House Democratic campaign chief proclaims Democrats have shot to win back the chamber
May 26th, 2011
03:51 PM ET
12 years ago

House Democratic campaign chief proclaims Democrats have shot to win back the chamber

Washington (CNN) - After pulling an upset in a special election in New York earlier this week, the head of the House Democrats' campaign committee proclaimed his party now has a shot at winning back control of the House of Representatives next fall.

"Today I can tell you that I fundamentally believe that the House of Representatives is in play and the Democrats can win a majority in November 2012," Rep. Steve Israel of New York told reporters Thursday.

Israel stressed he wasn't predicting victory "yet," saying "victory in New York 26 is not going to make us cocky." Israel said he believed even before the New York special election that Democrats would be in a good position by the fall of 2011. But now he says the political landscape has shifted so much in recent months, he is comfortable saying House Democrats could pick up the 24 seats needed to retake the lower chamber.

As soon as Democratic candidate Kathy Hochul emerged as the winner on Tuesday night, Democrats said her strategy to pin her GOP opponent to the Medicare proposal authored by House Budget Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wisconsin, propelled Hochul to an unexpected victory. Multiple Democratic leaders on Capitol Hill predicted it was just the first seat Republicans would lose because of their vote for Ryan's plan. While Israel said Democrats would continue to draw attention to the GOP plan moving forward, he maintained, Medicare "will inform our strategy, it will not be our strategy."

Speaker John Boehner acknowledged Thursday that Medicare was a factor in the special election loss, saying "a small part of why we didn't win clearly had to do with Medicare." But he also criticized GOP candidate Jane Corwin, for whom he campaigned recently, saying, "I could be somewhat critical of how the campaign was run."

Israel pointed to 97 House districts held by Republicans now that are more favorable to Democrats than the seat Hochul won in western New York.

"I am not saying that those 97 districts are in play but I am saying that there are 97 Republican members of Congress who lost sleep over their Medicare vote after the results came in New York 26," Israel said, referring to the Hochul's district.
Israel named areas across the country as examples of opportunities for more Democratic pickups - including Ryan's Wisconsin seat, two seats held by GOP freshmen in Texas, as many as five seats in Pennsylvania, and several in Iowa.

Democratic Sen. Patty Murray, who is charged with keeping the Democratic majority in the Senate, repeatedly argued that public unease about the House GOP plan to overhaul Medicare "has woken people up." She noted the Senate Democrats' campaign committee's website had its most visits in four years yesterday when the Senate held a vote on the Ryan proposal.

A spokeswoman for the House Republican campaign committee said the GOP is standing by its support for the Ryan plan.

"If Democrats want to talk about Medicare from now until Election Day, we're happy to remind the American people that Democrats are the only ones who want it to go bankrupt and the only ones who already cut the program by $500 billion to pay for their government takeover of healthcare," Joanna Burgos said.

Filed under: 2012 • House Democrats • Uncategorized
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. NVa Native

    As long as the Democratic Party keeps supporting and working for the American people they will stomp the Republicorp Party and their lackeys in every election. Just like they did in that Republicorp controled district in NY a few days ago.
    And the Democratic Party needs to continue to stand up and do it deliberately and with conviction.

    May 26, 2011 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. John

    I agree with you. And you can tell John Boehner he a Idiot and yes they will lose a lot of seat in Congress and i beat you lose some In the senate too. And yes that dumb thing they voted for call the PAUL RYAN PLAN will do the all In. The American People are trier of the Republican trying to put this on the back of the Middle Class,the POOR and the OLD. You can tell him the Republican say It them self. The Baby boomer are beginning and people 40 years and older carry a lot of vote.That the Republican will not get.

    May 26, 2011 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  3. sonny chapman

    Repubs. are gonna save Medicare ! They hate Medicare, they've always hated Medicare, they will ALWAYS hate Medicare. It doesn't fit into their view of the Fantasy World of Free Market. It must be destroyed.

    May 26, 2011 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  4. The Day of Financial Reckoning is HERE - The Great Democrat Welfare Society Ends

    Dream on Democrats! So you think a special election in a Blue State represents the country? I seem to recall your repeated proclamations about retaining control of the House....and then got your head handed to you in a humiliating massive defeat. But keep on borrowing and spending the country down the tubes because that's what this special election said you can do. hahaha

    May 26, 2011 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. carolyn powell

    pleeeze leave medicare alone i can finally eat an have my medicine.tell the republican senators,go polish some rich men shoes an leave me alone.z

    May 26, 2011 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  6. Me

    A shot? WTF
    You have a wide open gate with a broad path lined with soft carpet and rose pedals
    However, this party is known for screwing up a good thing. i.e. The last time Democrats had a "supermajority"
    People are going to vote for the democratic democratic politicians

    May 26, 2011 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  7. The Real Tom Paine

    97 seats are potentially in play now. Thank you, Mr. Ryan, for handing the majority back to Americans after the conservatives stole it. What you call demagoging, the rest of the country calls the truth. Plans have been offered, by the president, and you rejected them out of hand because your conservative theology forbids any sort of increase in revenue, even if its closing the loopholes your buddies at Koch industries have exploited for decades.

