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Magazine / INSIDE WASHINGTON

Congressional Insiders Poll

May 17, 2008

Q: How many House seats will Democrats gain or lose in November?

Democrats (42 votes)

                          Now         3/15/08
No change               0 percent   3 percent
Gain 1 to 9 seats      36 percent  19 percent 
Gain 10 to 19 seats    40 percent  57 percent
Gain 20 or more seats  24 percent  22 percent

e>

Democrats gain 1 to 9

 

"The president's handling of both a failed war in Iraq and a stumbling economy will provide excellent coattails for Democratic pickups in November."

"This is a conservative guess. If early returns are to be believed, Republicans will be playing defense in a lot of places they never thought they'd have to."

"We will hold our own, but just maybe we could have a blowout election."

"Unless there is a Democratic presidential blowout, we should see some close races all over the nation."

Democrats gain 10 to 19

"The special elections are showing that voters are still receptive to Democrats' message of change and that the House Republican brand is like a scarlet letter even in conservative districts."

"Republicans are discovering that it will take more than a sunny (and stolen) slogan to cheer their prospects this fall."

"A Republican Party that spent the last eight years rubber-stamping the failed Bush agenda has no credibility representing itself as the party of change. This fall, voters are going to be giving House Republicans the 'change they deserve'--more Democrats elected to Congress and a smaller GOP minority."

"'08 will continue what '06 started."

"Unfortunately, this good run cannot last forever."

Democrats gain 20 or more

"Democrats are on a roll. The public is responding to years of misguided Republican leadership and the war in Iraq."

"The Republican brand is trashed. Democratic candidates are the A-team. Republican incumbents are bailing. The [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] is out-raising the [National Republican Congressional Committee] by multiples of 10. Blowout time for the Democrats."

"A tall order, but if the Republicans can't win in Louisiana, Mississippi, and J. Denny [Hastert's] old seat, they're in deep, deep trouble."

Republicans (37 votes)

                           Now         3/15/08
Lose 20 or more seats    3 percent   0 percent
Lose 10 to 19 seats      5 percent  21 percent
Lose 1 to 9 seats       19 percent  25 percent
No change                5 percent   7 percent
Gain 1 to 9 seats       38 percent  21 percent 
Gain 10 to 19 seats     24 percent  25 percent
Gain 20 or more seats    3 percent   0 percent
Depends (volunteered)    3 percent   0 percent

e>

Democrats lose 20 or more

"Party is swinging far left."

Democrats lose 1 to 9

"As Obama performs more like [1988 Democratic nominee Michael] Dukakis, the rurals go GOP!"

Democrats gain 10 to 19

"The American people are angry about the direction of the country. They can't vote against Bush, but they can vote against us. GOP members of Congress are their closest pinata and will be through November."

"The only solace the GOP has is, George Bush isn't on the ballot. But, other than that, 2008 is shaping up to be the worst year since 1974."

Depends

"It depends on how successful the Republican House members are in building an action plan to deliver results on issues that matter to the American people."

Q: Grade the handling of the economy so far this year by your party's congressional leaders.

Democrats (42 votes)

A                       26 percent
B                       50 percent
C                       19 percent
D                        0 percent
F                        2 percent
Incomplete (volunteered) 2 percent

e>

A

"Democrats have done everything we can to stop the reckless spending on the Iraq war that is destroying our economy. Only changing the president will stop the slide."

"The stimulus package and the work we have done on the minimum-wage issue are signs of a true desire to help. Also, the housing package is another attempt at dealing with the pain caused by the economic downturn."

B

"Stimulus package is the most progressive tax policy in recent history, but there's much yet to be done."

"It's the president and congressional Republicans in the Senate who are stalling!"

"We have passed the economic stimulus package and a temporary suspension of the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The House has passed a number of other bills to help shore up the housing market and get our economy back on track. The ball is now in the Senate's court."

"There is only so much that Congress can do to address a weak economy, but between the minimum wage, stimulus payments, and a foreclosure package, we are doing it."

