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2010 Midterm Election Factors and Predictions

As I look forward to 2010 the obvious big political story of the year is going to be the outcome of the midterm elections in November. I thought it would be interesting to map the political landscape as it appears now to serve as a reference point to see just how much things have changed in eleven months. So what are the factors that will affect which party will be happy come November?

It's the Economy, Stupid. Right now, economic news continues to be depressing. Unemployment is high and the government continues to issue debt at a staggering and unprecedented rate. While a few have tried to claim the recovery is already underway it is hard to take them seriously after the economic indicators are reviewed. Obviously if this economy continues to struggle, so will incumbents and Democrats in leadership positions during the elections. If we see a measured recovery that will go a long way towards helping the Democratic party retain their majorities.

Everyone Loves Big Government. The last six months have seen a number of seemingly unpopular ideas pushed hard by Obama, Reid, and Pelosi, namely another stimulus, Obamacare, and Cap and Trade. The are some indications that suggest the Democratic leadership understands continuing to push such unpopular ideas would be political suicide. If Obama shifts focus to the job creation and the war on terror, the chances of a huge Republican sweep in November are going to be reduced. If instead ideas such as amnesty for all illegal aliens are made into the issue of the day then the elections could be brutal for the Democrats.

I Am Not A Virginian, But An American! The Boston Tea Party united Americans in their opposition of England. How significant of a roll will the new Tea Party movement play in this year's elections? Will it affect the choice of candidates by the Republican party, with a bias towards fiscal conservatives? Or will it cause a flurry of three-candidates races where the Democrats can take advantage of a split conservative vote? I think you can also throw the Sarah Palin Effect under this category. Is she going to use her influence to support good Republican candidates? Or is she going to go rogue and support a true third party?

Nuts! Will Obama channel that historic U.S. military attitude that victory is only acceptable outcome in Afghanistan or will he go the route of timelines, negotiations, and "strategic withdrawals"? He is actually in a tough place here. The country, as a whole, wants to see a tough stance on terrorism, especially in the light of the Christmas Underwear Bomber. A strong policy in Afghanistan would go a long way towards gaining Obama credibility in this area. On the other hand, there are significant numbers of people who voted for him on the anti-Bush-the-war-mongerer vote. Continued escalation in Afghanistan (and inclusion of places such as Yemen) would infuriate these supporters and could cause them to lose interest in supporting Democratic candidates come November.

Hope and Change. Never forget that Obama, regardless of what else you think of the man, is a good campaigner. Pundits on the right have gleefully been pointing out that the emperor has no clothes for months now. "His inexperience is showing!" "He's lost his political mojo." "He looks tired." "He's lost so-and-so and she was his biggest supporter!" But all these premature celebrations don't give Obama any credit for being able to change course. Hope and change worked on a country that was tired of Bush, weary of a prolonged war on terror, and reeling from a banking collapse. I am not politically savvy enough to be able to suggest what theme could help the Democrats in 2010, but you shouldn't count Obama out just yet. Campaigning is what he does best and helping the Democrats keep control of both houses is going to make or break his presidency. You can be assured he will pull out all the stops to help.

The above may seem obvious to you now but that is in a sense why I wrote this. This is indeed what seems obvious to us here in January. When we look back in November, what will have been missed? Will there be a tectonic event in the summer that shifts this landscape? Public opinion can be fickle. What seems like a sure thing now can change drastically over the course of a year. In November we will look back with the benefit of hindsight but for now things are much less clear.

Given all these factors, what are my predictions? I think it is a given that the Republicans will make significant gains in both the side of Congress. The opposition party historically does well in midterm elections and there are certainly some reasons to think the effect will be particularly strong this time. However, I think regaining control of either house is unlikely--Democrats made too many gains in 2006 and 2008 for it to reverse itself in one election cycle.

If you are so inclined, add your predictions in the comments. It will be fascinating, for me at least, to revisit them at the end of the year.


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Comments (36)

Ignoring reality in order t... (Below threshold)

Ignoring reality in order to paint yourself a happy picture?

Housing prices continue to rebound.

Stock market continues new highs.

Unemployment rate is dropping.

Retail sales were up at Christmas.

Banks paying back TARP funds.

Oh yeah, I forgot, Re[publicans lie a lot and you're hoping to lie your way back into power.

It won't work.

Campaigning is wha... (Below threshold)
Campaigning is what he does best and helping the Democrats keep control of both houses is going to make or break his presidency. You can be assured he will pull out all the stops to help.

Yeah, ask Governor Corzine how that Obama campaigning for him in Bluest of blue NJ...

