Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity

The Most Important Number in Politics Today



Is this map ripe with Republican pickups? Photo courtesy of Deitch Projects

80

That's the number of Democratic-held House seats that Republicans will target in 2010, according to National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Pete Sessions (R).

"There was a sense with Republicans that we were doomed for forty years to wander in the woods," said Sessions at a pen and pad briefing for reporters this morning. "I dismiss that theory. Our goals are to win back the majority."

Sessions' prediction would mean a far broader field of Democratic targets than in the previous election cycle.

In 2008, the Cook Political Report carried just 26 Democrat-held seats in its competitive race chart on the day before the election as compared to 77 Republican-held seats.

Because of Republicans 54-seat loss over the last two years, there are clearly more targets available to the NRCC than in years past, and Sessions insisted that the policies being put into place by President Barack Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (Calif.) have energized Republican recruitment efforts.

"There is an entirely different feel within the Republican party," insisted Sessions. "People view this as a full assault on the free enterprise system and the way of life we have in this county."

And, Republican recruiting, as we have noted in this space, has picked up considerably over where the NRCC was at this point in previous cycles.

Still, Sessions' promise of 80 competitive Democratic seats seems quite high at the moment. But he has the better part of the next year to prove us wrong.

By Chris Cillizza  |  July 29, 2009; 11:35 AM ET
Categories:  Most Important Number  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Morning Fix: The Conundrum of Colin
Next: TX-Senate: Hutchison To Resign in the Fall

Comments

opp, don't you think this story has gotten way too much play already?

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 30, 2009 1:52 AM | Report abuse

http://www.amnation.com/vfr/Police%20report%20on%20Gates%20arrest.PDF

OFFICER CROWLEY’S ARRESTING POLICE REPORT ABOVE…CLICK FOR YOURSELF.

UH OHH OFFICER CROWLEY… WHY IN YOU’RE POLICE REPORT… YOU REPORTED THAT THE 911 CALLER ‘LUCIA WHALEN’, AT THE SCENE DESCRIBED TO YOU THAT THERE WERE TWO BLACK MEN WITH BACKPACKS?

CAN YOU PLEASE EXPLAIN THIS TYPO IN YOU’RE POLICE REPORT, SIR?

IS THIS THE CAUSE OF THE RACE CARD BEING PLAYED?

Posted by: opp88 | July 29, 2009 10:56 PM | Report abuse

I'm sure there will be SOME losses, even if Republicans weren't to lift a finger, but it would likely take several cycles--OR the rise of a new party--to put the Dems back into the minority.

Posted by: sverigegrabb | July 29, 2009 7:58 PM | Report abuse

...Republicans made the mistake of regarding their opponents as essentially harmless goofballs who would rant and rave but get nowhere with it. If the Democrats make the same mistake, their reign at the top will be just as fleeting.

==

Except that right now that presumption happens to be accurate

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 29, 2009 5:46 PM | Report abuse

The "as we knew it" I added there was a rhetorical flourish, ceflynline; my comment would have been better off had I not used it. Indeed, the Republicans were touting their late 1990s/early 2000s victories as the end of the Democratic party in general. No one really believed it, but they sure enjoyed saying it, just as a lot of Democrats now are enjoying saying the same of the modern Republican party.

Of course, you're correct in that the Democratic party that thundered back in 2006 and 2008 was not the same Democratic party that was embarrassed by the Republicans for a few consecutive elections beforehand. Right now, the Democrats have a much firmer hold on moderates than do the Republicans. But so, too, did the Republicans have a firm hold on moderates during that period in which they dominated. As long as the Democrats can keep the center, their victories are assured, but they can easily lose the center if they become complacent about it. That's how the Republicans lost it.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | July 29, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

"who will Gov. Perry appoint? Will he appoint himself? My intuition is no, he will run for reelection as governor. But that looks like the process.Posted by: reason5 "

Of course he could appoint himself to the senate and then Run for Governor as a Senator. Then when they complain about all the idiotic things Governor Good Hair did, he can point out that he isn't Governor Good Hair, he is Senator Good hair and please don't be a-confusin them two there.

Posted by: ceflynline | July 29, 2009 5:02 PM | Report abuse

that quote was supposed to be " After George W. Bush was elected president and the Republicans were in control of both houses of Congress, Republican leaders and pundits were constantly stressing that this was the end of the Democratic party as we knew it."

