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Political Insiders Poll

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

Democrats (69 votes)

Average: +17 seats

No change                 1 percent
Gain 1 to 9 seats         4 percent
Gain 10 to 19 seats      59 percent
Gain 20 or more seats    29 percent
Don't know (volunteered)  6 percent


Gain 1 to 9

6. "When all is said and done, a fed-up electorate is going into the booth in November; and although John McCain might not realize there's a recession, voters do."

Gain 10 to 19


10. "Mainly because of weak recruitment from Republicans. The national political environment, combined with many Republican retirements, is a real problem for House Republicans in 2008."

13. "And those House numbers would be higher but for the limits that reapportionment places on the process."

15. "Potential for more, depending on whether Obama has any coattails."

15. "Not only will the Democrats increase their majority, but the election of these new members will also move the caucus more to the middle. This should help check the urge of leadership and committee chairs to govern from the left."


18. "While the majority of potentially competitive seats lean Republican, all other factors--open seats, national mood, fundraising, recruitment--lean Democratic. In addition, McCain does not seem to have coattails that would solidify the Republican base."

18. "The excitement and focus and intent to win this year in the Democratic Party is unprecedented in my lifetime. Anecdotal evidence, research, data, the historic turnouts, and the three special-election Democratic victories all point to a great result in November."

18. "While the polls indicate that the American people are sick and tired of the GOP, Democrats cannot rely on the wheels coming completely off. The party still needs to unify and come up with a coherent message of what Democrats will do in the future."

19. "The Democrats have already won three seats they weren't supposed to this year. There will be more."

Gain 20 or more

20. "Obama is going to settle into a 12-point lead and win by 5 or so, giving the Democrats their first performance over 51 percent in 44 years. That will translate into winning just about every contested House race."

32. "The voters are still sending the GOP a message of rejection."

Republicans (73 votes)

Average: +14 seats

Gain 1 to 9 seats       14 percent
Gain 10 to 19 seats     64 percent
Gain 20 or more seats   22 percent


Gain 1 to 9

4. "Democrats will overreach and will suffer because of it."

5. "The real question is how many GOP open seats can the Democrats take? Republicans [there] will be running as agents of change."

8. "In a horrible year for the elephant, Republicans will measure their success by how little they lose."

Gain 10 to 19

10. "With no help from [the National Republican Congressional Committee], it's going to be bad. Then again, with the help of the NRCC it would be a slaughter."

10. "Obama becomes a drag among older whites. The increased black turnout does not translate to more seats, due to Voting Rights Act redistricting."

10. "It's convenient for defenders of the NRCC to lay the blame of the special-election losses at the feet of bad candidates. But if they were doing their job, we wouldn't have bad candidates."

11. "Republican recruiting has been a disaster, and the NRCC couldn't stop an asthma attack. Liberals will overreach, and McCain will pull many close races to the Republican side."

13. "McCain's coattails in the South will prevent House Democrats from running up the score too badly."

13. "Bad, but not a wipeout that leaves us in a permanent minority status. The silver lining: We win a few of the 'scandal seats' back that we lost in '06."

18. "Republicans celebrate that it isn't far worse."

Gain 20 or more

21. "Republicans who are counting on McCain to help them in their congressional or Senate races are in for a real shock come November. Given the mood of the country, the number of GOP open seats, and the vast [Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee] financial advantage, what isn't tied down will be swept away."

22. "The GOP nominee will be a drag on the ticket."

23. "If [NRCC Chairman] Tom Cole can hold gains for the Democrats below 20 seats, he should become the minority leader."

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

Democrats (69 votes)

Average: +5 seats

No change                 1 percent
Gain 1 to 3 seats        10 percent
Gain 4 to 6 seats        71 percent
Gain 7 or more seats     12 percent
Don't know (volunteered)  6 percent


Gain 4 to 6

4. "Democrats will gain a net of four seats in the Senate with Jeanne Shaheen [of New Hampshire], Mark Warner [of Virginia], Mark Udall [of Colorado], and Tom Udall [of New Mexico] winning. The Republican retirements in Virginia and New Mexico are especially damaging."

