Why the Democrats will lose the House in 2010

December 30, 2009

The trend is not the Democrats’ friend. At least not in 2010. The party of the sitting president almost always suffers losses in midterm congressional elections. To that time-tested dynamic now add voter angst about high unemployment, big deficits and controversial legislation. Expect Senate majority leader Harry Reid to lose his effective 60-seat supermajority and Nancy Pelosi to hand the House back to the Republicans. Here’s why 2010 is looking like 1994 all over again:

1. Virginia and New Jersey. Big GOP wins in the gubernatorial races not only highlighted discontent with incumbents by recession-weary voters, they also greatly helped Republicans with candidate recruiting for 2010.

2. History. More big political change isn’t predicated on America rekindling its love for the Grand Old Party. A recent poll had the Republicans finishing a distant third in popularity behind a fictional Tea Party and the actual Democratic Party. Yet American politics has a regular ebb and flow. In 13 of the past 15 midterm elections going back to 1950, the party in control of the White House has lost an average of 22 seats in the House. In 10 of the past 15 midterms the party running the Senate has lost an average of three seats.

3. Mean Reversion. Democrats have a wide field to defend after huge victories in 2006 and 2008. Particularly in the House, there are lots of Democrats in places with a proven willingness to vote Republican. Currently 47 of them are in districts won by both John McCain in 2008 and George W. Bush in 2004. And voters in those districts may be especially unhappy with a Democratic legislative agenda that causes many Americans mixed feelings.

4. Obama-Reid-Pelosi Agenda. A RealClearPolitics aggregation of polling data shows Americans disapprove of healthcare reform by a 51-38 margin. And only a little more than a third think the $787 billion stimulus plan has done much good, according to pollster Rasmussen. There’s also plenty of worry among the electorate that Washington spending is creating a dangerous level of government debt.

5. Rep. Parker Griffith. Griffith, elected in 2008, could be an electoral harbinger. His district, Alabama’s 5th, gave 60 percent of its votes to Bush in 2004, and 61 percent to McCain. He just switched from Democrat to Republican, saying he couldn’t belong to a party that favors healthcare reform that massively expands the role of government. Even though Griffith voted against the stimulus, cap-and-trade and healthcare plans, he clearly felt that guilt-by-party-association threatened his re-election.

6. Unemployment. Underlying voter unease with Capitol Hill is deep concern about unemployment. And that leads to a simple equation: Joblessness drives presidential approval ratings, and it’s those ratings that drive midterm congressional results. Despite a landslide win in 1980, for instance, unemployment approaching 11 percent drove Ronald Reagan’s approval ratings down to the low 40s in November 1982 when Republicans lost 26 House seats. (And only five narrow GOP victories by fewer than 50,000 votes kept the Senate even.)

As unemployment has risen this year, Obama’s approval has steadily eroded to around 50 percent currently. The White House says it doesn’t expect employment growth until the spring. And if even the economy begins to create jobs, the actual unemployment rate could still rise as the long-term unemployed begin to actively seek jobs again and thus start being counted by the Labor Department. It would take a year of 4 percent growth generating 200,000 to 250,000 jobs a month to bring the rate down to 9 percent. And even that would be twice as high as what Americans have been used to during the past two decades.

7. Discontent with Democrats. At the same time, the generic congressional ballot has shifted from a high single-digit Democratic lead to a low single-digit Republican lead as independents veer back to the GOP. What’s more, a recent poll by the liberal Daily Kos blog found just 56 percent of Democrats definitely or probably voting in 2010 vs. 81 percent of Republicans. Note that a new Rasmussen poll has Sen. Ben “60th Vote” Nelson, who won reelection in 2006 with 64 percent of the vote, down 61-30 in a hypothetical 2012 matchup vs. Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman. Dems in both chambers will surely take note of those numbers. Indeed, the prospect of a terrible 2010 environment has already pushed some veteran Democratic legislators in competitive districts into retirement such as John Tanner of Tennessee and Brian Baird of Washington.

8.  Economic Damage. Even if the unemployment rate falls a full percentage point next year,  it may not help Democrats much. Americans only slowly regain their economic confidence after a deep recession. When Democrats lost the House and Senate in 1994, the economy had been growing steadily since the nasty 1990-91 downturn and unemployment had fallen sharply, though not fully to its pre-recession levels. Yet 72 percent of Americans at the time still thought the economy was “fair” or “poor,” according to Gallup.

As political forecaster Charlie Cook has noted, what happens in the House depends a lot on there being more Democrat retirements in competitive seats. The GOP needs a 40-seat pickup. The more Dem members that stick, the less likely a changeover. If the numbers start going north of 12-15, a warning signal should sound for Democrats. (In 1994, Democrat departures created 31 open seats, 22 of which were won by the GOP.)  For now, Cook sees a possible 20-30 seat pickup in the House for the GOP and four to six in the Senate. (Harry Reid, Blanche Lincoln and Chris Dodd look especially vulnerable). But Cook may be underestimating how the dreadful New Normal in the economy will create a New Normal in politics in 2010.


We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see http://blogs.reuters.com/fulldisclosure/2010/09/27/toward-a-more-thoughtful-conversation-on-stories/

Oh Yes. This is going to be fun.

Posted by Mal | Report as abusive

1) Throw the bums out!

2) This phrase ‘New Normal\'; Am I the only one heartily sick of it? It is, without question, one of the most defeatist expressions I have ever come across. America can do better, ‘cuz America HAS done better.

Posted by gotthardbahn | Report as abusive

Retirements are getting may too much play and Open Seats are given way too much credit. The large number of 1st and 2nd term Dems makes huge retirements (like ’94 impossible) and historically Open Seats are tougher to defend, However the huge number of Freshman and Sophmore Dems who have never won without a tail wing make it likely the percentage of incumbents to lose in ’10 will be far above average.

I theorize that the District, not the incumbent, provide the turnover. Incumbents do have some real advantages in organization and fundraising that a challenger (regardless of incumbant party) doesn’t have, but in the end it is the voters not the candidates that decide elections.

Posted by estuartj | Report as abusive

Plus it’s pretty safe to say that except in the blue strongholds people got pretty sick of Obama fast and are going to take it out on his party.