C

"Which is orders of magnitude better than anything we've had in the past eight years."

"Democrats deserve a B for effort and a C for results."

F

"We need to be bold, bolder, boldest!"

Republicans (37 votes)

A                             5 percent
B                            43 percent
C                            27 percent
D                            14 percent
F                             8 percent 
Other responses (volunteered) 3 percent

e>

B

"We can do better, but the [Nancy] Pelosi/[Harry] Reid team is a flop!"

"Republican recommits have been very positive."

C

"Republicans must make a clean break from earmarks, ethics scandals, and Democrat-lite policies."

"Our leadership should be hammering Democrats on gas prices, gas prices, gas prices."

D

"Bush has shown neither sympathy nor policy initiatives that speak to the needs of the American people. And ditto (and more) goes for [House Minority Leader John] Boehner."

"The political environment is making it almost impossible to advance any legitimate public policy ideas that could have an immediate impact on the economy. The stimulus package passed a few months ago was just for show, and has done and will do little to stimulate the economy. Congress could be doing so much more to help jump-start the economy, such as extending unemployment insurance or helping small businesses."

F

"No message."

Other responses

"Congress does not 'handle' much of anything--let alone the economy."

National Journal Insiders

Democratic Congressional Insiders Sens. Sherrod Brown, Ben Cardin, Thomas Carper, Christopher Dodd, Edward Kennedy, Frank Lautenberg, Barbara Mikulski, Mark Pryor, Ken Salazar, Jon Tester; Reps. Tom Allen, Robert Andrews, Michael Arcuri, Tammy Baldwin, Melissa Bean, Xavier Becerra, Howard Berman, Marion Berry, Rick Boucher, Michael Capuano, Dennis Cardoza, Chris Carney, James Clyburn, Jim Cooper, Joseph Crowley, Elijah Cummings, Artur Davis, Diana DeGette, Rosa DeLauro, Eliot Engel, Anna Eshoo, Sam Farr, Chaka Fattah, Bob Filner, Alcee Hastings, Mike Honda, Jay Inslee, Steve Israel, Jim Langevin, John Lewis, Zoe Lofgren, Nita Lowey, Carolyn Maloney, Ed Markey, Jim McDermott, Jim McGovern, Kendrick Meek, Jim Moran, David Price, Silvestre Reyes, Jan Schakowsky, Jose Serrano, Adam Smith, John Spratt, Pete Stark, John Tanner, Ellen Tauscher, Bennie Thompson, Chris Van Hollen, Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Henry Waxman, and Peter Welch.

GOP Congressional Insiders Sens. Lamar Alexander, Jim Bunning, John Cornyn, Jim DeMint, Lindsey Graham, Kay Bailey Hutchison, Johnny Isakson, Richard Lugar, Mel Martinez, Lisa Murkowski, Olympia Snowe, John Sununu, John Thune, David Vitter; Reps. Brian Bilbray, Marsha Blackburn, John Boehner, Kevin Brady, John Campbell, Chris Cannon, Eric Cantor, Michael Castle, Tom Cole, Mike Conaway, Tom Davis, John Doolittle, David Dreier, Phil English, Jeff Flake, Scott Garrett, Bob Goodlatte, Kay Granger, Doc Hastings, Pete Hoekstra, Bob Inglis, Peter King, Jack Kingston, Mark Kirk, John Kline, Ray LaHood, Dan Lungren, Kenny Marchant, Jim McCrery, Patrick McHenry, John Mica, Candice Miller, Marilyn Musgrave, Sue Myrick, Devin Nunes, Mike Pence, Tom Price, Deborah Pryce, Adam Putnam, Dave Reichert, Tom Reynolds, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Mike Rogers of Michigan, Paul Ryan, Pete Sessions, John Shadegg, Christopher Shays, Adrian Smith, Mark Souder, Pat Tiberi, Fred Upton, Zach Wamp, and Joe Wilson.

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