The First Draft: What if Congress turned Republican on Obama?

November 12, 2009

A Republican-controlled Congress could be a real possibility for the second half of President Barack Obama’s four-year term, according to the latest Gallup poll.
The poll of 894 registered voters suggests Republicans would win the U.S. House of Representatives by 48 percent to 44 percent if the 2010 congressional election were held today.

The Republican lead is well within the poll’s 4 percentage point margin of error. But the results indicate that Republicans might have some momentum after gaining steadily on Democrats since July.

People who participated in the survey were asked only about their local House districts, so the results mean little for that other congressional chamber, the U.S. Senate. US POLITICS

It’s way too early to gauge the outcome of a congressional election that won’t be held until November 2010. The primaries that choose the parties’ respective candidates don’t even begin until early next year. And as Gallup points out, the poll measures only voter preference, not likely voter turnout. 

But a revival of Republican popularity could spell trouble for Obama, given that the GOP appeared to gain ground as the president’s main domestic priorities — healthcare and climate change reforms — gained public attention.  Meanwhile, Democrats slipped 6 percentage points overall and plunged 12 points among independent voters. 

Republicans would be in a very strong position to shut down much of Obama’s agenda if they won control of the House for 2011 and 2012. A Republican House would also pose a greater challenge for a 2012 Obama reelection campaign.
Tangible risks for Obama’s agenda could also lie closer at hand, if the whiff of electoral defeat encouraged enough Democrats today to avoid White House initiatives that might have political consequences tomorrow.

Click here for more Reuters political coverage

Photo Credits: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst (U.S. Capitol); Reuters/Jason Reed (House Republican leader John Boehner); Reuters/Jim Young (Obama)


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President Clinton had the majority of both Houses when he entered office. Did it derail his agenda? Yes. But what happened the next 6 years? He balanced the budget and became a hero for doing so. So, if the GOP takes back control of Congress, I think it’s a little premature to think he will be a failure.
We can still have health care reform, but without the takeover of the medical profession. This will help drive costs down, which is the biggest complaint people have. We can have offshore drilling and natural gas development that will spur job growth, instead of giving Brazil $2B to do it.
And who will take the credit?

Posted by djaymick | Report as abusive

A national poll of 800-odd people does not show in any way how the Democrats could lose more than 40 seats… Good luck with that.

Posted by Artemis | Report as abusive

Far left and far right need to go your both crazy and Mr. Prez you are about as far as we the people have seen in a long time To congress choose wisely the American people at least those who exercise there right to vote want peace but are not afraid to fight, we like to keep the monies that we work so hard for, my time my and my heart goes into my work, that is what makes my livelihood and I don’t want you to give it to some lazy person who can but make the choice not to work or work hard.. I will help my fellow American when he is down but I will not pay his way through life on the back of my tax.. Shame on you, you should be smart ladies and gentleman and in saying that balance the budget live within our means.. Lets try one thing at a time with healthcare.. Open up interstate insurance and shut down uncalled for lawsuits…Protect my boarder and stop paying for illegal persons insurance.. With that being said.. I am independent and vote both ways, I am an American, get away from my god given rights get out of my backyard and stop telling me how to life my life.. Don’t tread on me. God Bless OUR AMERICAN FIGHTING MEN AND WOMEN!!!!

Posted by Balance of power | Report as abusive

Voters who wanted “Hope and Change”. How is it going for you now? There is no change here. Just more government. As far as the “Hope”, I guess we got that. Hope we still have a job in 3 months, Hope we still have our retirement investment. Hope the Healthcare takeover does not occur. Hope that the “Cap and Tax” does not take place and “would significantly increase everyones energy expenses” (para-phrasing Obamas’ own words there).

Guess a 50% for him. Not to bad for someone who wishes he was a dictator. I wonder if this matches the honesty that his other buddy dictators share?

But enough with bashing the president. Do you even know what powers the President has? Who writes the checks? Who creates the budget? Who creates and signs bills? I may be wrong, but unless Obama actually does have his wish of being the #1 man, I think there are other people that we need to look at than just this buffoon.

Posted by Greg C | Report as abusive

The bad part is I voted for the man.. Fool me once ; )

Posted by Balance of Power | Report as abusive

I’m fine with taxes going to the police and other emergency services but I think we have enough laws for now.

