August 20, 2009
Charlie Cook: Dem situation has 'slipped completely out of control'
Charlie Cook, one of the best political handicappers in the business, sent out a special update to Cook Political Report subscribers Thursday that should send shivers down Democratic spines.
Reviewing recent polling and the 2010 election landscape, Cook can envision a scenario in which Democratic House losses could exceed 20 seats.
"These data confirm anecdotal evidence, and our own view, that the situation this summer has slipped completely out of control for President Obama and Congressional Democrats. Today, The Cook Political Report’s Congressional election model, based on individual races, is pointing toward a net Democratic loss of between six and 12 seats, but our sense, factoring in macro-political dynamics is that this is far too low," he wrote.
"Many veteran Congressional election watchers, including Democratic ones, report an eerie sense of déjà vu, with a consensus forming that the chances of Democratic losses going higher than 20 seats is just as good as the chances of Democratic losses going lower than 20 seats."
Cook scrupulously avoided any mention that Democratic control of the House is in jeopardy but, noting a new Gallup poll showing Congress’ job disapproval at 70 percent among independents, concluded that the post-recess environment could feel considerably different than when Congress left in August.
"We believe it would be a mistake to underestimate the impact that this mood will have on Members of Congress of both parties when they return to Washington in September, if it persists through the end of the Congressional recess."