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Dems Majority – GOP divided

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Dems Majority – GOP divided

Dems will keep majority – GOP is divided

Kaplan 7/15/10, – Slate intern (Rebecca, “The Lessons of 1982”,
July 15, 2010)
The conventional wisdom holds that a bad economy casts a dark cloud over the party in power, but 1982 shows the cloud's silver lining. The depths of the economic problems that year gave the president nearly unlimited open-mic time to talk to the American peopleand present a coherent strategy on behalf of his party. By November 1982, Reagan had given six speeches from the Oval Office about the economy, explaining to Americans how he and Republicans were trying to solve the problem. Obama has given no Oval Office speeches on the economy, but it has been the topic of 106 speeches and appearances—and the subject of his recent campaign trail rhetoric. And, just as with Reagan, many Americans do not place the blame for the economic problems with Obama. Even with a job approval rating in the mid-40s and stagnant personal disposable income, Reagan and the Republicans avoided a walloping, and Obama might too. In 1994, in contrast, Clinton lost control of the national conversation. Congress did pass a huge tax-cutting and -raising bill in Clinton's first year. But despite his unofficial campaign slogan ("It's the economy, stupid"), Clinton spent a lot of time in the first two years of his term on controversial projects unrelated to the economy (a crime bill, a failed health care bill, a failed attempt to lift the ban on gays in the military). This opened avenues of failure for the Republicans to exploit. Led by Newt Gingrich and his Contract With America, they blanketed the country with their message. Not only was Gingrich successful in promoting a unified message, particularly among challengers; he also helped his party reach voters in new ways, with previously underused media like talk radio. That kind of message mastery was essential to the Republicans' capture of 52 House seats. This year, the Republican Party is deeply divided in its upper echelons of leadership—and people like RNC Chairman Michael Steele certainly aren't helping the party define or stay on message. Additionally, the Republicans (far more than the Democrats) have had to contend with the distractions of the Tea Partiers, whose candidates have the potential to steal away the conservative voters on which the Republicans rely so heavily. A recent Gallup poll highlighted the steep overlap between the Tea Partiers and the Republican base. Republicans this year have to fend off charges from the right and the left instead of just being able to focus on the attack.As Robert Gibbs says, it's certainly possible that the Democrats will lose the House this year, like they did in 1994. But from an economic standpoint, this year more closely resembles 1982. And the president—a Democrat now, a Republican then—seems similarly disciplined. All the party in power has to do is spend some money and hope that this year turns out to be less bad than everyone predicts.

Despite risk of GOP takeover, Dems will keep the majority

Robert Schroeder, 7/13/10 – reporter for MarketWatch in Washington (July 13, “Midterms challenging but winnable: DNC chair”,
This fall’s midterm elections will be “challenging” for Democrats but President Barack Obama’s party will hang on to control of both chambers of Congress in November, the chairman of the Democratic National Committee said Tuesday. DNC Chair Tim Kaine was speaking on MSNBC about new poll numbers that show troubling signs for Democrats. A new Washington Post/ABC News poll shows Obama’s overall approval rating at 50%, equal to his low point in that survey. Forty-seven percent disapprove of the job he’s doing. And about seven in 10 voters said they lack confidence in Democratic lawmakers — while a similar proportion said the same thing about Republicans. Kaine acknowledged the difficulty for his party but said voters have a clear choice. “It is going to be challenging in the midterms,” he said. And he added: “We’ve got to make the choice clear between a party that is willing to vigorously act to get the economy growing again, to restore our respect abroad, and a party that’s just throwing rocks.” Meanwhile, another poll shows that the prospect of a Republican takeover of the House continues to rise. The latest Political Insiders Poll from National Journal shows that more Democrats believe Republicans will reclaim that chamber. On a scale of zero to 10, with 10 being virtual certainty, the average rating from 100 Democratic insiders polled was 4.5, up from 3.7 when the question was last asked in April. Republican insiders were even more confident, with their average rating at 6.6, up from 5.8 in April.