The quote used was from something I posted on yesterday, how it popped up here I haven't a clew.

Posted by: ceflynline | July 29, 2009 4:52 PM | Report abuse

"I suppose the 48 Democrats who voted against Clarence Thomas were racists also and their vote had nothing to do with disagreements on judicial philology. You folks are ufb. Posted by: RambleOn"

It WAS the end of the Democratic Party as we knew it. That party was about the left most forty percent of the electorate. Now that left most forty percent is only about two thirds of the Democratic voters.

We should probably say thanks, guys, for making us what we are,

Because if we keep the twenty percent of the electorate on each side of the center, there WILL never be another republican elected. The Far Left will be frustrated, but hey, they are ALWAYS frustrated, they have learned to live with it.

Posted by: ceflynline | July 29, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

It is nice to hear that the Republicans intend to target 80 Democrats. If they are as likely to take down their targets as my old eyes make me on the range, random chance should get them one or two anyway.

Still, just what are they going to use for ammunition? We were against the _____ right from the start, and it won't work eventually, just you wait and see, so lets go back to those wonderful days of, well, maybe Eisenhower??.

It takes three things to get elected, good candidates, good positions, and good communications. You can get by without some combination if your opponent is incompetent or your district is really uncritical, but even Republican memories ought to be long enough to have trouble wanting to go back to the previous administration but one.

What is the Democratic Party's equivalent most important number, anyway?

When they go hunting, the can go loaded for elephant.

"...With bullets made of platinum..."

Posted by: ceflynline | July 29, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

Not to put too fine a point on it, but anyone who dismisses the Republican Party's chances in the next few elections is a fool.

I understand the temptation to do it. After George W. Bush was elected president and the Republicans were in control of both houses of Congress, Republican leaders and pundits were constantly stressing that this was the end of the Democratic party as we knew it. So now that the tables have been turned, a lot of Democrats are reveling in the opportunity to frustrate their Republican counterparts by throwing the same argument back at them.

But as we've seen, a complete turnabout in public opinion may take only a few short years. And no matter how much faith one might have in President Obama and the Democratic leadership as public servants, when it comes campaign time, the vast majority of voters have short memories. If Democrats -- both the elected ones on the Hill and the ones at the local level who want to keep their party in power -- pass off the Republicans as a long-term minority party, they'll have a rude awakening come November 2010 and/or November 2012.

For all their bluster about Democrats being traitors and cowards and terrorist sympathizers and all that, the Republicans made the mistake of regarding their opponents as essentially harmless goofballs who would rant and rave but get nowhere with it. If the Democrats make the same mistake, their reign at the top will be just as fleeting.

Posted by: GJonahJameson | July 29, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

UH OHHH MR. LIMPBAUGHS, SARAH PALIN COMING TO THE RADIO. LETS SEE HOW MUCH LOVE LIMPBAUGHS HAS FOR PALIN AFTER SHE TAKES HALF HIS LISTENERS.... LMAO.

Posted by: opp88 | July 29, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

DAMN SARAH... DIDN'T JOHN MCSHAME EXPLAIN TO YOU THAT HEADLINE NEWS IS NOT ALWAYS IN YOUR FAVOR? HOW MANY NEWSPAPERS HAVE YOU READ? IF YOU HAVE READ ANY NEWSPAPERS, THAN YOU WOULD HAVE GUESS, YOUR DISFUNCTIONAL FAMILY WOULD BE EXPOSED.

Posted by: opp88 | July 29, 2009 3:19 PM | Report abuse

"What an absolutely beautiful day it is, and it is my honor to speak to all Alaskans, to our Alaskan family.
---
DOES THIS INCLUDE LEVI AND THE JOHNSON FAMILY. BECAUSE LATELY, YOU HAVE BEEN DISSING THE FATHER AND FAMILY OF YOUR GRANDSON...

Posted by: opp88 | July 29, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

Palin critics mocked her address as a rambling diatribe, while supporters thought she spoke from the heart and set herself up for a 2012 run.
------
RAMBLING DIATRIBE... SHE NEVER MAKES ANY SENSE... GOOD LUCK RETARDS IN 2012.

