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October 01, 2010 08:31 PM UTC

Not Everyone Riding the Republican Wave

  • by: Colorado Pols

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman Bob Menendez is predicting that Democrats will maintain control of the Senate after the November election. While we’re not surprised with this sentiment, we are surprised to hear Menendez openly making such a prediction.

As “The Fix” explains:

“The one prediction that I will make is that, (after) Nov. 2, Democrats will be in the majority in the United States Senate,” Menendez said at a luncheon hosted by the National Press Club.

Republicans would have to gain 10 seats in order to retake the majority. While the GOP technically has enough Democratic seats in play — 13 if you count Delaware, Menendez pointed out that his committee still aims to play offense in Republican-held states like Missouri and Kentucky, too.

Menendez’s counterpart at the luncheon, National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas), also had a prediction. He said that the consternation caused by the tea party movement during GOP primaries earlier this year will lead to a surge in GOP enthusiasm in November.

“I predict that the stormy weather we’ve seen in the primary season will lead to a tsunami on Election Day,” Cornyn said, adding later: “As much as Bob enjoyed the turbulence of the primaries, I think they’ve underestimated what’s coming at them.”

There has been so much talk along the national narrative of the “rising Tea Party voter” or “angry Republicans,” that it’s a little silly to say, as Cornyn did, that Democrats have “underestimated what’s coming at them.” In fact, the open prediction by Menendez is all the more striking considering that everyone in politics is well aware of this “rising tide” from Republicans. It would be impossible to underestimate a narrative that has been blaring through the TV and radio for months. But perhaps there is some real concern that Republicans are realizing that they have been overestimating this wave; it’s certainly interesting that Cornyn declined to make the same sort of bold prediction as Menendez.

We’ve long thought that Republican control of the Senate could be at risk the more that Tea Party-esque candidates emerged as the GOP nominees in particular states, with Christine O’Donnell’s victory in Delaware a prime example. O’Donnell’s primary win over Rep. Mike Castle instantly changed the handicapping of that race from “Leans Republican” all the way towards “Leans Democrat” in favor of Democrat Chris Coons.

As mentioned above, Republicans would need to win 10 of 13 Democratically-held seats in order to take over majority control of the Senate, and that already small margin of error diminished every time a candidate like O’Donnell ended up with the Republican nomination. O’Donnell’s candidacy means that Democrats will have to expend fewer resources trying to hold that seat in Delaware…which opens up more money and resources that can be spent, as Menendez says, on offense.

So while O’Donnell’s flailing candidacy puts more pressure on Republicans to win in states like Colorado, it also opens up more opportunities for Democrats to shift resources to our state as well. We may very well be counting “Tea Party” victims well into the afternoon of Nov. 3 before this is over.  


19 thoughts on “Not Everyone Riding the Republican Wave

  1. Now you guys are moving the uprights again.  If Republicans don’t win the majority back in the Senate, we can’t claim victory.

    So when you say “Not Everyone Riding the Republican Wave,” – you mean guys like Fallon in CO-1 and Bailey in CO-2.

    Whatever helps you sleep at night.  I think we’ll live, even if we fail to meet your ever increasing expectations.

    1. Are you suggesting that NOT winning the majority would be a victory for Republicans? Seriously?

      You either win the majority, or you don’t win the majority. There’s only two outcomes here that matter. If Republicans can’t win a majority in a year that is supposed to be a huge Republican wave election, then, yes, that is absolutely a loss.

      1. When is the last time Dems only gained 9 seats and you called it a loss?

        You should familiarize yourself with the filibuster too.  Just to gain a few seats would substantially change the way bills get passed in the senate.  For the Dems to lose 10 seats would be akin to a Hindenberg, Titanic, or Dukakis disaster.

        Dems built up their big majorities over the last three election cycles.  For the GOP to negate most (or all) of that in one election would absolutely be a victory.

        1. Right now, if you follow the hyperbole and the bold predictions, the goal of the GOP is to win back both chambers. Failing to win back the Senate would be a failure to achieve that goal, and would be a moral victory for the Dems. Not as much as it would be if the Dems retain the House, but again, the goal was to take back Congress, and it will be a loss for the GOP not to do that.

          That’s not shifting the goalposts; the GOP set those up themselves.

          1. any Republican leader say that he or she “expects” to win back the senate.  Pols even indicates above that Cornyn didn’t reply in-kind after Menendez predicted Dems wouldn’t lose the majority.

