CNN's GUT CHECK for October 21, 2013
October 21st, 2013
04:31 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN's GUT CHECK for October 21, 2013

CNN's GUT CHECK | for October 21, 2013 | 5 p.m.
n. a pause to assess the state, progress or condition of the political news cycle

BREAKING: NEW CNN POLL SPELLS TROUBLE FOR GOP… Republican House members, especially Speaker John Boehner, received disturbing news Monday when a new national survey showed the party brand is badly damaged one year before the midterm elections. While there is a lot of road to cover before November 2014, several Republican strategists expressed frustration to us about how the debt ceiling and government shutdown was handled. One veteran Republican remarked, “If this isn’t rock bottom, I don’t know what is.


54% of the country thinks it is “bad for the country” for the GOP to control the House.
75% of the country does not think most Republicans deserve re-election (54% of the country does not think most Democrats deserve re-election)
63% of the country thinks that Boehner should be replaced as speaker (55% of conservatives said Boehner should go as well as 69% of independents).
56% of the country thinks the “views of the Republican Party are too extreme” (42% of the country thinks the “views of the Democratic Party are too extreme)

DON’T GET TOO EXCITED, DEMOCRATS: “The people who say the House is 'in play' are getting a little over their skis,” Charlie Cook, editor of The Cook Political Report, said on MSNBC. “We have 43 competitive races rated right now on the Cook Political Report. Democrats would have to win 41 out of 43” in order to take control of the House.

OBAMA: “NOBODY’S MADDER THAN ME”: "Nobody's madder than me about the website not working as well as it should, which means it's going to get fixed," President Barack Obama said at a White House event about the problem-prone rollout of the Obamacare website. Saying there was no "sugarcoating" the difficulty logging in, long waits, repeated failures and other problems, Obama added that tech industry experts were being brought in to help workers going 24/7 to solve resolve the website woes. – Tom Cohen

NUMBER OF THE DAY: 1,308. The number of days since Obama signed Obamacare – or the Affordable Care Act – into law on March 23, 2010.

SAME-SEX MARRIAGE: New Jersey Republican Gov. Chris Christie is dropping a legal challenge to a court ruling abolishing the state's ban on same-sex marriages, despite stating in a release that he “strongly disagrees” with the court’s decision. With the ruling, New Jersey became the 14th state of allow same-sex marriages. – Bryan Koenig

MARKET WATCH: Netflix stock soars in after-hours trading after projecting higher sales and profit for the current quarter.

(Answer below)

Who is the only sitting Republican House member who is rated as a toss- up for re-election by Stuart Rothenberg and Charlie Cook?

the LEDE
Did you miss it?

Leading CNN Politics: Cruz: Senate Republicans are ‘single-most damaging thing’ for the GOP in 2014
"The single-most damaging thing that has happened to Republicans for 2014 is all of the Senate Republicans coming out, attacking the House Republicans, attacking those pushing the effort to defund Obamacare and lining themselves up opposite of the American people," Cruz told CNN Chief Congressional Correspondent Dana Bash in an interview in San Antonio. – Ashley Killough

Leading Drudge: Obamascare: Woman Falls Ill In Rose Garden
President Obama's speech Monday morning was briefly interrupted when a young woman standing behind him appeared to come close to fainting. The president turned around to make sure she was alright, saying, "I got you, you're ok," before she was helped away by others nearby. – Real Clear Politics

Leading Huffington Post: 'Nobody's Madder': Obama Vows to Fix Obamacare Problems
President Barack Obama said Monday that there's "no excuse" for the technical problems that have plagued the rollout of the Obamacare health insurance website, and promised all Americans would have access to health coverage under his law. – Jeffrey Young

Leading New York Times: Christie Drops Appeal of Ruling to Allow Gay Marriage
Gov. Chris Christie’s decision, a reversal from his position that voters should decide the issue, effectively removes the last hurdle to making same-sex marriage legal in New Jersey. – Marc Santora and Kate Zernike

Leading Politico: Shutdown fuels Republican primaries
Political handicappers expect Republicans to keep the House in 2014. But plenty of GOP lawmakers will still be slugging it out in tough races next year — they’ll just be hitting one another in a growing number of primaries propelled by the party’s nasty split over the federal shutdown and debt crisis. – Alex Isenstadt

The political bites of the day

- Another local paper blast Obamacare website -
THE LOS ANGELES TIMES EDITORIAL BOARD IN A MONDAY EDITORIAL: “The new federally run health insurance exchanges have stumbled badly in trying to sign up customers online, stymied by both design flaws and inept execution. The failures are mind-boggling and inexcusable, especially considering how much time the government had to prepare.”