This is going to be a bloodbath for the dems and they know it - because they are hurrying to enact their far left wetdreams before they lose the keys to the kingdom.

What is Obama going to do? Maybe he'll go on tv as his programs and problem-solving skills indicate that he is incapable of learning. The Annenberg Educational Challenge was considered a huge success by those on the left - not one raised standard in any Chicago school - not one computer for the classroom and no new teachers, but Obama managed to dissiminate over a million dollars to his friends. A solid B+ means that his standard for success and ours are two different things.

The left knows it can't win for long so it does as much damage as it can while it can. A permanent majority is not nor has never been its goal.

"If Obama shifts focus to t... (Below threshold)

"If Obama shifts focus to the job creation and the war on terror, the chances of a huge Republican sweep in November are going to be reduced."

That's a mighty big IF. As you point out, the ECONOMY will be the determining factor. And right now the Dimocrats have shown they know squat about getting it going again. Their "health care reform bill" is going to start sucking up money immediately. Money that could have been put to good use getting the country back to work.

So far Barry has shown himself to be a one-trick-pony. Yeah, he's good at 'campaigning'. That's about all he's been doing all year long. You'd think one of 'the best and brightest' of his administration would point out to him YOU WON, now start acting like a president.

Instead, I predict we'll get more Barry Speeches, and more obstruction of economic recovery from Nancy and Harry. They're fixated on health care reform....and it still isn't law. Crap and Tax is on the back burner. They're pouring more money into Freddie, Fannie and GMAC. Money that we haven't got. Maybe Barry is figuring on hocking some Nimitz class carriers to the Chinese.

If the economy doesn't perk up, a 3rd Party might well screw both Democrats and Republicans. Depends on how pissed off the electorate gets. You saw what happened when Barry first ran....'he didn't have a chance'.

Sabre5:"Stock mar... (Below threshold)

"Stock market continues new highs"Stock
Market is at 10,428...a "new high" will be when it crests 14,500. You are predicting a 40% jump in the DOW in 2010?

"Unemployment rate is dropping"
It droppped ONE month...let's re-visit in a week (when the next report is due). And the January report will be DISMAL...all seasonal hiring ends.

"Retail sales were up at Christmas"
by 1% over a DISMAL (that word again) 2008 sales year.

"Housing prices continue to rebound"
Huh? There have a couple minor up-tics...but all predictions are for a second bubble to burst...unless the Obama Regime props up the market with even MORE money it doesn't have.

in short, Sabre5, keep right on believing...it'll make your depression all the deeper.

4. Posted by Justrand | Jan... (Below threshold)

4. Posted by Justrand | January 1, 2010 12:10 PM

Let's not forget commercial real estate the deficit and his foreign policy what ever it is at the time.
Oh and tax hikes!

The Dims can shift this and... (Below threshold)

The Dims can shift this and that...no matter because they are still going to get slaughteted in November. Obamacare and Obama wimpy response to the attempted bombing are not going away...they are just going to compound them with things like amnesty for illegals. Obama and the DC Dims are living in a dreamworld rihht now.

Another round of Kool Aid f... (Below threshold)

Another round of Kool Aid for Sabre5. He'll be back as soon as he refills on DNC talking points that bear no relation to reality.

Hey Sabre5, how's that "Sti... (Below threshold)

Hey Sabre5, how's that "Stimulus" working out? And all those "shovel ready" jobs?

Read the following and let ... (Below threshold)

Read the following and let me know how you think it will end for Obama and the Dems. This is some scary stuff.


9. Posted by UncleZeb | Jan... (Below threshold)

9. Posted by UncleZeb | January 1, 2010 1:16 PM |

Pretty alarming stuff.
However there was one post that made me chuckel.

"At the risk of making a bold statement of the obvious when George W Bush was President a 5% rate of unemployment was twice as bad as Obama's 10% rate."

UncleZeb...that article is ... (Below threshold)

UncleZeb...that article is waaaaaay past scary!

gonna need GGG (Gold, Guns & God)...jus' sayin'

It scares me. If anyone has... (Below threshold)

It scares me. If anyone has any suggestions as to how to protect any savings you may have I would love to hear them. I know about gold etc but not sure that is the way I want to go.

Democrats will easily hold ... (Below threshold)

Democrats will easily hold the Senate with the assistance of losing Republicans Vitter(LA) and Murkowsky(AK). Reid and Spector will squeak by for the Democrats.

Intraparty dissonances and politically* or personally** compromised incumbents will keep Republican gains in the House low at +10.

*TARP, TARP, TARP means Protest-voting wild card conservative demographic in play.

