November 18th, 2010
05:48 PM ET
12 years ago

Top Dem: Elections could have been worse

Washington (CNN) - Rep. Chris Van Hollen predicted Thursday that the Democratic Party would have lost between 15 and 20 more House seats in the midterm election had money and resources not been diverted away from some candidates in the closing days to help bolster other endangered incumbents.

"To provide flexibility, the DCCC made some very wrenching and tough decisions regarding resource allocation," Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, said in a five page memo to House Democrats. "While painful, these decisions ensured we had finances available to defend many members from the onslaught of outside spending in the final weeks of the election."

Full letter (pdf)

House Democrats lost at least 61 seats in this election and control of the House majority. There are five unresolved races.

Van Hollen, who is leaving the post after two terms, told his colleagues that "three major factors converged to create a political hurricane" ranging from the high unemployment rate, the onslaught of spending by Republican friendly interest groups and the number of seats Democrats needed to defend in GOP districts.

"As President Obama said, we took a shellacking in federal, state, and local races across the country," the Maryland Democrat wrote in the memo provided to CNN by a Democratic source. "It is painful to see so many of our outstanding and courageous colleagues swept away in the political wave that hit the country on Election Day."

Van Hollen said that it will be the Democratic Party's job over the next two years to work to regain control of the House and noted that "a large majority of the Republican freshman are undefined to voters."

"We have an opportunity to make the Republican Majority the shortest in history," Van Hollen said.

Filed under: Chris Van Hollen • DCCC • House Democrats
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. ChumBucket

    Sure, it could've been worse, heck you did win some elections.

    November 18, 2010 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  2. russinmaine

    So I wonder how it feels to play God in determining who lives and who dies? These people are ethically devoid!

    November 18, 2010 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  3. George of the jungle

    He is right. The repos joy is short lived. Look at all the hateful crap they keep saying. Their followers are pond scum. They have no cares for the middle class or working with this president. Wake up

    November 18, 2010 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  4. Howard

    The Dem elections could have been worse, but I doubt if the corrupt Dems could be any worse !!!

    November 18, 2010 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  5. King

    The repugs propaganda style warfare took two years to fine toon while dems were hard at work fixing what had broken the dems had Too little time to react to what the repugs were doing for the past two years. By that time the repugs had convinced the people that there was not a great recession, that the dems were spending their tax money because they are spending demons, Obama was Muslim and wanted to turn america into Kenya, the dems are trying to let Mexico take over America. And so and so forth the dems were sitting ducks for the unslaugt Even the women a voting block that the dems always relied on were wooed into the tea party. By them lessoning to their troubles and given power. They preyed on the scarie and feast upon the tough anger, Next thing it was a sunami I was also surprise because for so much house seat to go down the drain and only 6 dem senate seats were lost is short of a miracle.

    November 18, 2010 06:36 pm at 6:36 pm |
  6. Peter s

    It could have been worse if we didn't ask for the divine power at the last minute!!

    November 18, 2010 06:41 pm at 6:41 pm |
  7. Bill in California

    Keep those ROSE COLORED GLASSES on Rep. Van Hollen. This election had nothing to do with how much money you had to allocate versus 'the enemy' as your esteemed leader put it. This groundswell began long before you were filling up your war chest. You couldn't see it then and you still don't. The REAL majority of American patriots do not like the direction this country is going now and wanted brakes applied fast and hard. It's YOUR turn to sit in the back, again as your esteemed leader so eloquently phrased it.

    November 18, 2010 06:43 pm at 6:43 pm |
  8. Flipper

    And let us not forget that numerous, corrupt unions forked over $200 million to prevent the Dems from losing 80+ seats.

    November 18, 2010 07:02 pm at 7:02 pm |
  9. Jim from Va

    Next election in 2012 the dems will lose their hold on the Senate if they don't change their policies of ramming legislation down the throats of the American people,legislation that most people find unpopular.

    November 18, 2010 07:47 pm at 7:47 pm |
  10. ED FL

    As a life long straight Demo party ticket voter i have lost any and all faith that the Demo party has, become a version of the GOP that didn't give a damn about its constituants and became a poor version of the self centered GOP . Right now i am not sure i will even vote next election hoping the Dems will lose the rest of the hanger ons that permeate the demo party now.Ay current age 81 i have been through many elections and this is the absolute worst i have ever seen in the Demo party!!!!!!!!!!!!

    November 18, 2010 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
  11. dwayne

    Republicans have failed us yet one more time. Tax cut for billionaires – increased deficit. JOBS JOBS JOBS

    November 18, 2010 08:27 pm at 8:27 pm |
  12. keepstuffingthis

    He is right, there is no way of knowing how many votes were corrupted by the unions and the left wing nuts.

    November 18, 2010 08:37 pm at 8:37 pm |
  13. Marie MD

    Yeah, the new comers are just as full of themselves as the old coots still in congress. harris from MD's Eastern shore (aka redneckville) who is a doctor is against women's health anything! He is also against health care reform but not when it concerns him. He is very upset that his health insurance doesn't kick in until he has been on his new job for 29 days. What a hypocrite. No health care for anyone else but where's MY healthcare? These people lie. Anyone who voted for the newbies will soon find out that they are all full of themselves.

    November 18, 2010 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  14. marc in california

    i always thought it could have been a hell of alot worse this november for us democrats. We should be thankful that we still have some leeway in the senate. I think with time voters will come to realize that the Tea Party people are nothing more than americanized nazi anarchists and will correct their mistakes. It may not happen in two years but it will happen. Be patient.

    November 18, 2010 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |