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Magazine / INSIDE WASHINGTON

Political Insiders Poll

May 21, 2010

Q: Name the biggest loser in Tuesday's elections.

DEMOCRATS (103 votes)

Incumbents       68 percent
Republicans      17 percent
President Obama   9 percent
Centrists         3 percent
Democrats         1 percent
Conservatives     1 percent
Listed options receiving no votes: challengers, liberals. 
Volunteered: National Republican Congressional Committee, GOP moderates, 1 percent each.

e>

Incumbents

 

"The only thing we know for sure about 2010 is that a large number of incumbents will lose."

"Voters clearly aren't afraid to toss out the old."

"Incumbents of any stripe must reinvent themselves in order to survive."

"Look for those running in November to begin to 'lift and separate' themselves from anything that smells of incumbent, insider."

"The public's confidence in the political system is in a deep hole."

"Anxious voters see the national debt and spending as somehow linked to their own financial precariousness. Their vote against incumbents is the one empowerment they have available."

Republicans

"[Senate Minority Leader Mitch] McConnell can't control his state; how can he control his party? The 'Party of No' just got a no-confidence vote."

"Tuesday's results show the Republicans losing yet another competitive special [election] and complicating their narrative of this being another 1994."

"Republicans are suddenly as vulnerable as Democrats in a year they should expect huge gains."

"Their hard turn to the right is preventing Republicans from capitalizing on a favorable political environment."

President Obama

"Until President Obama realizes that he has a night job in the election year of being head of the Democratic Party and not being scared of his own shadow or too politically risk averse to participate in these elections, he will remain the loser."

"His aggressive agenda will be highly problematic as incumbents search for ways to avoid the impending storm."

Centrists

"In primaries dominated by partisan voters -- whether tea baggers in Kentucky or Lefties in Pennsylvania -- that is not a good ecology for centrists."

REPUBLICANS (101 votes)

Incumbents        46 percent
President Obama   31 percent
Centrists          7 percent
Democrats          7 percent
Republicans        4 percent
Liberals           1 percent
Listed options receiving no votes: challengers, conservatives. 
Volunteered: National Republican Congressional Committee, 2 percent; Big Labor,
 Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, big spenders, 1 percent each.

e>

Incumbents

"Those long in power in Washington on either side of the political aisle are now perceived as the problem."

"No matter how you slice it, the insiders suffered."

"Disgust with the status quo cuts across all lines -- partisan and ideological. This could be a good year for the 'none of the above' choice."

" 'Washington' is a four-letter word."

President Obama

"His policies continue to take a beating. And so did his handpicked candidates. It is tough to govern if you can't bring your people back."

"Even where the Democrat won [in Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District], he campaigned against Obama's health care legislation. The message if you're a Democrat: Find separation from the Obama agenda."

"The success of anti-establishment candidates in both parties means that passing any of his legislative initiatives just got a whole lot tougher."

Centrists

"The public says they want bipartisanship, and then they punish the people who practice it."

"The defeats of Arlen Specter and Trey Grayson by the left wing and right wing of their respective parties, as well as Blanche Lincoln on life support after a strong left-wing challenge, makes the 'moderate middle' an even lonelier place."

Democrats

"They did enough to win Pennsylvania 12, but it's no bellwether. They are in charge, and voters are pissed."

Republicans

"The Pennsylvania 12th Congressional District results have to make you wonder if the House GOP knows how to close enough deals to seal a majority in November."

Q: Name the biggest winner in Tuesday's elections.

DEMOCRATS (103 votes)

Challengers      71 percent
Democrats        20 percent
Liberals          3 percent
President Obama   2 percent
Listed options receiving no votes: centrists, conservatives, incumbents, Republicans.
Volunteered: Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Rand Paul, pundits and 
 consultants, the "pox-on-all-their-houses crowd," 1 percent each.

e>

Challengers

"Anybody who challenged the political establishment was a winner. Joe Sestak beat the entire Democratic establishment in Pennsylvania, including Gov. Ed Rendell, and Rand Paul beat the GOP establishment in Kentucky, including the Senate minority leader."

"This wasn't a left-right election. It was outside-in."

"Anyone who fails to recognize an overriding theme of 'change' across the country is likely an incumbent who is soon to be privatized."

"Candidates who can run genuine populist -- but not crazy -- campaigns are the ones who will succeed, whether Democrats or Republicans."

"If you want to change the Congress, you have to change the congressman."

Democrats

"Mark Critz's win in Pennsylvania is a good indicator that our House majority is safe as long as we run smart campaigns."

"We won a key congressional race in a conservative Pennsylvania district and nominated the stronger Senate candidates in both Pennsylvania and Kentucky."

Liberals

"Progressives fueled strong showings for Jack Conway [in Kentucky], Joe Sestak [in Pennsylvania], Bill Halter [in Arkansas]."

President Obama

"By winning Pennsylvania's special election, the discussion regarding November changes."

REPUBLICANS (101 votes)

Challengers    72 percent
Conservatives   9 percent
Democrats       5 percent
Republicans     4 percent
Centrists       2 percent
Liberals        2 percent
Listed options receiving no votes: incumbents, President Obama. 
Volunteered: extremists, no one, 2 percent each; anarchists, tea party conservatives,
 1 percent each.

e>

Challengers

"It's a 'throw-the-bums-out' kind of cycle. With more Democrats than Republicans at risk, that helps the Republicans. But that doesn't mean the Republicans are loved; they're not -- just despised a tad less."

"If you're a regular on CNN or Fox in Washington, then you're part of the problem in the eyes of most voters."

"Voters are giving incumbents one strike before they're out."

Conservatives

"There is an anti-incumbent tsunami out there, but most of the energy is on the conservative side, driven by tea party activists who want smaller, constitutional government."

Democrats

"[Pennsylvania's 12th Congressional District] changes the forecast for November from a Category 4 to Category 2 storm."

Republicans

"In this election year, challengers win. With Republicans being in the challenger seat, all they have to do to win is shut up and enjoy the ride."

Centrists

"Especially those with a message that assures people there will be stable, good, private-sector jobs in the future."

Liberals

"Every MSNBC-endorsed candidate won."

National Journal Insiders

Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Deb Callahan, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Stephanie Cutter, 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, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Katrina Swett, Sarah Swisher, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Mike Veon, Rick Wiener, Bridgette Williams, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl 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, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Rob Collins, 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, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Mindy Fletcher, 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, 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, Connie Partoyan, Dana Perino, 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, Lezlee Westine, Tom Wilson, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, and Fred Wszolek.

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