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Political Insiders Poll

Click here to see how prominent bloggers responded to these questions.

Q: On a scale of zero (no chance) to 10 (virtual certainty), how likely are the Republicans to take over the House in the 2010 elections?

Democrats (101 votes)


Average score: 2.1

Low (0-3)       76 percent
Moderate (4-6)  23 percent
High (7-10)      1 percent


Low chance


0. "They will pick up seats, but there will not be enough in play for a takeover."

0. "Americans are still reeling from the recession, still recall who got us into it, and are not ready to give power back to Republicans so soon."

0. "Majority could shrink significantly, but [the Democratic] margin is just too big to wipe out in one cycle."

0. "Unless Halley's comet appears."


1. "Republicans need a total Democratic and economic meltdown to regain control."

2. "While Republicans have message momentum at this moment, gaining 40 seats and the majority doesn't seem possible in 2010 with the candidates they're putting up."

2. "Although I definitely believe they will gain a fair number of seats, upwards of 20, I don't think it's enough to take over."

2. "Republicans do not have the message or the base in moderate suburban areas of the country to win back those seats."

3. "As long as the speaker and [Majority Leader Steny] Hoyer let their liberal chairmen run amok, they risk their very gavels. Mommy and Daddy need to give them a dose of reality, or we are screwed."

3. "Democrats are getting more and more nervous that the White House doesn't really have a political strategy."

3. "Midterms are about turnout: Republicans will. Democrats?"

Moderate chance

4. "If health care is not handled right, the odds increase."

4. "If the economy does not recover and the marginal 'purple' House Democrats are forced to take a series of tough votes, losing 40 seats is not outside the realm of the possible."

5. "If Obama's job approval stays above 50 [percent], Democrats are safe."

5. "The Republicans and their mouthpieces are defining the health care debate, as they did with the cap-and-trade debate before it."

6. "Better than any of the Pelosi allies want to acknowledge. The haunting resemblance of this August to the August of '93 should be a chilling reminder of what is headed their way."

Q: On a scale of zero (no chance) to 10 (virtual certainty), how likely are the Republicans to take over the House in the 2010 elections?

Republicans (91 votes)

Average score: 3.1

Low (0-3)       59 percent
Medium (4-6)    35 percent
High (7-10)      5 percent


Low chance

0. "Until GOP fashions a new 21st-century message and governing agenda, they will be in the wilderness."

0. "Voters still equate the GOP with Katrina-like efficiency."

1. "The recession would need to continue well into 2010 for the GOP to take over."

2. "But Democrats are sure trying to help us, with health care. If Democrats in competitive districts vote for it again, this could be a '6.' "

2. "Not so much from Republican brilliance but Democratic overreaching and high unemployment."

2. "The chances are slim, but the Republicans are building momentum. If we run new faces and not retreads, then it could get real interesting."

3. "Add 1 point if the following passes: health care, immigration; climate change, add 2; and add 4 if there is a terror attack."

3. "Which is terribly significant, because just a few months ago it would have been 0."

Moderate chance

4. "Pelosi is awful, but the numbers are tough for GOP to overcome."

4. "Republicans will pick up 20-plus, but that is not enough."

4. "A Democrat overreach has put independents back in play and imperiled many Democrats sitting in swing districts, but we don't have the tidal wave yet that's needed to take back a majority."

5. "If things stay as they are today, things could go our way. But the distaste voters are feeling for Democrats hasn't yet turned into a love affair with the GOP. And there is still a lot of money to raise."

5. "The Democrats' majority is not as entrenched as in the 1980s and early '90s. Pelosi is becoming a national pariah of Gingrich proportions."

6. "If Obama, Reid, and Pelosi stay off-message and don't provide solutions, there is a stronger chance Republicans will succeed."

High chance

7. "With inflation kicking in next spring and health care stirring passions, Democrats are splintered. And they will turn on each other."

Q: How many Senate seats will the Republicans gain or lose in the 2010 elections?

Democrats (101 votes)

Average: GOP gains 1 seat

GOP loses 3 or more    4 percent
GOP loses 1 or 2      16 percent
No change             19 percent
GOP gains 1 or 2      46 percent 
GOP gains 3 or more   13 percent


(Volunteered: Don't know; too soon to tell, 3 percent.)

GOP loses seats

-2. "Voters will be upset if GOP blocks health care reform. Voters may want to give Democrats a filibuster-proof majority."

-1. "Bad map for the Republicans in what should be a good year."

-1. "They lose three and [pick up] two."

-1. "Republicans in the Senate are forced to protect too many open seats. This will divert resources from challenge races and keep them headed in the wrong direction."

-1. "Still too many [GOP] retirements: The bleeding continues."

No change

0. "A year from now the naysayers and liars will have been proven wrong. The economy will be a bit better, and we won't be killing grandmothers."

0. "While several Senate seats will change hands in 2010, it will be a wash in the end."

GOP gains seats

1. "The states where Senate Democrats are struggling are blue, which means at the end of the day most voters will return to their Democratic roots."

2. "Republicans will gain seats more as a result of weak Democratic candidates than as an endorsement of Republican policies."

2. "If the election were held today, it would be more. But Democrats will get it together before the summer of 2010."

5. "For a lot of Senate incumbent Democrats, 2010 could be very ugly. But they have no one to blame but themselves."

Q: How many Senate seats will the Republicans gain or lose in the 2010 elections?

Republicans (91 votes)

Average: GOP gains 2 seats

GOP loses 3 or more    0 percent
GOP loses 1 or 2       5 percent
No change             12 percent
GOP gains 1 or 2      38 percent 
GOP gains 3 or more   41 percent


(Volunteered: Don't know; too soon to tell, 3 percent.)

No change

0. "Senate races are more about personalities rather than macro trends, so maybe the Republicans pick off a couple of surprises; but they have a lot at risk, too."

0. "Win two and lose two for break even, which is a huge win."

0. "They are going to continue to drift until someone steps up to lead."

0. "Zero net gain is a victory--for Democrats."

GOP gains seats

1. "Small in number but huge in impact: Get to 41 and Democrats' hopes for cloture are done."

1. "The retirements put GOP chances of a significant pickup squarely behind the eight ball."

2. "Democrats [are] lucky to have a good seat-by-seat map in the face of serious headwinds."

2. "We just haven't had success recruiting the kind of smashmouth candidates needed to beat some vulnerable Democrats."

3. "Despite a map and dollar disadvantage. Most telling, we will pick up both Obama's and Biden's Senate seats."

3. "Still too many Republican seats up: Their last successful year was 2004, alas."

4 or 5. "Given that only a few months ago Republicans feared losing seats, if they come out of this election with even two or three more Senate seats, that is an amazing turnaround."

National Journal Insiders

Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bjornson, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Deb Callahan, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Jerry Crawford, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Eric Eve, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Don Fowler, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery, Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Kam Kuwata, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bill Lynch, Bob Maloney Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Terry McAuliffe, 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, Tony Podesta, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Bruce Reed, Mame Reiley, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, John Ryan, Wendy Sherman, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Darry Sragow, Katrina Swett, Sarah Swisher, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Mike Veon, Rick Wiener, Bridgette Williams, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, and 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, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, 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, Scott Cottington, Charlie Crist, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Steve Duprey, Debi Durham, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, 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, Barry Jackson, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bruce Keough, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris Lacivita, Jim Lake, George LeMieux, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Tom Wilson, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, and Fred Wszolek.

This article appears in the September 5, 2009 edition of National Journal Magazine Contents.

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