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Democrats poised to lose 20 to 50 seats in House: analysts

Democrats are in hot water, according to political analysts quoted in Monday’s Politico.

According to two key observers, Charlie Cook and’s Nate Silver, Democrats are poised to lose “double-digit” seats in the House amid an increasingly bitter political climate.

Silver apparently stunned a liberal audience at the blogger convention Netroots Nation earlier this month, saying that the Republicans have a 25 to 33 percent chance of retaking the House. For both observers, such a happenstance seems unlikely, though first- and second-term Democrats appear particularly vulnerable.

Top political analyst Charlie Cook, in a special August 20 update to subscribers, wrote that “the situation this summer has slipped completely out of control for President Obama and congressional Democrats.”

“Many veteran congressional election watchers, including Democratic ones, report an eerie sense of déjà vu, with a consensus forming that the chances of Democratic losses going higher than 20 seats is just as good as the chances of Democratic losses going lower than 20 seats,” he wrote.

…Silver, a Democratic analyst whose uncannily accurate, stat-driven predictions have made his website a must read among political junkies, predicted that Republicans will win between 20 and 50 seats next year. He further alarmed an audience of progressive activists by arguing that the GOP has between a 25 and 33 percent chance of winning back control of the House.

“A lot of Democratic freshmen and sophomores will be running in a much tougher environment than in 2006 and 2008 and some will adapt to it, but a lot of others will inevitably freak out and end up losing,” Silver told POLITICO. “Complacency is another factor: We have volunteers who worked really hard in 2006 and in 2008 for Obama but it’s less compelling [for them] to preserve the majority.”

-John Byrne


Poll: 57 percent of Americans would vote to reboot Congress
By Stephen C. Webster Published: August 30, 2009

According to a newly released Rasmussen poll, though satisfaction with legislators has improved to a small degree since the presidential election, 57 percent of Americans would vote to reboot the U.S. Congress by replacing every single lawmaker and “starting over.”

The polling firm also said that while 18 percent were unsure, just 25 percent of voters would like to keep the present slate of lawmakers.

Rasmussen also noted that the numbers are not much different from last October. Then, 17 percent were satisfied with their legislators, but another 59 percent sided with the “throw the bums out” sentiment.

A further 70 percent of politically unaffiliated Americans said they would cast a ballot to cast down their representatives. Another 69 percent of Republicans feel their legislators are “out of touch with the party base.”

While the poll’s results are certainly striking, they are also unsurprising. But they may bode good, or at least improved tidings for congressional Democrats.

“… [The] number of Democrats who would vote to keep the entire Congress has grown from 25% last fall to 43% today,” the firm added. “In fact, a modest plurality of Democrats would now vote to keep the legislators. Last fall, a plurality of Democrats were ready to throw them all out.”

Rasmussed also noted: “[Most] voters say they understand the health care legislation better than Congress. Just 22% think the legislature has a good understanding of the issue. Three-out-of-four (74%) trust their own economic judgment more than Congress’.”

However, in a recent poll sponsored by the American Association of Retired Persons, just four in 10 could properly define what a “public option” means for American health care. A further 72 percent of Americans are in support of a public option, according to a CBS poll in June.

“Asking voters how well they understand a certain piece of legislation is not unlike asking them if they are patriotic, or if they are middle class. The default answer is always going to be ‘yes’,” scoffs Steve Singiser at Daily Kos. “Surely, Rasmussen must know this this, and just as clearly, they must have understood that the poll’s results were essentially meaningless. They ran with it, anyway, apparently more enthused at the prospect of taking another quick shot at the President’s knees than they were with actually divining public opinion on a sensitive issue like health care.”

In spite of it all, Americans continue to reelect their representatives again and again, leaving a turnover rate, Rasmussen notes, at 10 percent or less after nearly every election.

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