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Political Insiders Poll: Will Republicans Take Over the Senate? Political Insiders Poll: Will Republicans Take Over the Senate?

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Magazine / Political Insiders Poll

Political Insiders Poll: Will Republicans Take Over the Senate?

Will Republicans Take over the Senate?

May 12, 2011

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

Democrats (104 votes)

Average: 5.0

 Zero: 2%
1 to 3: 18%
4 to 6: 59%
7 to 10: 21%


0. “I think Republicans will prove incapable of convincing voters that playing around with Social Security and Medicare is a good thing and we should elect more Republicans to do just that.”

2. “The Republican tea party is a house divided, which wants to destroy Medicare at the expense of tax breaks for the rich. How does that package win?”

3. “Despite the Democrats having to defend so many seats in tough states for them, the Obama turnout will be sufficient to keep the Senate in Democratic hands.”

4. “Chances will immeasurably improve for Democrats if Republicans continue to nominate loopy tea party activists.”

4. “Democrats have a slight edge at this point due to improving economic conditions, as soon as gas prices correct.”

4. “As Obama goes, so goes the Senate, and with this Republican field, it looks like he’s going to live in D.C. until 2017.”

5. “The number of Democratic seats in play favor the Republicans’ chances of winning control, though this must be tempered by their mediocre presidential-candidate field at this point.”

5. “Senate Ds will put Arizona, Indiana, and Massachusetts seats in play to help give them cover for losses elsewhere.”

5. “The map gives the Republicans a real chance, but it’s still a challenge if Obama is reelected.”

5.5 “When you are recruiting well, that is a sign that the political environment has improved, and the [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee] has landed some blue-chip recruits. But the map is still tough for Democrats.”

6. “Last year the math worked to our favor, but next year [there are] too many seats for Dems to defend.”

7. “It would be ‘10,’ but the Republicans seem to want to hand them the Medicare issue.”

7. “Democrats are running behind the curve in the Senate, given the retirements, and are poised to lose unless they overwhelm the Rs with solid candidates.”

8. “This looks bad, unless there’s an outbreak of ‘macaca’ disease.”

10. “High unemployment and gas prices will really hurt the D’s, not to mention a slew of Senate incumbents up for reelection inred-pink states.”


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

Republicans (103 votes)

Average: 6.7

Zero: 0%
1 to 3: 2%
4 to 6: 41%
7 to 10: 57%

4. “If the political environment stays the same, the election-year play may be to push the ‘check and balance’ by electing Republicans in the House and Senate.”

5. “The deck is stacked in our favor, but I fear we are losing sight of what worked so well last cycle—courting and winning independents.”

5. “Like ’06, it comes down to Virginia: Senate [control] will come down to a field goal on the last play of the game, to use a George Allen sports analogy.”

5. “Too early to tell, but both sides have plenty of time to shoot themselves in the foot. Democrats have more open seats, but Republicans could see safe senators bumped off by offbeat primary challengers.”

6. “Democrats have too many seats to defend, and many voters prefer split government.”

6. “The playing field is slanted, but the presidential race is key.”

6. “DSCC has done a better job shoring up shaky incumbents. Lot of work needed, but numbers favor GOP.”

6. “The Senate is tougher for Republicans than the conventional wisdom says, but it more than likely it will happen.”

6. “Things couldn’t look better right now, but Republicans are entirely capable of overreaching.”

7. “The fourth seat gets more difficult to achieve, but the tea leaves read pretty good now.”

7. “With Nevada and Massachusetts looking safe, the only change in the Senate will come in Dem-held states. Nebraska and North Dakota are already gone, and that is halfway to the goal of picking up [control].”

7. “A Republican Senate majority is certainly possible, but disastrous candidates like [Christine] O’Donnell and [Sharron] Angle could sink that possibility again, just like it did in 2010.”

8. “Republicans look strong even if their presidential candidate falters—unless he or she is a total disaster.”

8. “Only an Obama landslide can endanger this.”

8. “It’s a target-rich environment for GOP: Missouri, Virginia, North Dakota, West Virginia, Florida, Nebraska, Montana, just to name a tempting few.”

9. “Getting Osama might cement things for the White House, but Senate D’s are going down in 2012.”


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

Democrats (104 votes)

Average: 4.3

Zero: 3%
1 to 3: 30%
4 to 6: 53%
7 to 10: 15%

0. “The math may be there, but the well is still poisoned.”

2. “Republican-controlled redistricting is too hard to overcome even if the Obama wind blows strong.”

3. “[Rep. Paul] Ryan’s budget means Dems make gains, but not enough can come out of the Northeast to make up for the hit we took in the South.”

3. “There’s a way, but incumbency is still the best predictor of who stays or goes.”

4. “At least for now. Obama’s coattails look short.”

4. “Chances are fairly slim, but don’t underestimate the new tea party freshmen’s capacity for self-destruction.”

4. “It would be zero, but the Republicans seem to want to hand them the Medicare issue.”

4. “Country is not ready for free-spending, deficit-busting liberals to have power again. Do you really want to give Pelosi and the Black Caucus power again?”

5. “The Ryan budget vote could be their stimulus, cap-and-trade, and health care votes all wrapped in one.”

5. “Obama would have to have a ’08-level solid victory for Democrats to get back the House.”

6. “Was a zero before the Ryan budget gift.”

7. “It’s a tough climb, but redistricting is going reasonably well, fundraising quite well, and the message that R’s want to kill Medicare is resonating.”

8. “With the lackluster group of Republican presidential candidates, it is likely President Obama’s coattails will be long.”


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

Republicans (103 votes)

Average: 2.3

Zero: 18%
1 to 3: 64%
4 to 6: 21%
7 to 10: 0%

0. “Republicans have won redistricting, and the real Democrat money is going to having to reelect an unpopular president and Senate.”

0. “What a question: Is someone smoking something in your shop?”

1. “If needed, redistricting will be the firewall.”

2. “The public thinks Obama is going to win, and they won’t want to give him a Democratic Congress to work with. They saw that movie and hated it.”

2. “This could change if the congressional Republicans don’t get their act together and do some real spending cuts.”

3. “It’s possible, but Obama will have very short coattails this time.”

3. “Thought zero, but Ryan Medicare proposals could sink some who are vulnerable, and those who can’t explain them.”

3. “Obama will be a deadweight around the necks of Dems running in Republican states and in Blue Dog districts.”

3. “The president would have to keep pulling rabbits out of his hat in order for this to happen. But it’s early, and [just] a while ago bin Laden was still alive.”

3. “Presidential reelects from Ike to Clinton rarely shift House control. GOP can lose net 20 and still have the majority.”

4. “It depends on how good, or bad, the GOP presidential candidate is.”

4. “But if leadership in the House continues with train wrecks like pushing for Medicare overhaul, forcing a vote and then dropping it, they will make it easier for Democrats in the fall.”

5. “Medicare may kill the GOP, and they don’t know that yet.”

5. “Even with redistricting, it’ll be a jump ball with the Ryan plan and Obama at the top of the ticket.”


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, 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, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, 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, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Wendy Sherman, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Katrina Swett, 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, 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, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.


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