Posted by bandit | Report as abusive

I still think the Reps must give voters a reasons to vote FOR their candidates…not just rely on current discontent with the incompetent and radical Left House. Something like 1994’s Contract With America. The Reps need to offer something positive and hopeful and not just carp and nitpick the insane legislation the Dems are pushing. It’s critical the Reps take back either the Senate or the House. If not, watch for Obama/Pelosi to go all-in in 2011 on their Leftist agenda.

Posted by JohnR | Report as abusive

As usual, the Republican spin machine doesn’t bother to mention that in the 2009 mid-term congressional election Republicans lost NY23rd for the first time in 100 years.

Or the big Democratic wins in the Virginia and New Jersey gubernatorial races during GW Bush’s first midterm elections.

Posted by Ken | Report as abusive

We must take the House or the Senate back in 2010! As JohnR says, ‘If not, watch for Obama/Pelosi to go all-in in 2011 on their Leftist agenda’ and that simply CAN’T HAPPEN if our republic is to survive. This is serious stuff!

Posted by ExDemocrat | Report as abusive

You left out National Security.

Posted by John | Report as abusive

Personally, I hoping for a wave like ’94, but not 1994. I’m hoping for a wave like 1894 where the Dems lost 125 House seats. Is it possible? Yes. Compare the similarities. The 1894 elections followed the panic of 1893 and unemployment was in double digits. The 2010 election will be following the Panic of 2008 and if unemployment is still over 10%, the Democrats have a major problem. The Democrats won the 2008 congressional elections with a 9% point margin nationwide. 9% was good for a 40 seat margin. Since the 9 point win, generic polling by Rasmussen has been showing an average margin of 6% for the Republicans which is a swing of 15% in 13 months. If the ballot continues to shift at this rate, in 10 months (Nov 08), the Republicans could be sporting a 16-17% margin on election day. This should be good for 125 seats.

Posted by Junkyard_hawg1985 | Report as abusive

how about some insight v. the obvious
1. Call #4 what it is….a radical, left wing agenda supported by a minority of americas
2. Failure to deal with Iran–thankfully, Israel will since spineless took office.
3. Cap and tax (as the Midwest sits under a foot of snow amid global scaming, er warming.
4. Kentucky and Healthcare, healthcare, healthcare….they jammed it down our throats….and a Republican won a STATE seat in a democratic-district in KY by using national issues like healthcare.


Posted by golfwineski | Report as abusive

This presidency is effectively over.


Posted by JIM WHITTAKER, Hemet, CA | Report as abusive

The Democrats and Republicans are all a bunch of back scratching Bureaucrats spending our money foolishly. Throw them all out.


Posted by Scott Wick | Report as abusive

Re-Elect No One ! !

Posted by Don West | Report as abusive

Both in ’91 & ’08. Democrats used their democratic party left wing to get elected and them once in office as corporatecrats.

Realize that there is no Republican or Democratic Party – the apparent duopoly is false. These are 2 faces of a Corporate Party of America. Both Parties have infrastructures (lawyers/consultants,etc) and need a lot of money to operate. Only 1 group is able to finance those needs -that is corporate america & therefore to get elected whoever runs has to whore themselves out. So no matter what or who you vote for it does not matter.

Only a third/fourth party & public financing of campaigns will change these and it won’t happened until a violent event makes it happen or conversely we have a self-finance logical truly benevolent candidate that is able to spend both parties & fight tooth and nail to ensure a win. Both Dems/Reps organizations would fight for their nice doupoly to the end.

The issue with healthcare is a red herring. True reform would be a expansion of Medicare. Theses “reforms” are ment to sour you so much that any sane politician will not want to touch it for a generation. People will eventually get used to people dying for lack of healthcare like in 3rd world countries. History repeats and so when the next 1918 like flu epidemic comes about something else will be born like it happened in NYC with its clinics & hopsitals.

Obama’s mistake was not being tough with bankers. Everyone saw he was a wuz after that. Remember Machievalli’s rule #1 for a prince – “Fear before respect”.

From someone in New Jersey politics for 20 yrs and not yey indicted..

Posted by Jerzy Machiavelli | Report as abusive

I know several liberal thinking people that have left the Democratic party this year due to the present Democratic agenda and the spending of money that seemingly can’t be printed fast enough to satisfy the current liberal agenda. I do not think I am the only one seeing this around the country.

Posted by Eric England | Report as abusive

We can’t say it often enough. Elections have consequences and this most recent election has more consequences then any other. Those who giddily voted for the “messiah” while reading into him whatever they wanted,are slowly awakening to reality. As a lifelong mental health professional, I watch as voters are increasingly uncomfortable with so much of the promised “change”. Comfort levels are being disturbed. Even the young voters who don’t know what they don’t know, are stirring. Even though they are less reliant and independent then their parents and love what government offers, they are the spoiled who got their way while growing up. Well, their way had better be the lefts way if the left prevails. How do you like that change younguns?

Posted by loco36 | Report as abusive

Re Jerzy Machiavelli’s post: Why does the left always come up with foolish arguments?

He say: “Only 1 group is able to finance those needs -that is corporate america & therefore to get elected whoever runs has to whore themselves out. So no matter what or who you vote for it does not matter.”

Corporations are tightly restricted in their ability to make campaign contributions — and corporate executives hesitate to do anything that might offend a customer.

Unions (and trial lawyers) have none of those limitations, and most of the political class never worked in the private sector (except as lawyers).

Instead of living in a “corporate state,” it’s the exact reverse. The hostility to business (and the highest corporate tax rates in the Western world) is why we no longer have a healthy manufacturing sector. Liberals talk about well-paid jobs and act as if they come from government, but in real life do their best to drive them away overseas.

Posted by Jeff | Report as abusive

Can’t we all agree that we have the worst president in history at the helm now. He is acting like an arrogant spoiled boy.
How can anyone trust this clown, he lies and blame everything on others in order to save his skin.
Take the Clown together with Pelosi and Reid and you will
find an extremely disaster comming up 2010 – 2012?.