** Ex. My representative, John Sullivan (OK-District 1) not only voted for TARP, but took leave of absence for alcohol addiction. I expect a *complicated* election here.

Predictions by Jan 1, 2011.... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Predictions by Jan 1, 2011.

Israel will bomb Iranian nuclear facilities.

Immigration reform will pass and Obama will give a blanket pardon to all illegals currently living in the US.

Unemployment will be over 12%

Gas will be somewhere frmo $3.90 - $4.10 a gallon.

2 of out the 4 quarters will have negative economic growth.

Demcrats barely hold on to the House and Senate (partially thanks to immigration reform).

Reid will invoke the nuclear option on a number of bills but will be voted out of office in Nov.

Pelosi will be reelected but wont be reelected speaker (think this takes place after the first though).

At least 3 more high ranking Obama officials will be in the middle of scandals.

Dems will be in full retreat mode on Afghanistan about Sept time frame.

At least one major succesful terrorist attack on US Soil involving the loss of 10,000 lives. It will take at least a week for Obama to mention it was an Islamic terrorist that carried out the attack.

Obama will use the terrorist attack as an excuse to push new gun and ammuntion control laws.

Interest rates will soar with the prime going over 8% as the dollar continues to get devalued.

Another trillion dollar deficit budget will be passed.

ACORN will continue to get new and more federal govt funding.

New partial birth abortion laws will be passed in at least 10 states expanding and legalizing partial birth abortions.

Obama will apologize to other countries in at least 5 major speeches.

The state of the union will include a host of new spending on Green technology.

The MSM will continue to ignore major news stories involving ACORN, OBama administration scandals, negative Antiglobal warming stories, and the real effects of the increased deficit spending.

The dems in congress will increase the number of supreme court seats by 2 after the Nov elections.

GITMO will remain open but most of the prisoners will be released.

BryanD is drinking the Kool... (Below threshold)

BryanD is drinking the KoolAid too. Charlie Cook thinks that no Reps lose in November. On Bryan who going to beat Murkowski and Vitter? Your such a tool.

Probably, the Republicans w... (Below threshold)
Paul Hooson:

Probably, the Republicans will make some gains as historical trends seem to indicate. However, that's a fairly cheap and empty victory because it doesn't really require them to offer any real constructive alternative policies. But any serious drop in unemployment numbers could blunt any GOP comeback somewhat.

Forgot a fewSevera... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Forgot a few

Several liberal states will be bailed out by the feds as they are "too big to fail".

At leaset 100 banks will fail.

Spectre will be voted out of office.

At least 3 more long serving democrats will retire.

I dont expect the following people to see the end of the year
Robert Byrd
Ruth Bader Ginsberg - SCOTUS
John Paul Stevens - SCOTUS
Harry Morgan -actor
Kenny Rogers - singer
Helen Thomas - opinion writer
Angela Lansbury - actress
David Rockefeller Sr - billionaire
At least one of the Walton sisters.

Military recruitment will fall 10% below expected levels.

"Charlie Cook thinks..."-mi... (Below threshold)

"Charlie Cook thinks..."-michael

I thought he was in jail for shooting John Lennon!

"...who going to beat Murkowski and Vitter"-michael

Murkowski is unpopular. The name only goes so far, and there won't be no statue to Daddy, anyhow. "Who"? It's Alaska. YOU would have a fair chance in Alaska if you tried. It's a tiny state. Three towns by plane.

And Vitter? He thinks his penis and baby diapers are an erotic combination. BUT he goes to church, dontchaknow. A real wiener-- I mean, WINNER!

It's not just the unemploym... (Below threshold)
jim m:

It's not just the unemployment numbers that have taken the bloom off the Obama rose.

- The stimulus package full of graft and corruption.
- Breaking promises on transparency, allowing debate, allowing time to read bills before calling a vote etc.
- All his czars.
- Dithering in Afghanistan while our soldiers die.
- Broken promises on Guantanamo that discourage his own base.
- Record breaking deficits.
- Trying to Force a deeply unpopular health care bill on the public.
- Growing perception that the law does not apply to the administration and their friends (Philly Black Panthers, Geithner, Inspector General fiasco, Dodd, Rangel, and on and on).
- Janet Napolitano (every bit as incompetent as Mike Brown was at FEMA and quite possibly worse).
- Gibbs (Yeah, an incompetent boob making stupid remarks and laughing off the legitimate concerns of the electorate is always a good idea)

Add on to these and more the announced intent to bring up immigration reform, which will no doubt energize he right even more so. Obama has a tin ear for the country's mood having lost on health care he is choosing to walk away from it and bet big on more spending and immigration reform.

