NYT: ‘Republicans are within reach of capturing the 40 additional seats needed to win control’

The New York Times takes a look at the upcoming midterm elections. It’s not looking good for Democrats. And, it’s not just the first-termers who are in trouble. Some of the Democratic institutions in the House have tough races:

Mr. Obey, who leads the powerful Appropriations Committee, is one of three House Democratic chairmen who have drawn serious opposition. Representatives John M. Spratt Jr. of South Carolina, who oversees the Budget Committee, and Ike Skelton of Missouri, who runs the Armed Services Committee, have been warned by party leaders to step up the intensity of their campaigns to help preserve the Democratic majority.

These established House Democrats find themselves in the same endangered straits as some of their newer colleagues, particularly those who were swept into office in 2008 by Mr. Obama as he scored victories in traditionally Republican states like Indiana and Virginia.

Representative Pete Sessions of Texas, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, said he would consider anything short of taking back the House a failure. Republicans say they have not recruited strong candidates in all districts, but both parties agree that Republicans are within reach of capturing the 40 additional seats needed to win control. Republicans also are likely to eat into the Democratic majority in the Senate, though their prospects of taking control remain slim.

If the GOPers take control of the House, we can say goodbye to anything on the progressive agenda. But, when Democrats get scared, they don’t act boldly. They cower. Instead of motivating the base over the next few months, it’s likely that Democrats on the Hill won’t do anything to rile up right-wingers. But, those right-wingers are already motivated. Democrats need to motivate their base. The specter of Speaker John Boehner is one motivating factor, but we’ll need more.

This is why we need to pass the repeal of Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell “this year,” as promised by the President in the State of the Union. If Republicans take control, it won’t happen. Same for ENDA.


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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