- Sebelius to testify on Obamacare next week -
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES SPOKESWOMAN JOANNE PETERS IN A STATEMENT TO CNN: “We are in close communication with the committee and have expressed our desire to be responsive to their request. We fully intend for the Secretary and other HHS officials to testify before Congress as early as next week, as they have numerous times in the past, but nothing is confirmed at this time. We have always indicated to the committee that she intended to testify but that she had a scheduling conflict. We continue to work with them to find a mutually agreeable date in the near future.”

- Yea, we don't like either of you -
THE RICHMOND TIMES-DISPATCH ENDORSES NO ONE IN VIRGINIA'S RACE FOR GOVERNOR: "The words that follow should not come as a surprise. During recent months, numerous editorials in The Times-Dispatch have lamented the gubernatorial campaign. The major-party candidates have earned the citizenry's derision. The third-party alternative has run a more exemplary race yet does not qualify as a suitable option. We cannot in good conscience endorse a candidate for governor."

- Dick Cheney opens up about his heart -
FORMER VICE PRESIDENT DICK CHENEY IN AN INTERVIEW WITH CNN'S SANJAY GUPTA: "You wake up every morning with a smile on your face because you've got a new day you never expected to have. And there's a sense, well, of wonderment. Nothing short of magical."

- Holder talks race and the law -
ATTORNEY GENERAL ERIC HOLDER AT A POLICE CHIEF'S CONFERENCE IN PHILADELPHIA: "On a daily basis, you’re charged with maintaining order in communities that are sometimes defined by disorder and by distress. The fact is that a disproportionate number of those communities are communities of color – where young African American and Latino men are at increased risk of becoming involved with our criminal justice system, as victims or as perpetrators. These are communities where too many Americans are trapped in a vicious cycle of poverty, of criminality, and incarceration - and where law enforcement officers work heroically, but often against long odds, to stem a seemingly relentless tide of violence."

What stopped us in 140 characters or less

Timothy P Carney (@TPCarney)
If this is the White House's idea of Obamacare success stories, it's worse than I thought >>

Josh Marshall (@joshtpm)
Cruz: Senate GOP The 'Single Most-Damaging Thing' For Republicans In 2014

john r stanton (@dcbigjohn)
"that might be one thing we could work on" Chamber CEO quips of getting Ted Cruz to "shut up and sit down"

Jessica Taylor (@JessicaTaylor)
Griffin retirement is one of most shocking-fmr GOP oppo rschr, seen as rising star. His #AR2 district is least GOP in state, R+8 Romney 55%

Mike Grynbaum (@grynbaum)
De Blasio on Hillary: “There’s literally no one more respected in this country.”

tuulihongisto (@tuulihongisto)
I am personally responsible for Finland's lead in coffee drinking. – What every country in the world is best at

Jed Miller (@jedmiller)
.@pewresearch says 1/3 social media users has checked on someone from past relationship. US spying on France revealed. #nocoincidences


The polls are nearly unanimous- – the American people can't stand Congress. But according to the two political handicapping publications, there is only one sitting Republican House member in a truly toss-up fight for his re-election: Republican Rep. Mike Coffman of Colorado.

Coffman represents Colorado's 6th district - an area that includes suburban Denver and more rural areas of central Colorado. Both Cook Political Report and Rothenberg Political Report have Coffman's race as a toss-up.

The reason: Coffman's district is D+1, meaning there are slightly more Democrats in the district than Republicans.

Coffman is also running against a formidable opponent.

"Democratic former state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff is a fundraising machine, out-banking Coffman $1.3 million to $1.2 million at the end of September," Cook Political Report writes.

