaders pray for one every night. (Don't think I'm kidding.)" Sad commentary from a leftie. It was the GOP that kept this country safe, remember? Now that the US appears weak with the OB Apology Tour and closing Gitmo, the radicals will be coming at us. As to your other point, there is nothing, absolutely nothing that will stop the impending Dem Bloodbath in November. They are disgusting, corrupt, smug wingnuts that have ignored Americans for too long. Bye bye now.
    Uh, 9/11 anyone?

    January 5, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  19. RemainCalm

    Those disappointed liberals are still all going to vote for Democrats over Republicans. The GOP needs to make sure it is attractive to the independents, moderates and centrists who decide most statewide and national elections. The Republicans will win a few seats back in the House this year, but probably won’t get the majority in either House or Senate.

    The rehabilitation of the GOP needs to include more than simply saying “I told you so” or “be afraid” to ensure the interest of those less-firmly-affiliated voters.

    Republicans who have been feeling frightened, angry, put upon, oppressed or otherwise politically mistreated since January 2009 should take this advice:

    1. Remember you had control of the government and lost it, fair and square. Stop all the “what if” fright-mongering and begin taking steps to regain the trust of the independents, centrists and moderates.

    2. Identify and encourage conservative candidates who can lead with dignity and command respect, without resorting to right-wing social conservatism that will continue to alienate too many swing voters.

    3. Develop top-quality alterative policies and plans to counter the misguided but often well-intentioned Democratic Party agenda. Demonizing the opposition without providing anything to replace their offerings will get you nowhere.

    January 5, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  20. Beck

    I am looking forward to 2011 and 2012 when all you people see what all these programs are costing you out of your paychecks! Unless you're on the receiving end of all these "give me" programs, you're going to be giving a lot more money than you are now to the federal government. There is absolutely positively no way we can keep printing and borrowing all this money without the bill coming due – and guess who's bill it is?

    January 5, 2010 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  21. Bren

    In actuality, Steele definitely knows that they have a shot at taking back the House.

    However, he will downplay this--and let the election results speak for themselves.

    Steele also downplayed Christie winning in New Jersey--and look what happened there.

    There are currently 49 blue dog Democrats in conservative districts that are up for reelection-–in districts that were won by McCain.

    The Independents AND the Republicans will be voting AGAINST the Democrats in 2010-–the Democrats are going to get clobbered.

    The Republicans will be campaigning on national security, unemployment, and the economy. The Democrats will be campaigning on "blame Bush"--even after Democrats have had control of congress for years, and Obama will be in office almost 2 years at that point---"blame Bush" is not going to work.

    Also, the 2010 elections are not the elections where the liberals get their freebies. Therefore, just like Virginia and New Jersey--you will not see Democrats showing up in record numbers to vote.

    January 5, 2010 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  22. Kirb

    Party A in the White house and Party B in the house would only create considerable deadlock. Nobody would win in that situation.

    January 5, 2010 03:03 pm at 3:03 pm |
  23. Chas in Iowa

    The wingnuts that took over the GOP show no sign of coming back to serve and represent the consevatives that built the GOP. They are still moving farther and farther to the right.
    I really doubt they have any chance of taking the House of Representatives.
    The public is starting to pay attension to the #1 liar of the year and her compatriots and they don't like the retoric they are getting any better than they did in '08.

    January 5, 2010 03:05 pm at 3:05 pm |
  24. Brian

    After 100 years of complete failure how could anyone still be a Democrat or a Republican? There is not a bit of difference between them yet you squabble to defend these worthless thugs. This is the information age get some better candidates.

    January 5, 2010 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  25. sanity check

    I'm pretty sure the intelligent citizens of this country are done with the Republican Party. It's very clear to us now that not only will Republicans refuse to compromise with the Democrats, they will continue to push their so-called "conservative" values onto our country but, the BOLD TRUTH, which nobody seems to want to come right out and say is, the majority of voters in this country DO NOT WANT CONSERVATIVES IN CONTROL OF ANYTHING – EVER AGAIN!

    January 5, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11