Posted by Bjorn Gadler | Report as abusive

[…] But we’re coming for the House. […]

Posted by BEN NELSON (D, Nebraska) POLL SHOCKER: Going Down, Down, Down: A burning ring of fire! « American Missive | Report as abusive

Bitter much? Sadly for all of you conservative posters, Democrats are not only going to hold onto both Houses of Congress, Repugnacan’ts gains will be minimal. Employment will begin to tick up in Spring and rise in Summer. Republican hysteria about his citizenship, his radicalism and his desire to destroy America will all play into Obama’s and the Democrat’s hands. Conservatives will continue to delude themselves into believing that the likeminded 40% of the population who shares their irrational anger constitutes a majority. They will discover how wrong they are on election day.
And then declare their defeat an tremendous victory. What fun!

Posted by Larry Bachmann | Report as abusive

To Jeff:

Hey pal, have you ever run an election?. Here is how it works. My political workers, contractors, etc give me a donation for my local campaign, they also buy $250 tickets for my fundraising campaign. But guess what- There is a county party organization & other associated groups -having more discreet dinner fundraisers. These are $1000 a tickets. These contractors are exepcted to buy several tables -even if 6 people show up. Get it.

Buddy, Unions are not that powerful or wealthy. They only became powerful when they had the mob’s muscle behind them after they did a devils bargain of mob’s muscle & control for sharing the spoils. For god’s sake stop reading so much propaganda. The money is with whomever wants a contract or something done & that is usually a business interest.

The old mob is essentially gone & so is the union’s power. But I’ll make aprediction, if things keep going the way they are-> 1)Organize crime will make a large resurgence (it will not be italians, but other groups) & 2) Wal-Mart will get unionize in some places, because when they sent their special anti-union lawyer squads to a store. Those lawyers are not going to make it out, without a trip to the morgue or hospital.

Posted by Jerzy Machiavelli | Report as abusive

[…] Why the Democrats will lose the House in 2010 How an ‘Honest’ Beverage Startup Got Coke’s Attention Obama moves to curb number of classified records–of other presidents Mystery surrounds new Obama order on classification Rare New Year’s Eve ‘blue moon’ to ring in 2010 Dooming Europe Decade’s best stories not covered by the MSM The Left’s Blind Eye to the Obvious 11-yr-old girl, 15-yr-old boy–Police: Young Fla. couple plotted to kill mother Vt. judge: Birth mom must give child to lesbian ex-partner The Real Healthcare Chart of the Day […]

Posted by Wednesday: January 30, 2009 : DBKP REPORT | Report as abusive

There is a TWO word cure for this f**king mess and it is TERM LIMITS! All of them R’s and D’s get corrupted after a few terms in office and no longer represent the people that put them in office. Look at Ben, Big Whore, Nelson.
Need I say more?

Posted by inspectorudy | Report as abusive

It’s heartbreaking…

I worked my fanny off getting Obama elected since his speech at the DNC in 2004. What a mark I was but I have thankfully snapped out of it. I spent way too much money and time but…I will now spend more money and more time to help usher him out beginning with the dispatch of our local representatives which includes Republicans as well and working up to 2012. Our Democratic representatives who are up for re-election in 2010 really have no chance. Especially those representatives who merely voiced two words. Yes to the stimulus. Yes to HR3950. I get it now especially how the healthcare bill came down.

This has split my immediate family, extended family and friends as this Holiday Season thus far has been miserable and made miserable by the constant discussion of Obama’s leadership. They were right and those few of us left were very, very wrong.

I will redeem myself, count on it.


Posted by Tina Ferrer | Report as abusive

2010?!?! We can’t wait that long! They’ll have stolen every penny they can get their hands on by then! No! It’s GO TIME! Get out the tar and feathers and hark back to our history by marching down to the Capitol and running these brazen thieves out of D.C. on a rail! Same thing at the state houses! When are Americans going to wake up? They don’t LISTEN TO US! They do whatever enriches them and THEY WILL KEEP DOING IT UNTIL WE PHYSICALLY REMOVE THEM! Think we can’t do it? The Iranians are fighting and dying for their freedom right now! Why can’t Americans do the same?

Posted by raoul duque | Report as abusive

One last factor, the unexpected. Like what happened on Christmas Day. In this case it didn’t play to Obama’s advantage as it probably will cost him 5 points in his approval rating going into 2010. Obama’s and the Democratic party have set themselves up for unexpected disasters in 2010 and here is how:

1. Releasing dozens of terrorists as Gitmo is wound down offers nothing but disaster on a Christmas Day scale during 2010 or 2011.

2. Economic disaster as public debt becomes a 1000 pound weight around the American economy’s neck and much of the debt held by a communist country looking to rise at the expense of American national interests.

3. Iran could explode in war soon either by using an atomic device or with an Israeli attack. China is Iran’s most strategic ally and will likely react strongly against any serious American sanction or military reaction to Iranian hostilities. Because of number 2, China has lots of leverage against the USA.

4. Acorn and fellow travelers with long associations to Obama are clearly open to criminal behavior. Somewhere along the way there might be an Obama connection, after all, he came from Chicago.

5. Obama himself as he must re-create himself from the Hope N Change candidate to a resolute President in times of war and economic hardship. So far all he is doing is showing weakness on a global scale and that invites other countries to attack American interests.

Posted by richardb | Report as abusive

Even if the Reps do not get 40, as long as they are close, it will hinder the Dems to ram thru anything.
But Reps must work overtime to make this happen.

Posted by Bernard | Report as abusive

We did not elect a House of Lords and a King to rule over its subjects!… Barry is a self-serving ego-maniac without a shred of shame or character. And the Liberal controlled Congress and freak show hedonistic WH Administration & Czars are a surreal nightmare.

The Constitution is the people’s contract that established and created a Federal system within a representative government… a Republic. Stop calling the Unites States a democracy! We are a Constitutional Republic! The congressional house & senate representatives serve at the people’s discretion! They are our SERVANTS!

2010 & 2012 NO SURVIVORS! Like Sodom and Gomorrah… Burn the two houses to the ground and start all over!

Posted by Bellagio | Report as abusive

I thought Professor Obama was going to rub my belly and fill my bank account with cash? Why isn’t this happening?

