Biden Promises November Surprise From Democrats

Vice-President Biden glances into the future and sees a relatively good year for Democrats. Is he right ?

Vice-President Biden pledged yesterday that the mid-term elections would not be as bad for Democrats as some predict:

Vice President Joe Biden has a warning for the pundits: Democrats are going to shock everybody with how well they do in the November election.

And he’s paraphrasing Mark Twain in saying reports of the Democrats’ demise “are premature.”

“We’re going to win the House and we’re going to win the Senate,” Biden told ABC’s “This Week” in an interview that aired Sunday. “I don’t think the losses are going to be bad at all. … We’re going to be in great shape.”


“I think we’re going to shock the heck out of everybody,” Biden said.

Predictions that the GOP will rout the party in power, he said, rely on polls taken pretty early in the campaign season, before voters start focusing on the Republican candidates who will be on the ballot.

“This is July,” Biden said. “The most vulnerable time any public official finds himself in is when they have no opponent.”

Polls for both President Barack Obama and congressional Democrats have shown declining support through the spring and early summer as the economic recovery has sputtered, BP’s oil well has gushed in the Gulf of Mexico and U.S. casualties in Afghanistan have kept rising.

Republicans contend voters are furious about Obama’s health care and stimulus plans among the examples of what they say is a federal government run amok.

“These are gigantic packages to deal with a gigantic problem we inherited,” Biden said.

He blamed most of the voter angst seen in the polls on the still struggling economy and widespread misunderstanding of big administration initiatives.

“I don’t think they know the detail of what’s going on,” he said.

Yea Joe, because telling people they’re too stupid to know what’s good for them is a guaranteed winner, right ?

Of course, while the Vice-President is predicting a good year for Democrats, relatively speaking, Republicans are singing a different tune:

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) predicted Sunday that Republicans will win just enough House seats come November to gain control of the House.

Speaking on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee said he was confident the GOP will become the majority party in the House for the next Congress.

“I think we’re going to be slightly over 40,” Sessions told David Gregory when asked for a specific number on how many House seats Republicans will win.

That would give Republicans just enough seats to win the House. The GOP need to win 39 House seats in the fall elections to take control of the chamber. Sessions’s counterpart, Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, disagreed with his prediction.

On the Senate side, Republican predictions are a little more subdued:

[NRSC Chairman John] Cornyn said he was happy with the election outlook right now, noting that Republican candidates were competitive in eight races for Senate seats held by Democrats. But unlike Sessions, Cornyn did not say how many Senate seats Republicans would win in the 2010 elections.

“I don’t know,” Cornyn said.

Earlier on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said that Republican candidates are “either competitive or ahead in 11 different states now where there are Democratic incumbent senators.”

McConnell didn’t predict a number, though, instead saying, “If the election were today, we would have a good day. … I’d like to be in better shape than the 41 that we have now. And I think the chances of that are pretty good.”

What’s going on here on both sides, of course, is that the partisans are trying to keep their respective bases engaged in the race. On the Democratic side, the danger is that continued predictions of losses in Congress will keep people away from the polls in November, this making a bad situation even worse. On the Republican side, the danger is more acute and it involves the fear on the part of some that the public anger that has been driving Republican success of late may peak before November, thus muting whatever gains the GOP might otherwise make.

As things stand right now, I think we’re looking at Republicans picking up, at most, 5-6 seats in the Senate, with the possibility of that number being muted by the loss of Florida to a Democratic-leaning Independent. In the House, I’m at a loss to see a scenario where the GOP gains more than 45 seats, which would give them just a bare majority. Realistically, I think the House pickup will be closer to 30-35. Obviously, these forecasts may change as we get closer to Election Day.

FILED UNDER: 2010 Election, US Politics, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Pete says:

    Why would you give this moron any time on a serious blog?

  2. Brummagem Joe says:

    “On the Democratic side, the danger is that continued predictions of losses in Congress will keep people away from the polls in November, this making a bad situation even worse.”

    I’m not sure I buy this logic Doug. If anything fear of Republican gains are likely to energize the Democratic base rather than the reverse. In the broader sense I think Biden is probably right. I really pay very little attention to summer polls but they hardly suggest an overwhelming desire to return Republicans to power do they? And the conditions when you get into the short strokes of an election are totally different from people sitting in front of barbeques and railing against “them.” In an election fever period it’s a clear choice and both sides have plenty of money to tell their story. There’s also the power of incumbency. All of the actual historical evidence suggests incumbents stand a better chance of victory than challengers but all of a sudden the story seems to have become if you’re an incumbent your dead. Basically I don’t buy it, the powers of incumbency will work as they always have. The Dems are probably going to take some hits but it’s not going to be a massacre and if it isn’t then a round of subsequent Republican infighting doesn’t seem improbable.

  3. John S says:

    In a way, Joe’s prediction is best case for Republicans. They gain enough seats to stop the Obama agenda, but Democrats remain nominally in control, and remain completely to blame as GDP goes back into recession in 2011 and the number of jobless reaches 45 million.

  4. wr says:

    John S — Thanks for your gleeful description of the real Republican agenda. Make as many people suffer as much as possible so they can grab power. What a terrific bunch of people!

  5. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    WT, did you read what you wrote or did you just rant whatever came to mind? Do you really think John S. knows the real Republican agenda? You cannot be stupid enough to believe what you wrote. The Republicans want to get the boot of government off the necks of our citizens. If you are, WT, send me your credit card, debit card with pin number and your check book. I will demonstrate to you what the Democrats are doing to us. I will not purchase anything for myself except a few items. I will help those in need. All you have to do is pay the bills. That is exactly what is being done to us. Unemployment is high because we have not recovered from the housing bubble burst. There was a houseing bubble because Democrats made bankis loan money to people who could not replay their loans. The economy was in pretty good shape when Democrats took the congress in 2006. It took them two years to both badmouth Bush about the wars, which they authorized, and bring down the economy. Sure we lost a lot of jobs at the bottom of the recession. That always happens but a recovery has been slowed by the policies of this administration. Once again, WT, if you believe in redistribution of wealth, I: am not currently employed so send cash. Yours.

  6. floyd says:

    Are you under the impression that confiscation of earnings causes no suffering,
    or that self support should be discouraged and punished further?
    Would you be willing to field a hypothetical % of income beyond which all combined government aught to be strictly prohibited from confiscation?

  7. Dave Schuler says:

    If by “surprise” VP Biden means that incumbents will still be overwhelmingly returned to office, that’s no surprise. It’s the status quo, the norm. I agree with Doug’s logic. The Republicans will make gains but they’re unlikely to take control of either house of Congress. I actually think that the Senate is somewhat more in play than the House. There are seats that with adequate candidates should have been easy for Democrats, e.g. Illinois. IMO even with Kirk’s errors he still may win that seat.

  8. wr says:

    ZR — I am currently sending you my cash. You are taking government benefits, which should apparently only be given to you.

  9. wr says:

    Floyd — I think that a top marginal rate of 90% on incomes over ten million a year is excessive. 85% is just fine.

    Because only children believe that “taxation equals theft.” Adults understand that as a civilization we have banded together to build a society that none of us could build individually, and that it costs money to build and maintain. Anyone who didn’t stop maturing at adolescence understands that “no, it’s mine” is a foolish way to live that beggars everyone.

    And obviously I don’t believe that “self-support” should be punished. But I also don’t believe that you are completely self-sufficient, you simply don’t want to pay for goods and services you use freely.

  10. Brummagem Joe says:

    Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:
    Monday, July 19, 2010 at 11:35
    “I: am not currently employed ”

    I wonder why?