A divided government is a government that can’t further their oppression, can’t raise taxes, and would even have trouble continuing our endless series of wars (though it would certainly not be impossible).

I don’t see much distinction in either major party anymore. I’m happiest as long as their fighting each other instead of ganging up on the rest of us.

Posted by antiquas | Report as abusive

The best thing that could happen to America is for this so called president would have his power taken away from him and back into the hands of freedom loving Americans. It sure would be the salvation of everything we conservatives hold to be so important about this great nation. It would also signal the end all this socialistic agenda pushed by these liberal incumbant idiots. Most important of all is a return to decent values, morales and the TRUE AMERICAN WAY of life. Hopefully we will all long remember the day American voters went insane and elected a bunch of I, I, I, I politicians who thought they could do what they wanted and the heck with my electorits. “I’m the President and I’ll do what I want.” How disgusting can you get!!!!! Next all of us Christians better demand our Freedoms Back and not ever lose them again!!! Maybe IN GOD WE Trust would again be the motto of the American Dream for all!!!!!!!!

Posted by SICK OF democrats | Report as abusive

Usually you reach the peak of power and than you fall fast from there to the bottom. It happened to the GOP in the last 3 – 4 years. Now the Dem are seeing as loosing consensus… it can very well be the beginning of the fall. I think whoever is working to deny the possibility is doing no favor to the democratic party. They should acknowledge it and work to get closer to the people rather than applying an ideological agenda that is alienating most independent voters.

Posted by Luc | Report as abusive

WAKE UP AMERICA WAKE UP !!!!! We are proud people; we have been in a slumber for too long. We don’t need a President to sell us a bag of beans dream.. We are the dream and we have been in a Daze…. From its beginnings this country’s people have shaped and made it policy. From Independence Day to west ward expansion to industrial revolution to the space race, Vietnam to Iraq. Time to get up and get to work and WE THE PEOPLE rebuild our nation to be stronger… If we let others do our work than we our subject to there result; and as for me well I will do my part and I welcome my neighbor’s hand.

Posted by Balance of Power | Report as abusive

Amen! A gridlocked government means they can cause no more mischief. I say vote all Republicans into congress so Obama’s wings are effectively clipped and his healthcare heist dismantled.

Posted by Todd B. | Report as abusive

Aaah the raging right. Republican brown shirts, go with greed!!

Posted by Podicus | Report as abusive

Has anyone suggested that the American people get the same Health Care program that the Congressman & Senators have. I think it’s a real nice plan and if it’s good enough for them we should like it!!!

Posted by kent brown | Report as abusive

While suffering under the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, with 20% of people out of work, and treasure depleted from eight years of war and tax cuts for the rich … it takes less than a year to forget how it happened and blame it on the black guy. That doesn’t bode well for any long term plans for the future.

Posted by Dan Lee | Report as abusive

For the misinformed, a few fact corrections:
The proposed health legislation that pasted the house is not a government takeover of medical practice. This is a right wing talking point, not fact. The vast majority of Americans will receive their health care from private insurers, just as before. The change? Just as the government regulates energy and many other aspects of industry and commerce, the government will now participate in making fair rules for obtaining health care,arguably an essential insurance. So no more refusing persons with pre-esisting conditions or dropping folks from coverages, etc.

Posted by MS | Report as abusive

[…] A Republican-controlled Congress could be a real possibility for the second half of President Barack Obama’s four-year term, according to the latest Galluppoll. The poll of 894 registered voters suggests Republicans would win the US House of …Read Original Story: The First Draft: What if Congress turned Republican on Obama? – Reuters B… […]

Posted by About congress, voters, republicans, elections, democrats, poll, gop, gallup – Find me About | Report as abusive

MS posted that we’re misinformed that if the house bill is not a take over..

MS you are truly a wreck and the ill-inform one is you.
Fact 1 – did you know that if you refuse to buy insurance and pay fine you go to jail? Yes it’s fact look it up. Since when did the government have such power to overpower our personal choices like that? Where in the constitution?

Fact 2 – bill is over 1 trillion dollars, another lie that Pelosi claimed the bill is under 800 billion just as OBAMA wanted.