Posted by jefcostello | Report as abusive

@ Ken

NY 23 has been relentlessly gerrymandered over the years, and a Democrat held the district as recently as 1992. Democrats have deliberately blurred the issue for various reasons. For example, Doug Hoffmann was reportedly “not from the area.” Even Newt Gingrich made this false claim when defending the RNC and NRCC decisions to fund Dede Scozzafava, a candidate with a record to the left of Democrat Bill Owens and who eventually endorsed him when she could not win. The previous representative John M. McHugh, who was appointed Secretary of the Army, has an extremely conservative record and was more in line with what the voters wanted. This district will likely revert to Republican control in 2010.

Posted by Virginia 11775 | Report as abusive

D.C. would prefer a tyrannical environment wherein they make the people dependent on the state. We will not have it. Yes, some have been made to be too vulnerable and naive to fight this dependency, but most Americans, who know their worth, will fight this monster of the state. D.C. you have pissed on the American people for the last time and we are now coming back for revenge.


Posted by pjean | Report as abusive

A few more factors that were not mentioned in your piece:

1.) Terrorism – the latest attempt and the administration’s bungling response will not be regarded well by most Americans.

2.) Higher taxes – if ObamaCare passes, a whole slew of taxes will go into effect in 2010 while a majority of the bill’s “benefits” will not be seen until 2013

3.) More very liberal legislation in 2010 – amnesty, pro-union. These, if pushed, will be seen as counter to an economic recovery. For example, the argument will be that Americans need the jobs that Mexicans are taking. Pro-union legislation will be seen as anti-business. Anti-business is, at its heart, anti-recovery. Not a good perception, especially in an election year.

Posted by drew | Report as abusive

This former democrat’s new year’s resolution is to Throw The Bums Out. I will work for and monetarily support candidates in my state and other states who run against incumbents who voted for healthcare, for stimulus, or for cap & trade. I’m sure this year will only give more names to add to the list.

Posted by avery | Report as abusive

Hey Ken one big problem with your “analysis” of the Hoffman NY-23 race…the Republicans skipped the Primary process when they put Scozzy up for their candidate. Even when a bunch of absentee votes went for Scozzy because at the time she was the R candidate Hoffman almost won anyway. The Republicans heard from us and have said that there will be primaries from now on in these races so that a NY-23 won’t happen again. Funny how your “analysis” failed to mention this. Facts are funny things and you Dem loonies always like to write the narrative without the facts in place. That’s how you got the big zero elected last year. We are coming in 2010 and 2012, it will be a landslide, and you can either get out of the way or be trampled. Oh and this so-called Healthcare Bill will be repealed. The electorate is ticked, our side will be voting next year in huge numbers and this freight train is coming, count on it!

Posted by Renee | Report as abusive

Don’t send them a message…send them HOME.

Posted by Jim | Report as abusive

Why shouldn’t the Democrats lose the House? By this time next year, another million or two Americans will have lost theirs.

But electing Republicans instead will be like trading an undignified case of HIV for one of full-blown AIDS. Something different needs to happen, and fast.

Posted by The Bell | Report as abusive

[…] It is still a bit of an uphill battle for the GOP to move Nancy Pelosi out as Speaker in 2010, but the Dems have certainly done everything they can to help the Republicans back into power! If the GOP hasn’t learned their lessons while out in the wilderness, their return to power will be shortlived as the public has little if any patience for politicians who promise one thing and then deliver another! CLICK HERE. […]

Posted by WHY DEMS WILL LOSE THE HOUSE IN 2010. « Talking the vote | Report as abusive

Tired of the MSM and demwits telling us who are candidates will be; therefore we MUST have CLOSED PRIMARIES!

Posted by TinCan | Report as abusive

DEMONRATS: have ruined every AmeriKan city they rule over,eg’s. Detroit, Cleveland, Toledo, Chicago, are all Hell’s Outhouse’s due ENTIRELY to Demonrats ,policy of TAX and WASTE and TAX and Waste some more. These dissolute scum cannot even prevent 30 MILLION illegal aliens from taking jobs from AmeriKan’s and greatly DEPRESSING wages !! Something the unions and Demonrats tolerate as long as the illegals VOTE 65 % for DEMONRATS !! Pathetic and criminal, indeed ! PLUS: If you don’t buy into ObaMao’s scare plan, you can befined and go to PRISON ! Ahhh, the AmeriKan way…DEMONRAT STYLE !!

Posted by Mike E. Coon | Report as abusive

Changing the ratio or R’s to D’s in D.C. is only a tiny, and at best mixed, step. Republicans are no strangers to spending other people’s money and controlling choices that are none of their business.

The country needs a genuine revolution in thinking. The first rumblings of that are beginning. How far and how fast it will grow is anybody’s guess at this point.

Posted by Jeff Perren | Report as abusive

[…] come pretty darned close to doing so, at least, argues James Pethokoukis for Reuters.  The problem facing Democrats is not just the normal midterm correction, although that’s […]

Posted by Hot Air » Blog Archive » Eight reasons why Dems will lose the House in 2010 | Report as abusive

If this lack of health and care bill gets passed, buried in it is the mandate that no large part of the bill can ever be revoked, including the taxes. How is this Constitutional I can’t imagine? This group of crooks is too dangerous to our country to be left in place.

Posted by Patti | Report as abusive

from your keyboard to God’s ears.

Posted by mike | Report as abusive

This presumes that the Republicans don’t run extremists, and right now, the tea baggers are going to pick off far too many sensible conservatives in primaries. The Dems won’t lost more than 15 seats because the GOP candidate in many races with be Neanderthals.

Posted by Bakunin | Report as abusive

Obama’s socialist pacifist ideology and that of the Congressional Dems blinds all of them to the real evils that they themselves are supporting. Economically, they are socialists as Care, Tax and Spend, Amnesty, and even their inane foreign policy toward Islamofascist jihadists in the ME as well as Asia. No wonder that people that have not been aware are waking up to this faux CIC and Messiah and his Dem minions in Congress. It is still tax and spend. It is still Keynesian debt and deficits into the next millenium. It is still thinking the only real evils are capitalism, conservatives, Christians, and not PC baloney. I pray that this author is correct but never underestimate the flacks that vote Dem if they keep lying and all the fault is , BUSH.

Posted by Glenn Koons | Report as abusive

“Conservative” Democrats are an oxymoron that nobody will believe in any more. Everybody now knows they are really liberals in drag. As a result, they will go the way of the dodo bird and become extict shortly. Without “Conservative” Democrats, the House and Senate both change hands.

