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. Bob Dog

    Its fantastic entertainment to see Mr. Steele get hammered for saying something stupid, which is a fairly common occurance.

    But its even better to see him get hammered for saying something reasonable!

    You've got to hand it to the Republican leadership. They put on a great show.

    January 5, 2010 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  2. Fed Up

    I don't care which party takes over, as long as we get rid of all the incumbents we can vote out. Then next election cycle, get rid of the rest.

    January 5, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  3. Lisa in CA

    Steele may actually be correct. The GOP will gain seats but until they demonstrate they are more than just being an obstructionist party - and are actually willing to put country ahead of their party - they will not regain control.

    On the flipside, the same can be said for the Democrats. They will see their lead edging away until they start putting the country ahead of their party.

    Both sides need to acknowledge that whatever they have is not working and the unrest of the voting public is growing. If the 2 parties don't get this, in a short time neither will be in power and, sadly, neither will understand why.

    January 5, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  4. Sue

    I heard an economist last week........

    In order to get the unemployment rate back down to 5%---245,000 jobs would need to be created each month--over the next 5 years.

    Therefore, the Democrats have NO CHANCE of even getting the uemployment rate back down to 8% before the 2010 elections.

    The unemployment rate alone-will guarantee that the Democrats are going to get clobbered in 2010.

    Then, add national security, economy, Cap and Tax Energy Bill, closing Gitmo, amnesty for illegals, tax and spend, etc.--and this is going to cause election results that we have never seen in the history of our country.

    January 5, 2010 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  5. Michael

    If they can't take back the House, they've lost the 2010 election.

    January 5, 2010 03:09 pm at 3:09 pm |
  6. CHIPS

    The GOP can't register enough people in the republican party to win back the house at this point. They can't even keep the ones the have.

    A good dream for the GOP.

    Should rename themselves The Get Out Party.

    January 5, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  7. Scott

    The latest polls show something like 12% support for the republifascists. Dream on, NRCC.

    January 5, 2010 03:10 pm at 3:10 pm |
  8. Kevin

    We the People will come out in record numbers to send the likes of Pelosi, Reid, and their cohorts home.

    January 5, 2010 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  9. Party Purity will never bring Political Power!

    At least Steele is no longer delusional, and I have to agree with another poster, the Dem response was a cheap shot.

    January 5, 2010 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  10. lynn

    After all that has happen in this country I can't believe so many of you still believe all the Obama crap, must be nice walking around with blinders on. You people won't know what hit you when the problems this administration are going to cause. We have a President who shouldn't be there he is not fit to run this country and I'm amazed that all you Obama fans still hang on to his hollow go no where dream.
    Make the Eldery pay for the country's uninsured. Heck they are old and have lived their life right they don't need good health care right.
    I hope his grandmother is watching what the fool does. Shame on you Obama.
    By the way I'm not republican or Democrate, I'm one of those true americans that want to keep our Democracy as the Constitution laid it out and get rid of the Fat Cats in Government.
    1 Term limits for all Senators and Congressman; no more than 8 years.
    2 No healthy retirement for those leaving office even if they were only there for 4 years; we all have to work most of our lives to get our retirement why should they be allowed retirement so soon at our expense.
    3 the Presidents salary stops when he leaves office.
    I'm really tired of the the Fat Cats in Government living off the peoples sweat.
    Get rid of the old stale people and get some new blood in there, but don't give them enough time to do real damage like we have allowed those serving now to do.


    January 5, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  11. Robert

    LOL.. It seems that every other week this guy makes comments that raise eyebrows.

    Was he really the best choice for this job?

    January 5, 2010 03:14 pm at 3:14 pm |
  12. GaryB

    Steele is just reading the current polling numbers. While Americans are, in general, unhappy with the current Congress, those numbers have not translated into big gains for the GOP. Also, in a lot of local polls, voters are generally satisfied with their particular representatives. At the moment, the polling numbers just don't jive with a 1994 type of takeover.

    Of course, the elections are a long way away. In October 2007, most of the "experts" thought the presidential election was going to be a contest between Hillary Clinton and Rudy Guilliani.

    January 5, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  13. Jim

    The public majority has turned their backs on these hateful greedy radicals. Most Americans want peace and prosperity for all not just themselves.

    Einstein said insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. Steel, Gingrich, Cheney and other "like minded" people want to stick with the same policies that have created this economic and terrorist mess.

    It's not rocket science. If you want peace and security for yourself, give peace and security to others. If you seek respect, give respect to others. If you want people to respect your way of life, give the same respect to others. If you want freedom for yourself, give freedom to others. If you want your rights, give those rights to others. What you give away, comes back to you multiplied.