Posted by: opp88 | July 29, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I get the need for the Republicans to engage in puff to make their base believe they are still alive and functioning, but when they put out numbers like this they look desperate - yes the Dems will loose some seats if history is a predictor, but putting our a puff piece only serves to hurt the Republicans.

The moderate Republicans would do well to continue with battling the self annointed base (righwing) so that in 2012 they look more viable to the Independents.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes

Posted by: bobbywc | July 29, 2009 2:34 PM | Report abuse

"Republicans on the way back!!

Dems in trouble!!

Palin!!, Palin!!, Palin!!, Palin!!, Palin!!

GOP savior Mitch Daniels!! GOP savior Newt Gingrich!! GOP savior Mitt Romney!! GOP savior Tim Pawlenty!! GOP savior Michael Steele!!"

If you don't like the coverage, don't read it. Daily Kos or Huff Post might be more up your alley.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 29, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Alkuth, I wasn't accusing The Fix of being partisan -- I was accusing him of being spoon-fed and then spitting it up like it was analysis.

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 29, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I just read that Kay Hutchinson will retire in October or November of this year to run full time for Governor of Texas. At that point, Gov. Perry will get to appoint her replacement. Then, in March, there will be a free for all special election for the senate seat. At that point, if someone garnered 50% of the vote, that person takes Hutchinson's seat. If noone gets 50%, the top 2 vote getters face off in an election to determine who wins the seat. With Cornyn the NRSC chair, who will Gov. Perry appoint? Will he appoint himself? My intuition is no, he will run for reelection as governor. But that looks like the process.

Posted by: reason5 | July 29, 2009 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Oh please people, come on, this is actually interesting news. The Republicans are probably going to target twice as many seats as teh Democrats and having a number on it is definitely interesting. There are basically two interesting recurring themes in politics right now: POTUS and the state of the Republican party.

I think its great theater that every time CC posts a story about one party, the other party faithful accuse him of being a shill.

Posted by: alkuth | July 29, 2009 2:20 PM | Report abuse


Of course Republican recruiting has picked up. They are no longer trying to convince people to jump on the Bush administration's bandwagon, or to be another casualty in a Democratic landslide.

Now they can point to their "Party of No" credentials, and increased funding opportunities from all the birthers and gun nuts.

But so what if recruiting is up? That doesn't translate directly into picking up seats in 2010.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 29, 2009 2:17 PM | Report abuse

chrisfox8 - Actually, Rassmusen is reporting an unheard of phenomena . The Democrat's are seeing an precipitous fall in public opinion and the Republican's are NOT benefitting from it at all. Both parties have near record unfavorable ratings and, although CC isn't reporting it, virtually every Democratic AND Republican incumbent would be in serious trouble if their loss in poll numbers was transferred to their Republican opponents. So, unless the economy changes dramatically in the next year, it appears we will be venturing into unknown territory where candidates from both major parties are held in equal disregard. In such a case, no one knows who will win or loose, but incumbents will all be in serious trouble.

Posted by: mibrooks27 | July 29, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

Republicans on the way back!!

Dems in trouble!!

Palin!!, Palin!!, Palin!!, Palin!!, Palin!!

GOP savior Mitch Daniels!! GOP savior Newt Gingrich!! GOP savior Mitt Romney!! GOP savior Tim Pawlenty!! GOP savior Michael Steele!!

Annuddah winnah inna wheela fawchun!

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 29, 2009 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"Just how many Republican press releases can The Fix regurgitate in one week?"

Yeah, CC, better watch out or people will start to confuse you with Fox News.

Posted by: nodebris | July 29, 2009 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"Just how many Republican press releases can The Fix regurgitate in one week? "

Yeah, I'm not necessarily looking for good news for Democrats, but surely they have some plan of attack for the 2010 midterms as well. It would be nice to hear about the other side from time to time and their strategies.

Posted by: DDAWD | July 29, 2009 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Just how many Republican press releases can The Fix regurgitate in one week?

Posted by: margaretmeyers | July 29, 2009 1:24 PM | Report abuse

They can target all they want. The GOP has been losing seats in both houses since 2004 and there is no reason to expect that trend to change, certainly nothing coming from the GOP

Posted by: chrisfox8 | July 29, 2009 1:05 PM | Report abuse

As far as I can tell, Republicans consider darn near everything to be "a full assault on the free enterprise system and the way of life we have in this county." No matter who runs the country or what's going on, the GOP is in permanent siege mode against nefarious and nebulous forces of evil.