(why aren’t you in it)

No correct answer today. Better luck tomorrow.

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Filed under: CNN's Gut Check
soundoff (25 Responses)
  1. just saying

    sebilius should have been fired long ago. only in the failed obama adminstration where failure and disaster is rewarded and promoted can somebody survive such a disastrous product launch. the level of incompetence of this administration is on parade every day for the american people, and the world, to witness. a total embarrassment.

    October 21, 2013 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  2. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    CNN Poll: 75% say most Republicans in Congress don't deserve re-election

    Who are the idiots in the other 25%? Masochists?

    October 21, 2013 05:10 pm at 5:10 pm |
  3. Tampa Tim

    The Republican Party is not accustomed to seeing true leadership. Their only examples of leadership are in the ineptness of Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Gonzales, Boehner, Bachmann, Gomert, King et al. The world continues to laugh at republican stupidity.

    October 21, 2013 05:13 pm at 5:13 pm |
  4. Name jk. Sfl. GOP CRUZ conservatives,the garbage of America.

    Yea , just, that's why he got realect for his second term and the GOP will lose the house in 2014!!!!!

    October 21, 2013 05:14 pm at 5:14 pm |
  5. Tampa Tim

    When the 17 republican senators and 144 republican members of the house raised their right hand and took an oath to our country, it makes one wonder which country they support. By voting against the US, they committed an act of treason.

    October 21, 2013 05:17 pm at 5:17 pm |
  6. Anonymous

    "When the 17 republican senators and 144 republican members of the house raised their right hand and took an oath to our country, it makes one wonder which country they support. By voting against the US, they committed an act of treason."

    Would Barack Obama be included in that "act of treason" when he voted for default in 2006? Exact. Same. Scenario.

    October 21, 2013 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  7. just asking

    sebilus was just as incompetent a governor as she is hhs secretary. obama only appoints incompetent imbeciles. holder? napolitano? all incompetent imbeciles.

    October 21, 2013 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  8. Sniffit

    "Political handicappers expect Republicans to keep the House in 2014."

    Indeed. It's tough when the will of the majority is overrun by gerrymandering and voter suppression laws.

    October 21, 2013 05:30 pm at 5:30 pm |
  9. Gurgyl

    Nation needs to fire all GOP animals from the barn of capital hill.

    October 21, 2013 05:32 pm at 5:32 pm |
  10. Larry in Houston

    not sure on the latest poll – regarding the republicans taking such a big hit – on Cavuto today, there was a guy he was interviewing, that said the polls are expected to go south for the republicans, he is saying what Cruz is doing, will eventually "bolster" the republican party, and all the "other" republicans will get on "board" ....

    well, my question is this : approximately when will this be ? I mean, are they going to have to go to "rock bottom" so to speak, till they get enough help from their own, to pull themselves up, by their bootstraps ?
    2024, sounds like a good date, I guess. >whew< I'm glad that I finally left BOTH parties.... Independent to me, is the "rational" ones, now days, it seems like.

    October 21, 2013 05:38 pm at 5:38 pm |
  11. Tom


    Dude, don't you live in California? You're honestly complaining about gerrymandering with a straight face? Hilarious

    October 21, 2013 05:46 pm at 5:46 pm |
  12. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    @just asking
    sebilus was just as incompetent a governor as she is hhs secretary. obama only appoints incompetent imbeciles. holder? napolitano? all incompetent imbeciles.

    The irony of your post is just too rich to pass up. It is better to say nothing and be thought a fool than to open ones mouth and remove all doubt!

    October 21, 2013 05:47 pm at 5:47 pm |
  13. just sayng

    "Political handicappers expect Republicans to keep the House in 2014."
    Indeed. It's tough when the will of the majority is overrun by gerrymandering and voter suppression laws.

    democrats invented gerrymandering and now they complain about it. nothing new there. by all means get rid of gerrymandering in all 50 states. nice shuare shaped districts. and watch the black congressional caucas cease to exist. gerymandering was used by the democrats to guarantee black seats in congress. affirmative action applied to elections through gerrymandering tactics.

    be very careful what you ask for, you might just get it.