    When you terrorize and exploit others, don't be surprised when they hate you in return. The right wing elements in every country are so fear and selfish greed based that they justify anything that says "Do unto others, before they do unto me".

    The President understands that this failed policy hasn't worked, even one time for lasting peace or security in any country. Israel has been trying that method for it's entire history as a nation. It hasn't made them safe or secure either.

    The Republican right wing has no interest in peace or helping the average American at any level. Their interest is only in money and power. They sow hate everyday

    January 5, 2010 03:15 pm at 3:15 pm |
  14. SNAPPA

    Well, its about time this guy comes back to reality. After all the moronic statements he has issued this is the one that makes the most sense.

    January 5, 2010 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  15. carlos

    dump every criminal corrupt repugnant reptile in the deepest ocean......we will then have civility, honesty and intelligent people in this great country

    January 5, 2010 03:17 pm at 3:17 pm |
  16. someoneoutthere

    "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."

    Playing to win? Is this HS Football? How about they do whats right for the people instead of what the party thinks they should be doing.

    January 5, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  17. Dee

    This person will never vote for another Republican. Since our new President has been in office NO REPUBLICAN HAS HAD A NICE THING TO SAY ABOUT HIM NOR SUPPORT HIM. All they want is for him to fail. Which to me if he fails the American people fail. So I guess they want me to fail also. In 2008 under Bush / Cheney I lost money in my 401K but now am actually seeing it come back. there may be some things I don't agree with. But, personally I think he is trying his best and I for one will give him more than one year to bring this country back to some stabilization. DON'T FORGET THE REPUBLICANS PUT THIS COUNTRY IN A BAD SITUATION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WAR AND RECESSION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    January 5, 2010 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  18. u2canfail

    Ah "the token" speaks, this time he might be right. The Tea Party is going to split the GOP vote. They have less of a platform than the Republican Party. They are simply against government. The GOP is simply against Obama.

    It will be a few years before I will consider voting for a Republican in any race. Trying to rewrite history today does not work for me. I can read the facts.

    It was my hope that the GOP would work toward health care reform. There was much room for constructive influence. But the Party line was defeat Obama, not help for Americans.

    January 5, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  19. The Root Word of Progressive is Progress

    They don't deserve to win seats. They haven't done anything except obstuct the forward movement of this country in years! Well, of course they HAVE started wars that should never have happened & brought us to the brink of financial distaster . . . .is that what they think they deserve to win votes for????

    January 5, 2010 03:22 pm at 3:22 pm |
  20. Obama Mama

    I hope Mr. Potato Head is right.....Don't need GOP running this country further into the ground We would be buried under a bunch of tea bags.

    January 5, 2010 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  21. Jaz W

    You hard left leaning people really kill me. As well as you staunch right leaning people, You are just about as hilarious. You people spend so much time bashing each others parties, you have no clue how many times a day each party is trying to screw you. When can we finally get over this stupid party system and actaully elect trustworthy and deserving peple to represent US in OUR goverment?

    Will the sky actually fall when a politician gets up and talks about issues instead of trying to sway party favor with empty words?

    When politicians come up with legislation or policy to solve a problem or issue, the first thing that goes through their minds is.."How will my party like this?" Not if it is the right thing to do. Thats the big problem with current politics.

    So, while you idiots are wasting time bashing each other and arguing about who caused what problem and when, the politicians will cheer and feel safe knowing they still have control over you.

    January 5, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  22. Mountain Dude

    I'm not sure that complete lack of representation appeals to voters. The party of obstruction may see gains in traditional GOP strongholds; they will be for libertarian and independent candidates that participate in the process. Just because the GOP lost big they can't take their ball and run home. Nobody wants a representative that is too stubborn to do their job and too stupid to negotiate for their district.

    January 5, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  23. GOPer

    He is Absolutely 1000% correct. The GOP will never take over either house so long as Cheney and Rove, the architects of disastrous last 8 years, are trying to scare the hell out of the public. These 2 clowns are killing our party while they are trying to destroy the Dems. Sad but True!

    January 5, 2010 03:24 pm at 3:24 pm |
  24. A Southern Lady in Raleigh

    As a senior citizen and Independent voter, no Republican will ever receive my vote and that includes Sen. Richard Burr of my home state of NC. The behavior of the Republican Party toward President Obama as he tries to stabelize and country and clean up the mess left by George Bush, can only be described as shameful. The party of "No" will do anything and say anything to return to power no matter how much it hurts the country. Every member of the Republican Party should hang their heads in shame. Disgusting...

    January 5, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  25. Mountain Dude

    Watching the GOP "Whig out" is pretty funny.

    January 5, 2010 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
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