Beltway Happenings  
Aug. 27, 2010--With 67 days to go until Election Day, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee Chairman Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD) pushed back against the perception that Democrats are likely to lose control of the House.

"Congressional Republicans inside the Beltway are already popping the champagne bottles, saying that they are going to seize control of the United States Congress," Van Hollen said.  "It is a premature celebration, and I can assure you that despite the Washington summer political chatter reports of the House Democrats' demise are greatly exaggerated."

Van Hollen summarized his argument in a concise two-minute introduction:

"It's very clear that the Democrats will maintain a majority in the House come November for three reasons. 

"First and most importantly, America wants to continue to move forward and not return back to the same economic policies that got us into an economic mess in the first place.  While nobody, nobody is satisfied with the slow pace of growth, America is facing a very stark choice.  Do we continue down the path toward recovery and a more stabilized economy and efforts to support the business community in putting people back to work or do we return to the economic policies that resulted in catastrophic job losses and brought our economy to the brink of collapse.  An agenda that benefited big moneyed special interests at the expense of American taxpayers, American consumers and American workers.

"Second, the Republican candidates that are emerging from primaries across the country are on the far right of the political spectrum, in many cases being driven by the Tea Party movement, in many cases being the nominee of the Tea Party movement, and they are not a good fit for what are moderate, centrist districts.  Those are the swing districts around the country, moderate-tempered swing districts and you're finding Republican candidates way out of the mainstream.

"Third, campaigns do matter, and congressional Democrats have been preparing for what we know would be a tough cycle from the very beginning of last year.  So unlike 1994 when a lot of Democrats woke up the day after the election, caught by surprise, no one's going to be surprised this time.  People have been preparing and that preparation is going to be successful at meeting the challenges that we face."
Asked about a slew of recent polls favoring Republican candidates, Van Hollen said their turnout assumptions are erroneous.  He pointed (several times) to the May 12 PA-12 special election won by Democrat Mark Critz where "all their (the Republicans') polliing modelling assumed a low Democratic turnout."  Further, Van Hollen said, "The campaigns haven't happened yet.  Most of the activity in these campaigns is going to take place in the next 9 1/2 weeks."  He noted the Democrats' months of field work, including a National Day of Action tomorrow, when volunteers will knock on 200,000 doors in 75 districts around the country.

Copyright © 2010  Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action. All rights reserved.
link to main page