Posted by B52apl | Report as abusive

You forget: We will relieve all of the “terror”and “Fear” and “incompetence” of Bush before we go to vote. Life is so much better now!!! I don’t think the Dems will loose the house. Cute idea, but not based in anyone’s reality except goofies.

Posted by w a patterson | Report as abusive

Show me a blue dog democrat and I’ll show you an Obama-Pelosi liberal agenda enabler

Posted by Silverfiddle | Report as abusive

all the GOP has to do to win big this year is to stop acting like a bunch of redneck peckerwood slimeballs.

That’s all they have to do.

Let’s see if they can do it.

Posted by malach hamovess | Report as abusive

Here’s the best part. If the Repubs win in part on a promise to get spending under control, they will be foolish enough to attempt to get spending under control. Obama will then clean their clocks in 2012.

The best way to tick off American voters is to implement the agenda they elect you to implement. Hilarious.

Posted by james monroe | Report as abusive

Obama supporters keep up the delusion that passing anything healthcare related will save them in 2010 so as not to repeat 1994. I’m afraid they miscalculated the backlash coming. It is going to be at least as bad for the dems as was 1994. The anger is much much higher now then in 1994.

Posted by noc | Report as abusive

[…] Why the Democrats will lose the House in 2010 | James Pethokoukis […]

Posted by News from around the web: 2009-12-30 – Credit Writedowns | Report as abusive

Sorry to say James – the Dems and DNC will probably hang on to the House in 2010. We as a people are more concerned with what the government gives us and how much our cable bills will be. Which means that we can be bought off just like Nelson and Landrieu.

Bennie – keep buying those T-Bonds and keep the presses running! We got the Chinese to pay!

Posted by Hank Rearden | Report as abusive

Come to think of it. If I, as a normal US constituent, showed up at my Senators office one day with a suitcase full of promises and $50M or $100 Million for his vote – what would the courts do with me?

What happened to the term – unconscionable ?

Posted by Hank Rearden | Report as abusive

My consolation last Nov was that some people do learn and a year or so of seeing what BO and company meant by “Change” and “Hope” would be enough to do the required teaching for the teachable.

The lovely PROMISES of socialism demigogs is so enticing, so alluring that each generation seems to have to try it. BO is a worthy successor to Carter, when he and his present majority is gone it will be a lot more years before we have enough new young voters to push the next over the top. If we survive this time.

And, sadly, the Dems don’t have a lock on all the big spending, power grabbing, egotistical, politically driven socialist/statists.

Posted by jimmy c. | Report as abusive

In off year elections thus far the swing has been 20 points toward the conservative Republicans. That translates into a 100+ seat pick up for the Republicans in 2010.

Posted by JAY | Report as abusive

I’m hoping it is a bloodbath for these COMMUNISTS that are the leaders of the “democrat” party.

Posted by Steve Lyons | Report as abusive

[…] Obama administration is determined to press forward with immigration reform. I guess he figures, if his party’s going to lose the House next year anyway, he may as well shoot for the stars. LA Times: With the healthcare battle still unfinished, […]

Posted by Shoot for the Stars! Obama Admin to Push for Immigration Overhaul | The Lonely Conservative | Report as abusive

Really? You’re going to quote Realclearpolitics and Rasmussen? Rasmussen is the GOP polling site. Realclearpolitics posts 80% of its articles as anti-Democratic. That’s your evidence and source? May want to go on a little fact finding mission. As for VA and NH, those elections weren’t surprising to anyone who knows politics and knows the candidates and states involved and the challenges they faced. Some of your facts are true and some assumptions make sense, but some are just eye rollers

Posted by John | Report as abusive

This blog has clearly been taken over by delusional tea bagging nutcases. I am truly going to laugh when Obama is re-elected in 2012 by a landslide and I hope it is Sarah Palin running so we can end that wacko’s career once and for all.

I love all the revisionist history too,like Obama ran up this debt blah blah blah blah

George Bush presided over the worst decade in our history next to the 1860s and 1930s. He began the decade with a recession and ended it with a depression. He started 2 wars and blew a budget surplus so he could give some rich fat cats more money so they could invest it in China and ship more tea bagger jobs overseas!!Oh, and the Iraq war was not even in the budget(and also financed by the Chinese) until Obama said let’s fess up
about what we are spending-and then you attack him for that bit of realism!! The hypocricy of these idiots continues to amaze me. I have not even gotten into the underfunding of the troops equipment and how many men and women were killed on the battefield for that reason. If you want to put those idiots back in power, be careful what you wish for. Attacking Obama totally misses the point. You should be tar and feathering any Repuke you can find!!

Posted by EWS | Report as abusive

In response to Larry Bachmann’s post, you need to stop drinking the Kool-Aid. The consensus of economic experts is that jobs will not rebound that quickly. There will be minimal growth but nothing expansive, especially by this summer as you claim. The jobless rate could still be hovering around 10% or slightly less by then. If that’s the case, voters will blame the party in power, as they always have, and push the offenders out of office. That’s simple historical fact.

Secondly, it’s not just 40% of the country that shares the “irrational anger” of conservatives. You’ve left out the 35% who describe themselves as moderates, swing-voters, who are also fed up with ORP (Obama/Reid/Pelosi). Polls show a definite trend away from ORP where moderates are concerned, thus the reason for the overall disapproval of Obama’s job performance. So as for your prediction about only minimal gains for Republicans in the next election, we’ll just see about that.

Finally, you stated, “Republican hysteria about his citizenship, his radicalism and his desire to destroy America will all play into Obama’s and the Democrat’s hands”. That doesn’t even make any sense. Obama’s citizenship is questioned only by a small minority of people (not all Republican) who have too much time on their hands and is not a belief held by any majority. It’s only blind liberals like yourself who march in lockstep with The Huffington Post who try to place a blanket of blame on Republicans/Conservatives for such moronic extremism. And as for Obama’s radicalism, which I’m glad to see that you acknowledge, even well-documented ties with extremists like Bill Ayers and Jeremiah Wright didn’t stop him from being elected. So your entire point on this matter is completely irrelevant.

So instead of reading tea leaves, it might serve you better if you engaged in a little actual real-world analysis.

