Beltway predictions become more dire as Election Day approaches and Rachel gives her take

Just so you know what the inside-the-beltway pundits are thinking, Howard Fineman talked to some Democratic consultants — and it doesn’t look good:

Publicly, Democratic campaign officials are putting a brave face on predictions of House losses, with House Campaign Chairman Chris Van Hollen claiming that the party might hold the chamber, meaning that they would lose fewer than a net of 39 seats. Other officials are pegging the expected losses at 50-55 seats, in line with consensus independent public forecasts, such as those of Charlie Cook and Nate Silver.

But within the last 12 hours I’ve spoken to two top Democratic consultants — very active on the battlefield this fall and with 60 years of on-the-ground experience between them — who told me some shocking news.

Separately, and privately, they each told me that they thought the Democrats could lose 70 seats on Tuesday. That would be a blowout of historic proportions.

So, there you have it. Howard Fineman and two “top Democratic consultants” think we’re doomed. I think Democratic consultants, who are a big part of the professional Democratic class, are as much to blame as anyone else. They tend to preach moderation and timidity to candidates. And, most of their ads just suck.

UPDATE: Rachel Maddow offered some perspective from outside the Beltway:

And yet the latest polls also show that Americans prefer Democrats to Republicans, in general, by a small yet clear margin. The only way to clear those mixed signals up is by voting and then tallying it all up.

Rachel Maddow on the special Sunday election show:

The distance between Democrats winning versus Democrats losing on Tuesday is the distance between your tuchus on the couch if you’re going to vote for Democrats and your tuchus actually making it to the voting booth on Tuesday if you’re going to vote for Democrats. That’s the distance. Common wisdom, schmommon-wisdom.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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