Dems hanging on to majority by a whisker

The Economist 7/8 (The mid-term elections Waiting to thump the Democrats,
THIS is a miserable time to be a Democratic politician in America, especially if you are a member of the House of Representatives. Most non-partisan pollsters and pundits agree that the Democrats can expect a thumping on November 2nd, when all of the 435 seats in the House and 36 of the 100 in the Senate will be up for grabs in the mid-term elections. By general consent the Republicans are unlikely to gain the ten seats they need to capture the Senate from the Democrats. In the House, on the other hand, the Democrats’ majority hangs by a whisker.

Dems Majority – Momentum

Dems can still hold on

The Economist 7/8 (The mid-term elections Waiting to thump the Democrats,
For all these woes, the Democrats could yet hang on. Mr Olsen makes the point that it is rare for a president’s party actually to lose Congress in his first term: before the upset of 1994 the only previous such turnaround was when the Republicans lost in 1954 under Eisenhower. The Democrats enjoy stronger local organisation in many districts and, despite having fewer friends on Wall Street these days, are expected to have more money to spend. They have not given up hope of persuading the new voters who helped to elect Mr Obama in 2008 to turn out again; the campaign organisation he built for that election has been kept running, under the new name Organising for America. Chris Van Hollen, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, told the Washington Post recently that the party was spending $50m on efforts to galvanise the first-time voters of 2008 to vote again in November.

Dems will keep majority – BP ruined GOP chance

Ryan Witt, 6/19/10 – school graduate who has extensive experience teaching government and politics (Examiner, June 19 2010, “Midterms : Democrats begin attacking Republicans for their defense of BP over Gulf oil spill”,“

Before the Gulf oil spill, 2010 looked to be a banner year for Republicans. Most voters are angry toward any incumbent and right now Democrats control most seats in Congress. In addition, the party controlling the White House usually loses seats in Congress in a midterm election. In general, Americans like split power in government, so there was a real danger of Republicans taking back both the House and Senate. However, developments over the last month may have given the Democrats an opening to keep their large majorities in Congress. Prominent Republican and conservative leaders have consistently defended BP even though the company was undoubtedly negligent, if not reckless, in their behavior leading up to the spill. Notable incidents of Republicans gaffes over the spill include, but are not limited to: (1) Kentucky Senate Candidate Rand Paul calling criticism of BP "un-American." (2) Rep. Michelle Bachmann (R-Minn.) urging BP to stand firm and not be "chumps" when facing off with the federal government. (3) Governor Haley Barbour saying that the oil spill was nothing like Exxon Valdez in the early days of the spill. In fact, the spill is now estimated to be at least four times larger than the Valdez spill. Gov. Barbour also blamed the media, not BP, for decreased tourism along the Gulf Coast. (4) House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-OH) reportedly agreed with the Chamber of Commerce in saying that taxpayers should help pay for cleanup costs in addition to BP. Rep. Boehner would later claim he misunderstood the question and that he supports making BP pay for every dime of the disaster. (5) Finally, most infamously, Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX) actually apologized to BP in congressional hearings calling the agreement BP made with the White House a "shakedown." After the financial crisis it was essentially political death to be associated to closely with companies like Lehman Brothers or Goldman Sachs. The same may be the case with BP after the Gulf oil spill crisis. In a time when most Americans see large corporations as part of the problem, the GOP seems all too willing to align themselves with BP. Democrats have not missed this point quickly calling out Republicans. Democrats have now also released their first ad attacking Republicans for their stance with BP. In the ad below, Minnesota State Sen. Tarryl Clark takes Rep. Michelle Bachmann to task for her comments defending BP. Many liberals, such as Keith Olbermann, are urging Democrats to start referring the opposing party as "GOBP." The White House has already mentioned the fact that, as ranking Republican member of the Energy Committee in the House, Rep. Joe Barton would become one of the more powerful people overseeing big oil if Republicans took back the House.

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