Posted by Jerry DeSalvo | Report as abusive

Count me on the “throw the bums out” bandwagon. But who are the bums?

1.) Sure the Pelosi/Reid robots should be scrapped. I can’t believe that anyone with half a brain would elect Nancy Pelosi to be Speaker of the House but the Dems have done it twice!

2.) The Obama Dems should be tossed out on their fannies if for no other reason than they let Obama stuff his cabinet full of know-nothings and incompetent boobs. These guys rode the coat tails and drank the Kool-Aid and now they have to pay the price.

3.) RINOs and DINOs, Congress is full of these types of self promoting, glad handing, professional politicians who bend with the latest political wind and have no spine or belief system of their own. All the RINOs and DINOs need to go, starting with Specter and Graham, and then we could throw out some of the WINOs too.

4.) Spineless Republicans. We are in our current mess because we had a bunch of spineless wimps in the Republican Party who would not standup for the priciples that they ran on. Instead they wanted to “just get along” and they allowed the Dems to walk all over them. I say throw these bums out too.

5.) Career Incumbents. These are the guys like Byrd, Feinstein, Boxer, Specter, et al, who have been in Congress for decades. They have lost touch with their constituents and now think that they have a manifest right to rule. I now favor term limits but the best term limiter is just to vote these jokers out.

So, who is left? Not many, I think that my mood can best be summarized as “No Incumbents”. We need new blood in Congress, it is the only way to actually reform it. So, I will be voting for the new guys, the ones without a family history in politics or a decades long career of seeking higher office.

Posted by edlarson | Report as abusive

Hey Ken, big dummy. The reason the ‘republicans’ (small r) lost NY23 is because they ran Scozzafava, who was farther left than her democrat opponent. Conservatives responded by voting for a 3rd candidate, Hoffman, who with a fraction of the campaign budget garnered a sizeable chunk of votes (30’s I think?)

As for calling Reuters a ‘Republican machine’ Truly you are deaf blind and dumb. Reuters has a history of being left. Maybe you should write Obama and let him know he needs to attack someone besides just Fox News.

Posted by Schlippy | Report as abusive

Good news! President Palin will have a Republican House and Senate to work with after 2012! I will raise at least $2 million dollars for Governor Sarah Palin and wear out a pair of diabetic shoes knocking on doors and putting up signs for her.

Posted by Tyrone Thigpen | Report as abusive

That is if they don’t start losing there lives before then. They are pushing real hard against us and people are starting to decide if the push back should start. Odumbo and his Marxists in congress can do irreversible damage before the next election. We all know the lamestrem media will never tell us the truth they are irrelevant now. When people see no way out they get angry and frustrated. This breeds violence. If Odumbo and the Congress don’t start listening to the people they will see things go south in the next few months.

Posted by Harley2002 | Report as abusive

No offense, but what planet do you live on Pethokoukis? Is that a traditional Martian name?

Posted by James | Report as abusive

“Personally, I hoping for a wave like ‘94, but not 1994. I’m hoping for a wave like 1894 where the Dems lost 125 House seats. Is it possible? Yes.”

Doubtful though. Republican gains will be tempered by the fact that the public is disgusted with them just as with the Democrats.

Posted by lance sjogren | Report as abusive

And the MSM and the Libtards laughed and ridiculed the Tea Party Protesters. Gee, they’re not laughing now.

Posted by Cogs | Report as abusive

Let’s make 2010 a blood bath for the democrats and then do the same in 2012. B. Hussein Obama is bend on distroying this coutry of ours with the full support of the commies in congress. They must be stopped.

Posted by GKPAL | Report as abusive

I think that this is too simplistic. It relies on typical discontent voters have when unemployment rises, and opposition to incumbents after one party takes the presidency. These are true and will play a role, but is that all? What about President Obama’s powerful victory? What about his success on health care? Unpopular now, but what about once he and others campaign and explain its achievement? What about the fact that the economy may be on an upswing? What about poor Republican demographics as young people reject the conservative social agenda? This analysis may be true, but it misses a few variables that could also be as or more important.

Posted by marcseltzer | Report as abusive

You morons just keep on pretending that 2010 will not be a banner year for the GOP. You’re all in denial big time. Everything in the posting is absolutely on the mark. The great political handicapper, Charlie Cook, now forecasts that the dem’s will lose anywhere from 30-54 seats in the house and 4-8 in the senate. This is a tsunami heading for Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid. Obama, Pelosi, and Reid now own health care, the economy, the bailouts, and the stimulus. Do you guys on the ledt really think this is a winning strategy for you guys? Do you think the economy is beginning to get cranked up? Good luck. The magic is over. Come on 2010. I can’t wait.

Posted by JAY JOHNSON | Report as abusive

I agree. Throw the whole damned lot of them out! If not by the ballot, by force! They have betrayed the Constitution and trod our country under foot for the last time. I say throw EVERY ONE of them out, if not in November, maybe even before then! WE ARE ANGRY.

Posted by James | Report as abusive

Hank Rearden wrote: “Come to think of it. If I, as a normal US constituent, showed up at my Senators office one day with a suitcase full of promises and $50M or $100 Million for his vote – what would the courts do with me?

What happened to the term – unconscionable ?”

AMEN! Well said. And the only difference is that in one case, you would be bribing the Congressman with your own money, whereas in the other he is bribed by fellow Congressmen with OUR money.

They ought to take the whole lot of them out and whip them in the shadow of the Capitol dome.

Posted by James | Report as abusive


Posted by RAYGUN | Report as abusive


Posted by RAYGUN | Report as abusive

Obama and the Democrats have given us double digit UNEMPLOYMENT, and more corrupt spending and debt than in the history of the world. The 21st century Louisiana Purchase and Cornhusker Kickback are now part of our everyday vocabulary. The Obama administration’s reaction to a terrorist waltzing onto an American plane with an explosive device that didn’t go off because the terrorist was incompetent and the passengers bravely tackled hims was “The System Worked”! But its the spending and corruption that are the worst as Obama and the Democrats have just forgotten about the UNEMPLOYED and the Economy while they force their corrupt agenda down the throats of unwilling Americans. We have to end the arrogance and corruption of power and restore balance to our Government in 2010!