5. "[Sen.] Ted Stevens [of Alaska] is history. And [Sen.] John Sununu [of New Hampshire] is well on his way to losing. Mark Warner and the Udall cousins are destined to win. And Mississippi, Maine, and Oregon are within reach if the Democratic tide is high enough."

5. "Five for sure. And maybe even seven."

6. "Four seats are almost a foregone conclusion, but good candidates, plus good states, plus a good year, and a huge financial advantage will yield a couple of surprises."

6. "Republicans, beware of a reverse 1980."

6. "[Sens. Elizabeth] Dole [of North Carolina] and [Ted] Stevens lose."

Gain 7 or more

7. "While [a 60-seat majority] is still tough, Democrats seem likely to hold every one of their own seats and the first four to five gains are relatively easy. Then it is likely that Democrats will win several in the next tier of targets, as the playing field has expanded to 10-plus Republican seats in play."

7. "2008 will be another big year for congressional Democrats, especially in the Senate--where Republicans will be playing 'Catch the javelin.' "

8. "The GOP will pay the price for not learning from 2006."

Republicans (73 votes)

Average: +4 seats

Gain 1 to 3 seats     37 percent
Gain 4 to 6 seats     58 percent
Gain 7 or more seats   5 percent


Gain 1 to 3

2. "Republicans will lose Colorado, New Mexico, and Virginia; will hold Maine, New Hampshire, Minnesota, and Oregon; will pick up Louisiana."

3. "Horrible recruiting and deficient fundraising has positioned the [National Republican Senatorial Committee] in the same league as the [National Republican Congressional Committee]--incompetent."

3. "But surprisingly, [GOP Sen.] John Sununu [of New Hampshire] won't be one of them."

3. "Six if gasoline is $6 a gallon."

Gain 4 to 6

4. "That number could easily go up. A bad environment, plus [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee Chairman] Chuck Schumer, plus his big war chest equals trouble for Senate Republicans."

4. "Democrats will swing and miss at this year's slow hanging curveball."

5. "Senate Republicans are lost, leaderless. And it's every senator for him- or herself."

6. "The tidal wave of voter discontent is just too overwhelming. Our candidates are running on tired messages."

6. "There will be record turnout that helps McCain but hurts congressional Republicans."

6. "Republican retirements are the main cause."

Gain 7 or more

7. "Should be eight, but there will be a surprise somewhere. The most clueless NRSC in generations has led to a resourceless sea of floundering candidates."

National Journal Insiders

Democratic Political Insiders Karen Ackerman, Jill Alper, David Axelrod, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Deb Callahan, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Jim Craig, Jerry Crawford, Stephanie Cutter, Jeff Danielson, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Michael Donilon, Tom Donilon, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Eric Eve, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Gordon Fischer, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Don Fowler, Gina Glantz, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Michael Gronstal, Marcia Hale, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Mike Henry, Leo Hindery, Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Shar Knutson, Kam Kuwata, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Sylvia Larsen, Jeff Link, Bill Lynch, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Terry McAuliffe, Caroline McCarley, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O'Donnell, Scott Parven, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, John Podesta, Tony Podesta, Bruce Reed, Mame Reiley, Steve Ricchetti, Susan Rice, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, John Ryan, Wendy Sherman, Terry Shumaker, Bob Slagle, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Darry Sragow, Karl Struble, Katrina Swett, Sarah Swisher, Eric Tabor, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Mike Veon, Rick Wiener, Bridgette Williams, and JoDee Winterhof, Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Wayne Berman, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Danny Carroll, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Rick Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Steve Duprey, Debi Durham, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Sam Geduldig, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bruce Keough, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris Lacivita, Jim Lake, Chuck Larson, Steve Lombardo, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Bill McInturff, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Ed Rogers, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Don Sipple, Robin Smith, Javier Soto, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Eric Tanenblatt, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Tom Wilson, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, and Fred Wszolek.

This article appears in the May 31, 2008 edition of National Journal Magazine Contents.

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