Even if the economy shows some signs of life (devoutly to be wished for but, unfortunately, unlikely) Obama has provided numerous reasons for the right and for independents to punish the dems at the ballot box next November.

I don't see anything good for the dems based on what they can do.

That being said I have serious doubts that the GOP can capitalize on the voter discontent. Steele has shown time and again that he totally does not get it. Current GOP leadership remains part of the problem and not the solution. One word for GOP leadership = Scozzafava.

Anyone who thinks that the GOP is going to easily benefit from Obama's missteps should think again.

My point above was that in ... (Below threshold)
jim m:

My point above was that in 2008 the country punished the GOP for 8 years of uninspired GWB leadership. Bush never stood up and defended his administration. We don't need an endless campaign like the dems gave us with Clinton and Obama, but the administration has the responsibility to sell the country on it's actions and ideas. (Obama could stand to learn that lesson frankly).

08 was more a repudiation of the crappy leadership of the GOP (inflated deficits, uninspired leadership, stupid missteps like Harriet Myers) than an endorsement of liberal policies. One need only look at how poorly the health care proposals poll to see that.

2010 is shaping up to be the same but against the dems this time. If the GOP win anything it will be due to the electorate punishing dems at the ballot box and not because the GOP is offering anything all that different.

Of course the GOP could wake up and actually propose giving the country some decent leadership. I'm not holding my breath.

I would have liked to see G... (Below threshold)

I would have liked to see GWB do a better job of defending his presidency, like GHWB, but they were both old school. They saw the presidency as something more than a cheap Top Dog political post and had some sense of the dignity history requires of a real president. Both of them viewed political bickering as akin to wrestling with pigs, and I think they were right. Our country is based on a historical presidency, not on the egotistical whims of a particular president.

Obama clearly doesn't share that view and seems interested in little more than polishing his own halo.

There are two things on my worry list:

1. America's amateurish approach to national security is widely viewed as a target of opportunity in the twisted world of the Jihadis. I agree with Retired Military and think we're going to see at least one serious attack, probably in late summer, just in time to screw up the mid-term elections. "Rally round the flag" trumps "Throw the bums out" when people are under attack. It's clearly in the best interests of the Jihadis to keep Obama in control of Congress because they know he fights like a girl.

2. The Tea Party folks, with whom I agree completely, get some real momentum, actually form a party and attempt to field real candidates for the mid-term elections. The resulting split Republican vote just might keep the current gang of thieves in power. It's probably the biggest mistake we could make, and I hope Saracuda helps us avoid the trap. If she threads that needle, look for a possibly successful presidential run in 2012. I think Obama is a one term president.

I'm going to invoke Mr. T. ... (Below threshold)
Dr Carlo Lombardi:

I'm going to invoke Mr. T. for my predictions for 2010 elections:

"At least one major succ... (Below threshold)

"At least one major successful terrorist attack on US Soil involving the loss of 10,000 lives. It will take at least a week for Obama to mention it was an Islamic terrorist that carried out the attack."

And then he'll apologize to the terrorist.

My prediction: A double dip in the recession and the Democrats will campaign on it not being as bad as the first dip.

My predictions for 2010:</p... (Below threshold)

My predictions for 2010:

1. SCOTUS will overturn the handgun ban in the city of Chicago (McDonald vs Chicago).

2. Harry Reid will be turned out of the Senate by a overwhelming majority in the state of Nevada. The Democrats will have 41 seats in Senate after the November elections.

3. Nancy Pelosi will remain in the House, but as a regular member of the House. Steny Hoyer will be the Minority Leader in a massive Republican takeover of the House following the 2010 elections.

4. Obama will not get his pet project, the Health Care bill. It will fail to get a 60 vote margin to stop the conference report debate.

5. Cap and Tax will die from being tabled at the last moment in the Senate.

6. Documents will surface stating that Barack Obama is not a natural born American Citizen. The documents will emphatically state he was born in Kenya.

7. Timothy Geitner will be fired from his Secretary of Treasury position and be convicted of embezzlement.

8. To the sheer horror of the hardcore leftists and the RINO Republicans, Sarah Palin will announce that she will run for the Office of President.

9. There will a terrorist attack on the Pentagon and the Congress will start impeachment proceedings against Obama.

10. The people will finally figure out that Al Gore has been trying to sell them a bill of goods, concerning the Global Warming fraud and do an old fashioned tar and feathering job.

Stan, I hope you are correc... (Below threshold)

Stan, I hope you are correct on some of these but not #9.