Posted by valwayne | Report as abusive

History has proven to go aginst the opinion of the people is the “KISS OF DEATH” for the party whom chooses to do so. soooooooooooo obamacrats get ready for the BLOOD BATH in the 2010 elections!

Posted by ARTMAN | Report as abusive

One metric you refer to…”It would take a year of 4 percent growth generating 200,000 to 250,000 jobs a month to bring the (Unemployment) rate down to 9 percent…” is astonishing.

Tough sledding in 2010 for sure.

Posted by david doran | Report as abusive

As an independent voter, I have very mixed feelings about the upcoming election. Yes, I’m dismayed and outraged about how the rigid-ideologue Democrats have been making a mess of things, from the economy on down. But the only practical alternative is to vote for Republicans, who have proven to be just as rigid and just as apt to make colossal messes when in unchecked power.

While I will almost surely vote for the GOP in this next election cycle, my goal is certainly not to usher in a new era of conservatism. It’s simply out of hope that a divided government will put an end to this era of failed liberalism. Were Mr. Obama somehow to be replaced in the White House by a Republican by next November, I would vote for the Dems. And, I’ll continue to vote for split government until one party or the other grows up and stops prostrating itself to their ultra-wing nuts.

Posted by njns | Report as abusive

RAYGUN apparently can’t think for him/herself.

Posted by Buzz | Report as abusive

[…] Reuters via Big Government The trend is not the Democrats’ friend. At least not in 2010. The party of the sitting president almost always suffers losses in midterm congressional elections. To that time-tested dynamic now add voter angst about high unemployment, big deficits and controversial legislation. Expect Senate majority leader Harry Reid to lose his effective 60-seat supermajority and Nancy Pelosi to hand the House back to the Republicans. Here’s why 2010 is looking like 1994 all over again: […]

Posted by Why The Democrats Will Lose The House In 2010 « SPITFIRE MURPHY | Report as abusive


Posted by RAYGUN | Report as abusive


Posted by RAYGUN | Report as abusive

It’s not enough to take the house back. It’s important that new leaders emerge. Let’s support Eric Cantor, Michell Bachman as Speaker and Whip. The Pols have NO idea how mad we are. They are going to find out. This year will be a wild ride in politics.

Posted by Dan G | Report as abusive

The reason the Democrats won NY23 is because the Republicans ran Scozzafava, who was well to the left of most Republicans and the Conservative Party candidate, Hoffmann, didn’t live in the district and knew nothing about local politics. Two flawed Republicans split the vote and the Democrat won.

I fully expect the GOP to take that seat back in 2010.

Posted by JimBeam | Report as abusive

I like the idea of divided government. Two thieves keeping each other honest.

That’s all the two parties are: two competing packs of thieves. They exist primarily to funnel money from the taxpayers to their friends.

Posted by JimBeam | Report as abusive

[…] James Pethokoukis: Why the Democrats will lose the House in 2010 […]

Posted by Fausta’s Blog » Blog Archive » Today’s evening roundup | Report as abusive

If Eric Cantor and/or Michelle Bachmann (do you people realize yet that your lax spelling habits make the rest of us feel sorry for you?) emerge as national leaders, that would be fantastic. Until then, there is a United States government, remember? Why not support it? Why act like little spoiled rich kids worried there won’t be enough money for a new car, only a used one, at your 16th birthday party? Democrats bad!

Posted by RAYGUN | Report as abusive

You guys are nuts

Posted by Marcus A | Report as abusive

Democrats bad!

Posted by RAYGUN | Report as abusive

The Change that Democrats are recklessly foisting on the people is not to the PEOPLE’s liking.
Let the PEOPLE do something about it.
It’s their call!!

Posted by Oliva | Report as abusive

WHY THE DEMOCRATS WILL LOSE THE HOUSE IN 2010: THE LARGEST MARGIN OF VICTORY (w (silver spoon texas) was appointed by his daddy’s supreme court appointees) IN A (non-incumbent) PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION IN HOW LONG? YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW, DO YOU? BUT YOU SPEAK FOR THE PEOPLE!

Posted by RAYGUN | Report as abusive

why is rush limbaugh in a hawaiian hospital?
http://www.miamiherald.com/854/story/140 4049.html
it’s a conspiracy, i tell ya, dick! a mainstream media conspiracy! and meanwhile, where is osama bin laden? oh wait, it’s OBAMA’S FAULT that varmint’s on the loose! yeehaw!

Posted by RAYGUN | Report as abusive


Posted by RAYGUN | Report as abusive

I am glad Griffith switched parties no matter what reason anyone thinks. I feel he is a patriot for doing so and am glad he did. Now lets talk Arlen Spector.

Posted by grannie | Report as abusive

Well well well…where to start. First “RAYGUN”—you are such a tool. Why don’t you bury that tired old saw about President Bush causing the “worst decade” since the 1930’s? By any objective analysis interest rates, public debt to GDP ratios, and UNEMPLOYMENT rates were all low in that time period. GDP growth rates were good too–until the Barney Frank/Chris Dodd/Acorn housing Ponzi-scheme housing bubble wiped out the world. Will you tell me the HR bill number where President Bush signed the laws that allowed all of this crap to happen? What is the date of the bill sir? I’ll save you the job of looking it up—Bush didn’t sign the bills because there weren’t any. Your criminal Democrat buddies running FreddieMac and FannieMae did the deed. That and President Bubba’s allowing the banks to get into selling securities. Bush got the blame for having a laizzez faire economy but the race pimps, and the Democratic Party did the dirty deeds.

Posted by Blackwatch | Report as abusive

If Pethoukis is saying that the Democrats will lose the House then they have a lock on it.

Posted by André Kenji | Report as abusive

Lynch the Dems in 2010!

Posted by Dan Krauther | Report as abusive

Laissez faire! Spell it right. But you’re right, I am a tool! So was Bush! Was he just too stupid to do anything about the housing bubble? Ownership society! Or was he just a feckless Republican scion of privilege, too coddled early in life to understand life takes effort? Because the Republicans controlled Congress for a few years there. Were they just lazy? Or corrupt? But hey, HR bill #! Good one!

Posted by RAYGUN | Report as abusive

Because when did Frank and Dodd (and ACORN! how shameless are you?) have any power while the bubble inflated? Enron!

