Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Democrats Would Not Lose the House if the Vote was Today, But Incumbents are in Trouble

Although it is unlikely the Democrats will lose 40 congressional seats in November, the number necessary for them to lose control of U.S. House of Representatives, Obama’s 50 percent average mid-term approval suggests a loss of at least 20 to 30 seats. But, there are other negative signs for Democrats, including high unemployment, low satisfaction with Congress and the direction of the economy, that suggest the party is on the edge of a major crisis.

Obama’s and Democrats’ problem is mostly related to the health care debate and his effort to force a party vote. Obama’s strategist believes passing reform will be better than passing nothing. It’s not clear that judgment is correct.

In general, presidents lose seats in mid-term elections. Clinton and G.W. Bush suffered losses sufficient to lose their U.S. House majorities in 1994 and 2006, respectively. Their average approval ratings were below 50 percent.

Bush and Clinton both gained seats in one of their mid-term elections, but both had high average approval ratings at that point in their presidencies. Obama is on the cusp. Hence, vulnerable Democratic incumbent congressional and senate candidates are mostly on their own.

(See post on Fox News)

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