Fact 3 – Yes this bill will definitely be a government take over. Of course upfront the bill doesn’t state anywhere that it’ll be a govn’t take over but you gotta use a little brain and analyze. The govn’t will be a major player in the insur. market with endless fund. The govn’t also has all the power to shape policy mandates. Guess what that will mean? If your brain still have a few cells alive you can guess it. They will eventually bankrupt all private insurance companies because the govn’t is offering at a cheaper cost while creating mandates that would require private businesses to operate at a loss.

When they’re all bankrupt then who’s left standing? THE GOVERNMENT!!!!! I hope that will put a little logic and some senses into that puny brain of yours. DO not mislead readers with your stupid claim that it is just a talking point from the right wing.

THIS IS SIMPLE MATH and LOGICAL DEDUCTION. So conclusion is it will definitely be a GOVERNMENT Take over of the healthcare industry.

Posted by PelosiCare? | Report as abusive

Here here Dan Lee.

Republicans want to focus on a certain future doom lest we cast our gaze upon the debaucle they have already foisted on the nation.

I remember clearly the Republican message only a year ago “the fundamentals of the economy are sound” and now they are predicting catastrophe? Where was this genius clairvoyance 15 months ago? No thanks, we have tried that dish.

Posted by Lyle | Report as abusive

re:—Aaah the raging right. Republican brown shirts, go with greed!!—

You’re projecting again. The color du jour is purple shirts.

Posted by LarryS | Report as abusive

[…] Capitol); Reuters/Jason Reed (House Republican leader John Boehner); Reuters/Jim Young (Obama) Front Row Washington

Posted by The First Draft: What if Congress turned Republican on Obama? – Trackpads Community | Report as abusive

Dan, you’re an idiot! This has NOTHING to do with race and everything to do with making a bad situation worse. Government intervention is what gave us this mess in the first place but you libs just want to brand everyone who disagrees with the Messiah a racist. That’s BS and people are waking up. 2010 will be a Democrat bloodbath.

Posted by Terry | Report as abusive

This groups seems to backup the gallop poll by being in favor of a takeover by Republicans of the house to minamize the results of the Obama administration. A few Leftists are still trying to blame the last admin. even after a year later. They forget that the legislature were Democrats for many years but are given a pass.

Posted by hals1 | Report as abusive

I don’t believe that just simply, republicans winning a majority in the house or any office, will make much of any difference. To me the Constitution is the supreme law of the land and is the sole insurer of the strength of the nation but most republican and democrat leaders consistently go in the opposite direction of those fundamental ideas and laws. Elected officials generally only tout the constitution when it’s convenient for them when they’re outnumbered or up for election/re-election. We need some firm ethical Americans with the intestinal fortitude to insure the direction of this country is constitutionally sound. There are a few stepping forward and I believe that it may start a trend towards constitutionally ethical decision making among our elected officials on both sides and can truly have a positive effect on the direction we’re headed. People like Rand Paul in Kentucky and Peter Schiff in Connecticut are in the running and are very constitutionally minded and most importantly up to the task of the oath. I hope to see more like minded people in the running soon and perhaps another run for President by Ron Paul. It’s my opinion Republicans really got it wrong last time choosing McCain over Paul. There is little doubt in my mind that America would be in much better shape had he won the nomination.

Posted by jason | Report as abusive

You hit the nail on the head jason! If Ron Paul had won, we’d be on our way to recovery by now. I sincerely hope the man runs in 2012. I have never voted before but if he gets the nomination, ALL of my family will vote Paul!

Posted by thomas k | Report as abusive

People are not stupid they are listening to all the ridiculous claims that the democrats are making as to how government health care will be self financing.Combine that with the exaggerated claims as to how many jobs they have saved as unemployment continues to increase,this is blowing away their creditability.This is also making people uneasy about any unnecessary spending which in turn is related to the no demand for produce.If the democrats would only for once realize that they are not going to fool the electorate every time with this misinformation.

Posted by brian lee | Report as abusive

Readers who’d like to discuss political issues in a provocative, but respectful and cordial, fashion are welcome to join our brand-new Centrists Group on Linked In.

Centrist Republicans, Centrist Democrats, and Centrist Independents equally welcome. But no Flamers, script bots, ranters and ravers, or clandestine political operatives!

We hope to – and expect to – become influential in the coming weeks and months.

Contact me at Linked In for an invitation.

Thank you very much.

Ellen Brandt, Ph.D.

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