Posted by: nodebris | July 29, 2009 12:59 PM | Report abuse

Regardless of what the Republican leadership may say publicly, I think they'll be happy if they can reverse the electoral direction and win back some seats in the House and not fall any farther behind in the Senate. If they can pick up 20 seats in the House and 1 in the Senate they'll trumpet it as the beginning of the end of the Democratic majorities.

The earliest they might take the House back, though, is probably 2014, and only if they get some breaks from the Census and redistricting within the larger states where they control the legislatures and the economy (or the Democratic Congress) is still floundering.

Their long-term prospects for retaking the Senate are pretty bleak, given that the number of solidly Republican states seem to be gradually but steadily shrinking.

Watch Texas in the next two cycles. If Texas starts trending back toward the Dems in 2010 and 2012, even if they don't win there, it could signifiy the start of long-term slide to the D side.

Posted by: Gallenod | July 29, 2009 12:54 PM | Report abuse

"There is an entirely different feel within the Republican party," insisted Sessions. "People view this as a full assault on the free enterprise system and the way of life we have in this county."


That may very well be a common feeling within the party. The problem the party faces is they are outside the mainstream of american sentiment on that issue.


.

Posted by: bsimon1 | July 29, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Some of those "Johnny come lately" congress men/women are so scared of losing their seats that their voting record closely resembles that of their Republican predecessors. Their defeat would not be a big loss but of course losing the majority would. All those Democrats who got elected in 2006 and 2008 should NOT be worried about being targeted by Republicans. Instead they should worry about us faithful Democrats staying home in 2010.

Posted by: Opa2 | July 29, 2009 12:31 PM | Report abuse

And Chris Van Hollen will tell you that the DCCC is targeting 81 GOP seats (Do they even have that many left?). The truth will be seen in where they put their money a year from now. I would be willing to bet they target 20 or so seats in reality. That may change if the economy gets better or worse.

Posted by: AndyR3 | July 29, 2009 12:15 PM | Report abuse

It's nice to have dreams.... (and these are pipe dreams at best.)

Posted by: RickJ | July 29, 2009 12:06 PM | Report abuse

ONE MILLION PLUS...

The number of U.S. citizens estimated to be unjustly "targeted," harassed, stalked, terrorized and financially and physically destroyed by way of a federally-enabled, nationwide, multi-agency coordinated action "program" of extrajudicial targeting -- known to insiders as "The Program."

Or, "The Torture Matrix."

http://nowpublic.com/world/gestapo-usa-govt-funded-vigilante-network-terrorizes-america

OR (if link is corrupted / disabled):

http://NowPublic.com/scrivener RE: "GESTAPO USA"

***

REVEALED: HOW GOV'T SURVEILLANCE OPERATIVES APPARENTLY DISRUPT AND CENSOR INTERNET POLITICAL SPEECH

See "comments" at:

http://blog.aclu.org/2009/01/26/internet-filters-voluntary-ok-not-government-mandate

(Scroll down for most recent...)


Posted by: scrivener50 | July 29, 2009 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Republicans are truly out of touch with reality if they think they can win 80 seats with no ideas...

http://www.political-buzz.com/

Posted by: parkerfl1 | July 29, 2009 11:59 AM | Report abuse

A few well-placed ads showing Jeff "KKK" Sessions voting no by proxy on Sotomayor will take care of most of these seats.

Posted by: koolkat_1960 | July 29, 2009 11:58 AM | Report abuse


It's always nice to have goals. It would be better if they were realistic, reachable goals. But I think, politically, you have to stretch for a majority to get people interested, otherwise they'll sit out til 2012.

Too bad for the GOP that the economy will improve in 2010, consumer confidence is already rising vs. last year, and unemployment will fall.

Posted by: mikeinmidland | July 29, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Probably more if unemployment stays high and consumer confidence low.

Posted by: JakeD | July 29, 2009 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Thank you Senator Sessions for showing us why the 'us vs. them' mentality makes you look like a bunch of out of touch losers. Wasn't attractive when Democrats did it. It's not attractive now. You've still got a lot to learn about how to sell yourself and your platform. You don't do it though division.

Posted by: mtcooley | July 29, 2009 11:47 AM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company