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August 14, 2009

Republicans Begin Whispering the "V"-Word

The secondmost awesome v word.

It's a possibility many Republicans speak of only in whispers and Democrats are just now beginning to face. After passionate and contentious fights over health care, the environment, and taxes, could Democrats lose big -- really big -- in next year's elections?

Ask them about it, and many Democrats will point to the continued personal popularity of Barack Obama. But that's not the story. "I think what's going to happen is Obama's going to be fine, and the Democrats in Congress are going to get their asses kicked in 2010," says one Democratic strategist who prefers not to be named. "This is following a curve like the Clinton years: take on really controversial things early, fail, or succeed partially, ask Democrats to take really tough votes, and then lose. A lot of guys are going to get beat, but the president has time to recover."

Most Republican hope focuses on the House of Representatives, but even there they have a huge job ahead. Democrats control 256 seats, and Republicans 178. Forty seats would have to change hands for Republicans to take charge.
On the other hand, 52 seats turned over when the GOP won the House in 1994. And even if Republicans don't get the 40 they need in 2010, they could dramatically narrow the gap between the parties, giving Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic leadership less room to operate.

Allah's post from last night on good new polling news is worth reading. FWIW, liberal internet polling analyst Nate Silver now predicts the GOP will gain 20-50 seats in the House.


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posted by Ace at 10:47 AM

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