    May 26, 2011 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  8. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Republicans are getting so desperate until they are looking for the same ship that sunk John McCain to finish them off, that being Palin. Republicans think Palin is smarter than Romney, Newt, Santorum. Daniels, Trump, Bachmann and even the former Chinese Ambassador and the sad part is Palin thinks so too. All I can say is, EMBARRASSING.

    May 26, 2011 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "If Democrats want to talk about Medicare from now until Election Day, we're happy to remind the American people that Democrats are the only ones who want it to go bankrupt and the only ones who already cut the program by $500 billion to pay for their government takeover of healthcare"

    Except it wasn't $500B in cuts. That's just more misinformation campaigning. What's more, if the GOP had a problem with the $500B in savings through cost efficiency measures and the ability to negotiate prices better contained in the ACA, then Ryan's idiocy could have contained a repeal of that provision. It doesn't. Furthermore, studies have already shown that under Ryan's plan, by 2022, seniors will have to pay TWICE AS MUCH out of pocket in order to receive the same coverage as the current Medicare system would provide...all so that the rich can continue to receive tax breaks and oil companies can keep their wholely unnecessary subsidies. Lastly, functionally pulling a "repeal & replace" on Medicare, vastly reducing the coverage and security it provides by providing vouchers and capping it, increasing the financial burden on seniors exponentially, is not the only way to "save" it. There are myriad other means to shore up its financial viability for the long haul, including repealing the Bush tax cuts, which are STILL SINGLE BIGGEST CONTRIBUTING FACTOR TO THE NATIONAL DEBT AND DEFICIT. Go head, "liberal CNN," bust out the chart and show everyone how it breaks out...why the debt and deficit are almost entirely the fault of those tax cuts and Bush's two wars, and what tiny contributions TARP and the Stimulus package actually make to the problem. Go ahead. What's that? You don't want to put the facts out there that destroy the controversy? Sigh.

    May 26, 2011 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  10. Lynda/Minnesota

    I'm fired up and ready to go ... many thanks to all the GOPers who voted for this asinine bill submitted by Paul Ryan. It'll make my efforts of helping bring the State of Minnesota back to it's Democratic roots that much easier.

    May 26, 2011 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  11. GI Joe

    Only 97? I count over 200.

    May 26, 2011 04:54 pm at 4:54 pm |
  12. Republican Robber Baron

    Yes but only if the Dem's get a backbone and "drain the swamp". Pelosi fell short of her promise. I think Pelosi tried but the swamp is just too deep and filled with leaches and scumbag Lobbyist sell-outs. Both parties are stuck in their old bad habits and that's one reason why they keep getting thrown out.

    The Republicans definitely deserve to get the boot in 2012 as they don't seem to have anything useful to offer.

    May 26, 2011 04:56 pm at 4:56 pm |
  13. vic , nashville ,tn

    No one know what republicans are thinking

    High gas price but subsidies to Oil companies. Oil companies not ready sacrifice their share to reduce deficit

    No tax increase to rich so they don’t want to sacrifice their share to reduce deficit

    According to Paul Ryan Seniors has to sacrifice their share to reduce deficits Give us break

    Seniors already sacrifice their life to build the nation

    May 26, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  14. AZ DEM

    The GOP's majority in the House isn't that great now and in 2012 with the President on the ticket the Dems and Nancy Pelosi have a real shot at taking back the house....however they could find their majority in the Senate gone so it will be interesting to see how this issue plays out in 2012...either way if Medicare is a big issue the Dems are winning out on it.

    May 26, 2011 04:58 pm at 4:58 pm |
  15. duckbutter

    you better do a better job ... the last time you had the power you suck....and get rid of nancy she is the albotros around your neck....

    May 26, 2011 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  16. Texas Doc

    The Democrats are the party of America. The GOTea hates America. All the Democrats have to do is the let the Republicans keep acting like Republicans. Its only been seven months and people are ready to how them the door. Look at the special election in NY, who got Osama Bin Laden (not Dubya), the recall elections in Wisconsin and Michigan, Gov. Scott's poularity in Florida, Gov. Perry in Texas won't even run for President because he is embarassed about how little people think of him here.. They are the poorest examples of who we are and what we represent.

    May 26, 2011 05:20 pm at 5:20 pm |