Democrat: believers of 2010 Republican majority in “la la land”
Congressman Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, says the November 2010 midterm elections will be difficult, but anyone who believes Republicans will wrest majority control of the House of Representatives is living in “la la land.”
The midterm elections will be viewed by many as a referendum on the policies of Democratic President Barack Obama.
“It is going to be a very volatile, political environment,” Van Hollen said at the Reuters Washington Summit.
He pointed out that since the days of President Abraham Lincoln, only twice has a new president’s party picked up seats in the first midterm election — in 1934 (when Franklin D. Roosevelt was president) and 2002 (when George W. Bush was president).
“So other than those two times, the president’s party has lost seats and the average losses are fairly dramatic,” averaging about 35 seats, Van Hollen said.
Right now there are 256 Democrats and 177 Republicans, and two vacancies in the 435-member U.S. House of Representatives.
“So we told our members to be prepared, no one’s going to be surprised,” Van Hollen said.
“I would say that anyone who thinks this is going to be a 1994 redux is in la la land. The Democrats are not going to lose control of the House,” he said.
In the midterm elections in 1994, when Democratic President Bill Clinton was in the White House, Republicans gained seats and won control of both the House and Senate for the first time in 40 years.
Van Hollen engaged in a little name-calling, saying the Republican Party these days was “the party of pessimism” and “the party of no” that did not want to be part of the solution to America’s problems.
Photo credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (Congressman Chris Van Hollen at Reuters Washington Summit)