            For that matter, I don’t see anyone saying that specifically about the house either.  Polls and pundits are making all kinds of predictions, but Republican leaders are just riding the wave as far as they can.

            1. The hyperbole and narrative for more than a year has been that Republicans are poised to take control of both chambers of Congress. If Republican elected officials aren’t to blame for setting the bar that high, they certainly didn’t do anything to dissuade the pundits from making those predictions.

              We didn’t set the bar that high — it has been there for a long time. Anything short of winning both chambers of Congress will be a defeat for Republicans.  

              1. I, and most lucid Americans, still think that the GOP is set up for massive gains.  Now it’s a parlour game as to whether or not we undo 6 years of Democrat gains in one election – or not.  It will be close.  That’s the widely-held expectation of most Americans and politicos.

                1. Using good English and avoiding partisan swipes goes a long way.

                  Personally, I won’t define the gains as “massive” if they don’t result in GOP control of the House. Significant, sure, but a Dem majority will still mean a Dem agenda. The ‘pubs already have enough Senators to hamstring things there, so not winning that chamber won’t change much there.

                1. Jim DeMint, quoted on September 19, 2010, at

                  Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), often referred to as a “kingmaker” for Tea Party candidates, said that it’s because of that slate of candidates, and not in spite of it, that Republicans would get to a 60-vote majority in the upper chamber.


                  DeMint stood by his prediction of an “earthquake” election in November, predicting that Republicans will take back the House and see a “number of new senators come in.”

                  “The only reason we have a chance at the majority right now… is the candidates I’ve been supporting,” he said.

                  That work for you, 20th?

                  1. You got the tea party leader but not any of the two-dozen GOP leaders in congress.

                    That’s the equivalent of equating Kucinich with Dem leadership.

                    1. She replied to your original comment.

                      I haven’t seen any Republican leader say that he or she “expects” to win back the senate.  

                      Clearly, you were wrong, she provided evidence of that as you requested, and now all you have to do is be polite and say thanks for the info.

                    2. DeMint isn’t a Republican leader anymore than Kucinich or Jackson represent Democrat leadership.  If you had any self-respect, you wouldn’t be impressed either.

                      Besides, the argument at hand is whether or not GOP leadership has set expectations so high that anything short of world domination by the Republican party would be a failure.

                      Just because one guy says it doesn’t make it so.  It’s absurd to argue that historic gains in the house wouldn’t be considered a success.  But just like your party, feel free to argue the merits of technicalities while losing the larger battle of ideas.

  2. The voters who hate everything and everyone are a key part of the electorate this year

    So, we’ll see in a month whether inchoate rage and hate are winners with a majority of supposedly rational people in this country.  


  3. It’s a lengthy article, but:

    But the NEWSWEEK Poll’s most revealing finding is that despite months of media coverage insisting that voters are “mad as hell and not going to take it anymore,” anger is unlikely to decide this year’s elections. For starters, self-described angry voters constitute only 23 percent of the electorate, and there’s no reason to believe that they’re more likely to cast ballots in November than their calmer peers. Why? Because the percentage of angry voters who say they will definitely vote in the midterms is statistically indistinguishable from the overall percentage of voters who say the same thing (84 percent vs. 81 percent). In fact, majorities of voters say they would not be more likely to vote for candidates who express anger at Washington incumbents (60 percent), Wall Street bankers (52 percent), the illegal-immigration problem (53 percent), the Gulf of Mexico oil spill (65 percent), or health-care reform (55 percent).  Fifty-three percent of voters see Obama’s unemotional approach to politics-his “coolness”-as a positive, versus only 39 percent who don’t.

    Anger isn’t the only factor that’s been overhyped in the run-up to Election Day. The president, for example, appears to be a neutral force rather than a negative one. His approval rating stands at 48 percent, roughly where it has remained since January of this year, and far better than where George W. Bush stood before the 2006 midterms (33 percent) or where Bill Clinton stood in 1994 (36 percent). Meanwhile, the percentage of voters who say they will be voting “for Obama” in November’s congressional elections (32 percent) is statistically identical to the percentage who say they will be voting “against” him (30 percent). Voters dissatisfied with the country’s current course are more likely to place “a lot” of blame on Bush (39 percent) than on his successor (32 percent).

    Voters tend to believe, according to the poll, that Dems will handle most important issues better than their GOP counterparts.  

    So, while Twitty thinks it likely that Dems will lose seats in the House and Senate (perhaps enough to lose the House) the bloodbath some of our conservative posters are relishing seems less likely.  

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