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Magazine / Political Insiders Poll: Insiders Increasingly Predict GOP House and Senate in 2012

Political Insiders Poll: Insiders Increasingly Predict GOP House and Senate in 2012

September 22, 2011

On a scale of 0 (no chance) to 10 (virtual certainty), how likely are the Republicans to take over the Senate next November?

Democrats (102 votes)

Sept. 2011

Average: 5.6
Low (0-3): 11%
Moderate (4-6): 61%
High (7-10): 30%


May 2011

Average: 5.0
Low (0-3): 20%
Moderate (4-6): 59%
High (7-10): 21%


Low (0-3)

“If the populace has had enough of infighting and Republican tea party do-nothings, and if the Democrats do a better job of communicating their plans, the chances decline. A lot is riding on the economy improving and the jobless rate declining before the election.”

Moderate (4-6)

“The Republicans have branding problems, and I think that after we have the jobs plan, deficit super committee, and 2012 budget fights, they will be weakened and provide a strong contrast for Dems.”

“Democrats have enough support to hold on, and Republicans are on the wrong side of ‘don’t tax the rich.’ ”

“The obvious pickups haven’t materialized for the Republicans yet.”

“It is likely that a number of Democratic senators will be pulled over the finish line by the anti-Perry turnout of the Democratic base.”

“Should be higher, but recruiting issues and fractious primaries weigh Republicans down.”

“Landscape is very difficult for Dems, and in order for prospects to change, the president’s standing must improve.”

“Democrats have twice as many seats up as the Republicans. In an anti-incumbent year that spells danger for Democrats.”

“Unless the economy takes a decided turn for the better, 2012 will be a bleak year for Democrats, with a loss of the Senate the last domino to fall.”

High (7-10)

“With Obama running against Congress, these members in tough states are going to be toast. Think Claire McCaskill.”

“Volatile electorate plus twice as many Dem seats up in 2012 equals a good chance for R’s to win the Senate. Best hope is that the R’s will nominate tea party extremists like they did in 2010; that will prevent a takeover.”

“Too many tough states, too many tough races, too many incumbents to defend.”

“Democrats did not recruit well, and right now they have an election that is nationalized with an economic tsunami that they cannot individually control.”

“The worst map [for Democrats] since Columbus called the Azores ‘India.’ ”


On a scale of 0 (no chance) to 10 (virtual certainty), how likely are the Republicans to take over the Senate next November?

Republicans (111 votes)

Sept. 2011

Average: 7.4
Low (0-3): 1%
Moderate (4-6): 22%
High (7-10): 79%


May 2011

Average: 6.7
Low (0-3): 2%
Moderate (4-6): 41%
High (7-10): 57%


Moderate (4-6)

“[George] Allen is iffy in Virginia, and [Bill] Nelson will retain his seat in Florida. To get the majority, we need to pull an upset somewhere—maybe Ohio.”

“This is getting more within reach the more the Obama drag on the ticket looms. The enthusiasm gap is getting to be a real concern for the Dems.”

“If Perry is the nominee, the chance of success drops to 3 or 4.”

High (7-10)

“The math favors the Republicans, but so does the geography of the tough seats in a presidential year.”

“Obama is going to wage a war against Congress. That will put a lot of red-state Democrats in an untenable position.”

“This has less to do with the current bad environment for the Dems than it does with the great playing field. North Dakota, Missouri, Nebraska, and Montana seem set up perfectly.”

“Republicans badly underperformed in 2000 Senate elections and then absurdly underperformed in 2006. A simple regression to the mean would produce a GOP majority. Add in the president’s unpopularity, and it looks very good.”

“The swing in 2006 brought in many red-state Democrats who will have a tough time defending their seats in an anti-Democratic year.”

“Virtually all of the vulnerability is on the Democratic side this cycle. Of 10 to 12 competitive races, two are GOP seats, and we only need to pick up four.”

“Like Reagan in 1986, the White House is going to have a tough time trying to resist political inertia, which tends to balance swing elections.”