I didn't know so many non-l... (Below threshold)

I didn't know so many non-liberals here ingested hallucinogens on New Years.

My predictions for 2010:


StanI hate to say ... (Below threshold)
retired military:


I hate to say it but the last half of #9 is really out the window unless Biden is out of the picture and Hillary is named VP and that aint gonna happen. Even Obama could see the handwriting on the wall if Hillary is in as VP and Biden would be just as clueless as Obama in running the country.

The dems will NEVER impeach their man especially with Reid and Pelosi in charge.

Unless of course you are talking about number 9 happening in 2011.

sabre[ tenths of a brain ce... (Below threshold)

sabre[ tenths of a brain cell]

"Ignoring reality in order to paint yourself a happy picture?" No but someone with a partial brain cell is.

"Housing prices continue to rebound" Yeah falsely propped up by an unlimited spending/loan cap for Fanny and Freddy among other things.

RealtyTrac reports nationally, foreclosure activity skyrocketed 23 percent in the third quarter over the same period in 2008.

Trulia founder and CEO Pete Flint and RealtyTrac Senior Vice President Rick Sharga both expect home foreclosure to top the 4 million mark in 2010, higher than 2009.

"Stock market continues new highs." Again, another sign of a market being propped up, in this case by the Fed offering near zero interest rates that allows many institutional investers to borrow free cash and place it in the market for a quick profit. Interest rates go up, and they will, all that liquidity gets pulled out of the market.

"Unemployment rate is dropping." There's no other way to put this... you're dumber than a box of monkey wrenches. The rates is still at 10 percent.

The rate of newly unemployed has gone down an entirly different animal. Watch what happens to that figure when thousands of Xmas temp hires are let go in mid January.

"Retail sales were up at Christmas."

So, and much of the raise in sales to due to more stupid Americans places purchase on their credit cards. Not a good thing and differentially not a good sigh for the economy.

"Banks paying back TARP funds." Some are, but some aren't but in large part some have paid back cash to avoid compensation guidelines issued by the pay czar not because they were close to healthy.

"Oh yeah, I forgot," libturds such as yourself lie a lot and you're hoping despite the continued ignorance of the public as a whole your fellow travelers will maintain a grasp on political power.

It ain't gonna work.

Regardless of whether dems ... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Regardless of whether dems keep the house or not Nancy will ask "What do you mean I am not even head of a committee anymore?"

She definitely wont be the speaker of the House come 2011.

Another Pelosi quote for 20... (Below threshold)
retired military:

Another Pelosi quote for 2011

"What do you mean my family and I have to fly commericial now?"

If Limbaugh is back at the ... (Below threshold)
Sir Toby Belch:

If Limbaugh is back at the mic on Jan. 4,
Barry will need "professional strength"
antiperspirant for the foreseeable future,
not to mention asbestos golf shoes.

Unless there is a big terro... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Unless there is a big terrorist attack, the Economy rules all; and it doesn't look good.

Big gains for Repubs in House and Senate, but probably not enough to take control back in either. (Even if they did, it wouldn't be by big enough margins to be veto-proof or filibuster-proof)

If economy is still bad for 2012 (very possible), Repubs take control of Congress.
If Brocko Zero doesn't run (50/50 chance), absolute bloodbath for Dems.

I predict that the same gro... (Below threshold)
Iowaright wife:

I predict that the same group of uniformed people that bought Obama's hope and change message lock, stock a barrel, will still be voting in 2010 and if he can say anyting he wants to without being questioned by and major media, we will not see any major changes in our elected officials. Which is very unfortunate.

Re: "Documents will surface... (Below threshold)

Re: "Documents will surface stating that Barack Obama is not a natural born American Citizen. The documents will emphatically state he was born in Kenya."

This is what the National Review had to say about the Kenya myth: "The theory that Obama was born in Kenya, that he was smuggled into the U.S., and that his parents somehow hoodwinked Hawaiian authorities into falsely certifying his birth in Oahu, is crazy stuff."

No democrat seat will be lo... (Below threshold)
Chris in NC:

No democrat seat will be lost in the House or Senate. If the democrats have to remove their incumbent and replace him/her with a new person who can win they will. They will then stack the ballot box to ensure victory. See New Jersey.

"This is what the Nation... (Below threshold)

"This is what the National Review had to say about the Kenya myth: "The theory that Obama was born in Kenya, that he was smuggled into the U.S"

Yeah well, there's a theory that algore created the global warming hoax in the U.S. for His own benefit..

Does'nt matter where it was birthed, the end products are a lie.






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