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Political Insiders Poll

See how prominent political bloggers responded to these questions.

Q: Would your party benefit from another televised session between President Obama and Hill Republicans?

Democrats (96 votes)

Yes 82%
No  15%


Volunteered: No impact, 3 percent.



"Anytime the debate becomes a choice between our ideas and theirs, we win. Anytime it becomes a defense solely of our plan, we lose."

"The president might have more trouble with the House Democrats than he did with the Republicans."

"It benefits President Obama more, but it helped Republicans on the margins."

"Have several: Obama comes off as in touch and knowledgeable, while the Republicans come off as political."


"There was a reason Fox News cut away from the live feed."

"Every time he is seen reaching out and trying to work with Republicans, it reassures independents. Now, if only the speaker would learn that lesson."

"The contrast between Obama talking to the nation and Republicans talking to the 'tea party' is wonderful."

"He appears as a leader and willing to reach across the aisle and get something done."

"Continue with meetings because Democrats need to continue to call Republicans on their 'Say no' approach to governing. Also, there is no Republican able to hold his or her own in a debate with this president."

"The speeches, while beautifully delivered, may have run their course. But one-on-one, the contrast between the president putting forth practical solutions and the Republicans' bleating and posturing becomes clear."

"Anytime Peyton Manning can operate against a high school defense, it's good for Peyton Manning."

"Can we do it in prime time, please?"


"Any further public meetings will make him look weak to his base, which really needs to be ignited, and allow the GOP an unwarranted opportunity to appear conciliatory, which they are not."

"Going once and winning on substance and style was presidential. Going more than once gets ordinary quickly and diminishes the president."

"Democrats won round one. Why do a second?"

Q: Would your party benefit from another televised session between President Obama and Hill Republicans?

Republicans (97 votes)

Yes 46%
No  52%


Volunteered: No impact, 2 percent.


"Rather than being the 'Party of No,' Republicans came across as thoughtful, substantive, and respectful toward the president."

"Another session would help, as GOPers would be prepared for TV coverage and perform better. That's why Obama will not do it again."

"But only if they get Obama off the podium, down on their level, and make it about policy solutions, not just a gripe session."

"Anytime Obama has to fly without his TelePrompTer pacifier, it reveals his petulant side."

"Next time, though, moderate members should do the talking."

"Republicans need a stage and a smile -- not a smirk."

"It gives the GOP stature to be in the arena with the president. Without that, they are just a party bereft of ideas and an agenda."


"It was a stupid decision to allow the Q&A to be televised. Obama wiped the floor. We are still not that good at messaging. I think our leaders start to believe their own press releases. We are the same party the voters rejected in '06 and '08."

"Talking policy is the wrong move: Republicans just need to oppose President Obama."

"I think it makes Obama look good when he's willing to go into the lions' den and take them on."

"Attempting to be 'bipartisan' on TV is merely entertainment, not reality. Such theater helps President Obama, not our party."

"Obama's magic is overexposed and eroding, but he gained major points by reaching out."

"Whether GOP leadership gets it or not, we do not yet have a member or members capable of scoring significant points in this format."

"He's better at it than we are: Obama has the ability to make the Democrats appear reasonable; Reid and Pelosi do not. We want more of Reid and Pelosi."

"President Obama is magical on TV and looks reasonable. It's better to let Obama remain the left-of-center policy wonk."

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

Democrats (95 votes)

Average: Democrats lose 24 seats

No change     0% 
Lose 1-9      1%
Lose 10-19   24% 
Lose 20-29   45%
Lose 30-39   18%
Lose 40-49    5% (Percent who think Democrats will lose control of House)
Lose 50+      1% (Percent who think Democrats will lose control of House)


Volunteered: Don't know, 5 percent.

-12. "Could be worse, but I'm hoping Massachusetts will wake folks up to what needs to be done to protect both the House and Senate."

-15. "The Republicans are betting against the economy and people finding jobs: Not a good message."

-20. "This is the middle ground: If the economy improves, consumer confidence is up, could be low double digits. If [there's] a second recession, could be closer to the magic number of 40."

-21. "Enough to be aggravating, but not truly terrifying."

-22. "An improving economy should limit Democratic losses largely to seats that they should not have had in the first place."

-25. "Too many dinosaurs calling the shots for the Democratic Party: The public wants new blood, but the dinosaurs won't get off the stage."

-27. "We wasted an entire year talking about process rather than issues that matter to voters. We will get our clock cleaned by the voters."

-35. "Unless the economy turns around and unless Obama and the Democrats quit whining about the Republicans being obstructionists, these donkeys will lose their ass."

-35. "Enough difficult Democratic retirements are occurring -- and the prospects of meaningful reduced unemployment in 2010 are unlikely enough -- that Republicans will eliminate most, if not all, of the Democrats' majority."

-36. "Republicans will come very close [to taking control], but the Republican National Committee's lack of ability to conserve resources will save us 10 to 15 House seats."

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

Republicans (96 votes)

Average: Democrats lose 33 seats

No change     0% 
Lose 1-9      0%
Lose 10-19    3% 
Lose 20-29   31%
Lose 30-39   42%
Lose 40-49   17% (Percent who think Democrats will lose control of House) 
Lose 50+      5% (Percent who think Democrats will lose control of House)


Volunteered: Don't know, 2 percent.

-22. "This number could go down drastically if the Republicans continue to flounder raising money."

-24. "The speaker gets points for corralling her party for tough votes, but they'll pay dearly for Senate inaction."

-25. "We would do better if we had some fresh leadership in Congress and the Republican Party."

-27. "If Republicans make these races local versus the Obama leviathan, they'll win. Introduce a national GOP figure like Newt [Gingrich] who will 'rally the troops,' and independents will get cold feet and stay home."

-27. "Possibly more if the Republicans can offer up commonsense solutions that appeal to independents."

-33. "Self-inflicted [GOP] disasters like Mark Foley and Duke Cunningham are the only thing that can save Democrats from a tsunami."

-34. "Target-rich environment for Republicans."

-35. "Democrats will barely hold on to their majority because Republicans will have come up just short of the resources needed to win it back."

-35. "The Democrats have tattooed themselves with the 'Big Spenders' label yet again. The voters will vote, 'Enough, already!' "

-37. "Which won't be as much fun as having a majority, but vastly more entertaining. Pelosi will not survive as speaker."

-42. "The election may not be today, but candidate recruitment is. The GOP will have better candidates riding an epic wave, and uninspired Democrats will stay home."

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, 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, 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, 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, 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, Sara Taylor, 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.

This article appears in the February 6, 2010 edition of National Journal Magazine.

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