    October 21, 2013 05:50 pm at 5:50 pm |
  14. Jeff Brown in Jersey

    Hey "just sayin-just askin-freedom-rick McDaniel-Fair is Fair", etc. Are you being paid by Roger Ailes? It's hard to believe anyone can be as out of touch as Faux "News".

    October 21, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  15. truth hurts but reality bites

    voter suppression laws.

    The ONLY voter suppression proven was the suppression of the TEA Party over the last 4 years by the Obama administrations illegal use of the IRS to attack, harrass and intimidate them and keep them out of participating in two election cycles by keeping them in tax status limbo.

    One thing is for certain, if the left is accusing others of doing something, it only means one thing, the Democrats are actively engaged in it themselves.

    October 21, 2013 05:53 pm at 5:53 pm |
  16. just asking

    "Political handicappers expect Republicans to keep the House in 2014."
    Indeed. It's tough when the will of the majority is overrun by gerrymandering and voter suppression laws.

    has gerrymandering been outlawed in all of the democrat controlled and run states? if it is so bad, why not? please show us all you are serious about stopping it but outlawing it in all the democrat controlled states. actually, the republicans would win big time if this were to happen.

    October 21, 2013 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  17. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right vs Wrong"

    Polling data is inaccurate. The same lying cheaters are back upsetting the table, to make a liberal sponsored poll to come out in thier favor every time, just to let the results try to upset someone.

    October 21, 2013 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  18. tom l

    Cheney would be proud. A no-bid contract to build the website. Almost a half-billion dollars, to a Canadian company, for an aggregator website. Amazing.

    Now come on, liberals. Let's be a little intellectually honest here. How does a no bid contract happen in the Obama administration???

    October 21, 2013 06:31 pm at 6:31 pm |
  19. Sniffit

    "Do you think that Facebook would be where it is today if it was launched in the same fashion?"

    Facebook was limited to its founders Harvard buddies at first. It did not in any way, shape or form attempt to be a website available to millions of people all at once from the get-go. Facebook, in fact, employs thousands of people and is constantly writing new code, grooming old code and dealing with a neverending slew of developmental and programming issues, maintenance and cleanup that cost it millions and millions of dollars per year. Analogy fail.

    October 21, 2013 07:06 pm at 7:06 pm |
  20. freedom

    @don in Albuquerque

    Glad you brought up Benghazi – which also includes the callous Hilary "What difference does it make??!!" Absolutely – this administration = total failure.

    October 21, 2013 07:29 pm at 7:29 pm |
  21. Jeff Frank (R-Ohio) "Right vs Wrong"

    The above photo of Sebilious is irrelevent to this article.

    October 21, 2013 08:10 pm at 8:10 pm |
  22. Hal


    "Political handicappers expect Republicans to keep the House in 2014."

    Indeed. It's tough when the will of the majority is overrun by gerrymandering and voter suppression laws.
    Democrats invented gerrymandering, sniffit. And California is a prime example of what happens when a state is overrun by gerrymandering and yes, voter suppression.

    October 21, 2013 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  23. Thomas

    The Republicans once said Joe McCarthy would bring the party together .

    When will we ever learn.

    By the way , has anybody seen the smog report in China ?

    October 22, 2013 02:02 am at 2:02 am |
  24. sifto

    agree with just saying–the liberal policy of Gerrymandering for affirmative action was needed at the outdated and has come back to bite libs..cry me a river.

    October 22, 2013 06:27 am at 6:27 am |
  25. Marie MD

    The "moderate" repugs allowed the koch brothers and other corporations, oops people, to take over their party with grassroots nonsense crazies so they need to reap what they sow.
    @just saying, gerrymandering has never been so blatant. Some repug districts are like maybe one block then the district continues to meanders around whole neighborhoods to only red houses.
    That is one thing they repugs are good at getting their own way., At least until one week ago.
    Thank you Canadian rafael bin laden because you have done what so many haven't been able to do, even if it did cost the US $4BILLION, in the last few years.

    October 22, 2013 06:34 am at 6:34 am |