HolyCoast: Dem Hopes of Regaining Control of House Evaporating

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Dem Hopes of Regaining Control of House Evaporating

It's a grim time to be a Democrat member of the House of Representatives:
No one’s ready to write off the House yet.

But in the wake of two recent special election defeats and President Barack Obama’s declining poll ratings, Democrats are increasingly pessimistic about their prospects of winning back control in 2012.

As recently as May, when the GOP plan to overhaul Medicare looked to be a silver bullet after a dramatic special election victory, Democrats held a glimmer of hope that the House might be in play.

Now, resigned to the likelihood that the president will be a down-ballot drag in many races and absent signs of an electoral wave on the horizon, Democrats are scaling back their expectations.

Interviews with more than two dozen operatives and House members in both parties reveal that the cautious optimism of the spring has given way to a more grim view of the hurdles facing Democrats in 2012 — an unpopular president on the ballot; scores of vulnerable Republican incumbents bolstered by redistricting; free-spending, GOP-allied independent groups that will outpace their newer Democratic counterparts; and long-standing historical election trends.

While the idea of recapturing the House in 2012 has always been something of a long shot in the wake of the massive losses House Democrats suffered in 2010, the consensus is that the odds have never been longer.
At the pace things are going not only will the GOP win the White House, but they'll probably take the Senate and build their lead in the House. Of course, all this can change and incumbents are always hard to beat, but we could be setting up for the second wave election in a row.

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