“I would’ve said 5 [instead of 8] until Obama lost Brooklyn and Queens.”

“It will be 2010, only bigger. The D’s (and especially the White House team) are clueless about the country. They are our best campaigners.”

“It’s no longer a question of GOP control. The remaining issue is how large the GOP majority will be.”

“Last thing Dems want is a ‘send Obama a message’ election. But they’ve got one.”

“It’s hunting season, and the Democrats look like a lumbering 12-point buck.”


On a scale of 0 (no chance) to 10 (virtual certainty), how likely are the Democrats to take over the House next November?

Democrats (102 votes)

Sept. 2011

Average: 3.8
Low (0-3): 47%
Moderate (4-6): 50%
High (7-10): 5%


May 2011

Average: 4.3
Low (0-3): 33%
Moderate (4-6): 53%
High (7-10): 15%


Low (0-3)

“We’ll be lucky to be able to hold a caucus.”

“What does the House stand for? Jobs? What jobs? Health care? What health care? Tax the rich? What tax on the rich? These guys have no identity and no track record. It is a deadly combination.”

“Redistricting helps a little, but the president’s numbers, especially in swing districts, doom Dems.”

“Toxic environment for incumbents will help Dems close the gap, but there are too many seats to make up.”

“Tough to do when the White House says, ‘You’re part of the problem.’ ”

Moderate (4-6)

“Debt ceiling and other factors have sullied the Republican House. American voters can’t get down with so many House members dancing to the tune of a radical minority (the tea party).”

“House Republicans have done everything imaginable to put the House in play in less than a year. They are highly unpopular and so are their policies. Dems need to find 80 capable challengers to have a better than 50 percent chance of winning. They aren’t there yet.”

“It’s a 50-50 proposition. The American people are mad and may throw everyone out.”

“Need to win 25 seats—that’s a lot, especially when the president will struggle at the top of the ticket. But it’s a volatile electorate, and the R’s in the House have done nothing about the economy, so voters are angry and may vote out incumbents in droves.”

High (7-10)

“Tea party radicals are showing their true colors to moderate voters in marginal districts. Bad news for the House GOPers.”


On a scale of 0 (no chance) to 10 (virtual certainty), how likely are the Democrats to take over the House next November?

Republicans (111 votes)

Sept. 2011

Average: 1.8
Low (0-3): 92%
Moderate (4-6): 9%
High (7-10): 0%


May 2011

Average: 2.3
Low (0-3): 82%
Moderate (4-6): 21%
High (7-10): 0%


Low (0-3)

“Anyone who believes the D’s will win should be searched for a controlled substance.”

“Loss of Weiner seat tells me there is less than a zero chance of Dems retaking the House.”

“Redistricting, the poor economy, and the president’s astonishing disapproval ratings all create the perfect storm to assist Republicans in House races.”

“Over 190 seats are already safe through GOP control of redistricting. With Obama at the top of the ticket, [the chance of] Dem control is nil.”

“President Obama will have nothing positive to run on, which will leave the Dem House candidates out there naked.”

“How do you tell voters that R’s are the problem when your own president can’t seem to jump-start anything?”

“Obama is a severe drag, especially in GOP-redistricted seats. Max net Dem gain of 10; they might even lose ground.”

“NY-09 is to 2012 what Scott Brown, Chris Christie, and Bob McDonnell were to 2010. Republicans will lose very few seats.”

“Turnout among minority groups and the young will be down sharply from 2008 levels.”

“A dozen R’s from swing seats are going to pay for their courage, but not enough to put Pelosi back in charge.”

Moderate (4-6)

“Anti-incumbent anger is more of a threat to the R majority than specific policy wins and losses. Redistricting is a net plus, but it is the economy that will prevent Dems from knocking off more weak incumbents.”


Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, 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, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, 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, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O’Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, 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, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, 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, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Mindy Fletcher, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, 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, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, George S. 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, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O’Neill, Connie Partoyan, Dana Perino, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, 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, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.

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