Posted by RAYGUN | Report as abusive


Posted by RAYGUN | Report as abusive

deficits don’t matter!

Posted by RAYGUN | Report as abusive

The very evidence of incompetance lays directly on the DemoncRATS and Barry Hussein Obama. The Chicago politics is in the Greyhouse active and well (For now). “Acorn Obama” continues to try and pull the wool over America again. The time to get these bums is NOW. Jimmy Carter sleeps well due to Obama’s incompetance and will take his title in history as the worst President ever!!!!!

Posted by disgusted2 | Report as abusive

Don’t blame BUSH for the final nail in the financial coffin that nearly bankrupted the WORLD.


http://www.frbatlanta.org/filelegacydocs  /wp0920.pdf,

READ: “The Financial Crisis of 2008 in Fixed Income Markets” Gerald P. Dwyer and Paula Tkac
Working Paper 2009-20
August 2009
Figures 5,6 and 7.

Posted by Mad_as_H | Report as abusive

in your world bush is blameless! priceless! it’s all everyone else’s fault! forget the guy who was in charge! and now, well, obama’s in charge, so it’s all his fault! amnesia and ideological convolutions like that don’t render you ridiculous, nosiree!

Posted by RAYGUN | Report as abusive

I’m ready to vote now.

Posted by JoeCollins | Report as abusive

hey disgusted2, how do you spell “incompetence”? and it “lays”? see how easy this is? you lie! let’s lynch the demoncrats! yeehaw! obama’s cronies! ken lay! whoo hoo!

Posted by RAYGUN | Report as abusive

Young People:

VOTE in 2010. Vote against whomever pushed this ideologically dead european quasi-socialist agenda on you. The Republicans are our best bet for the sake of the country. They seem to be getting the people’s message.

The Democrats are taken over by a socialist left, dead in the rest of the world yet somehow reborn here due to an overprivileged, over medicated generation of baby boomers. You youngsters are our only hope. VOTE IN 2010 for Conservative, American Values; low taxes, less government, free markets.

It’s for YOUR sake.


Posted by Paul from Brooklyn NY | Report as abusive

Dumbama will be the first president to be a lame duck in his second year!!!! Couldn’t happen to a “stupider” idiot.

Piggy Pelosi, Whorehouse Harry Reid, Cheating Chris Dodd, gay Barney Franks, et al, should be voted out and sent back where they came from. Oops, the people back there don’t want them either.

In my 69 years, I have NEVER seen a more corrupt president/congress. They have spent trillions for absolutely nothing worthwhile. They have done everything possible to ruin our country in the eyes of the world.

We can’t be rid of them fast enough.

It is important that independents re-register as republicans ASAP. In most states, independents cannot vote in the primary elections. The republicans MUST put forth a show of force in the primary so the dems know WE MEAN TO BEAT THEM IN THE GENERAL ELECTION. Hopefully, that will slow down the damage they do during 2010.

Posted by Callie | Report as abusive

I can’t wait to see Pelosi have to pack up her office and move to the windowless room down the hall. That would be worth the price of admission.

Posted by LadyChurchill | Report as abusive

Vote Dem Out!

Posted by Galt | Report as abusive

Another good reason Democrats will lose the House and several seats in the Senate including Harry Reid’s is because the Barack Obama Brand does not have near the shelf-life previously presumed. By November 2, 2010 POTUS44 will be labeled a figurative cancer on his party as the voter backlash will be attributed to his failed spending policies and weak national security policy. Mid-term elections will lame-duck this single term president.

Posted by Solly Forell | Report as abusive

There is a chill running down the spines of Americans who still cherish Freedom and Liberties. What the Progressives are all about is supreme gov control over a free Republic, “Constitution and founding fathers be damned.” I have never seen it in my lifetime. I know now our freedoms have been slowly being chipped away for years, but Obama and his drones haven driven it home in a serious way and woke up many from apathy. Who knew freedom was so despised? I have never been this scared for the USA. The Lame Street Media spew propaganda. They are traitors to their profession. We the people, must stand up to the corruption that is Washington D.C. or lose and become a victim from the enemy within. What will the future be like for your children?

Posted by teesee | Report as abusive

For the first time in my adult life I am disguested with our elected leaders in Washington. Kick the radical,socialist,liberal thugs OUT!!!

Posted by Kick-em-Out! | Report as abusive

I hate the Democrats because they hate poor people.

Posted by PTAMom | Report as abusive

Obama and the Demoncrats have gone against the will of the people. Voters WILL get revenge at the polls in November.

Thank you to the person who posted about the 125 seats gained by Republicans in 1894. I hope we can duplicate those results and save our country.

Posted by Sheri | Report as abusive

[…] the Dems will lose the house in […]

Posted by Weekend Linky Dinks and Happy New Year UpsideTrader | Report as abusive

[…] Why the Democrats will lose the House in 2010 […]

Posted by Last Year and This Year | What the $%@&* Trading! | Report as abusive

Former slaves can’t get enough of free food and lodging. Jews and blacks are the only people who crave slavery.

Posted by Socialist Slavery | Report as abusive

“…I still think the Reps must give voters a reasons to vote FOR their candidates…not just rely on current discontent with the incompetent and radical Left House….” ************ Why?? In the 2008 election, voters had no real reason to vote for Obama except for the fact they were discontented with Bush. Apparently, voters are stupid — they vote for things like “making history”, and “hope”, rather than solid reasons like…oh, I don’t know…experience(!).

Posted by KBB | Report as abusive

Some of this makes sense and some is the same ignorant, bipartisan ranting we need to get away from. O-BAM-I-GOTCHA and his bunch will lose…but I voted for them because Bush was a radical, war-mongering neo-con – clueless, asleep at the helm…I won’t make the mistake of voting for the dems again, but please, please, please, put someone up there who understands we need to get back to the simplistic beauty of the constitution, abolish the fed and IRS, and stop empire-building.

Posted by jay h. | Report as abusive

[…] Due to a number of factors, the Democrats have a slim chance of holding onto the House of Representatives in next Tuesday’s Midterm elections.  How slim you ask? […]

Posted by USDemocrazy | Trying to Make Sense of our Democracy | Report as abusive