DNC Chair: Tea Party Voters Have ‘Buyers Remorse,’ Want Reps To Just Get Along
(CNSNews.com) -- Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.), chairwoman of the Democratic National Committee, says that voters who elected Republican Tea Party candidates to the House of Representatives in 2010 are experiencing “buyers’ remorse,” and now just want their representatives in Congress to work with Democrats to improve the economy and implement Obamacare.
In an interview on C-SPAN’s “Newsmakers” Thursday, Wasserman Schultz said that Republicans now “seem mired in extremism” and “internal civil war.”
She predicted that disillusioned voters will return control of the House to Democrats in the 2014 mid-term elections because the GOP has shown that it’s even “more exclusive, more inwardly focused and more extreme” by reportedly considering conservative talk show hosts Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Mark Levin as moderators for the party’s 2016 presidential debates.
But Washington Post political reporter Karen Tumulty asked Wasserman Schultz how Democrats can increase their numbers in Congress when the 2014 election “map next year is not your friend, both on the House level, thanks to redistricting, a lot of these Republican districts have become fortresses. On the Senate level, there’ve been a lot of retirements, on your side a lot more of your seats are up than the Republican seats.
“As you look at that going forward, I mean, how do you look at your odds and what are you going to have to do to overcome that?” Tumulty asked.
Wasserman Schultz responded: “Well, actually, you know, I know that there are folks that are saying the map’s not our friend. It’s the same people who were saying that in the beginning of 2011, who confidently predicted that Democrats would lose the Senate. Instead, we picked up two seats.
"In fact, on top of that we won the White House again and added a seat in the U.S House of Representatives. And so we look at the opportunities we have in 2014 and you, know, look, normally it’s a tough cycle for a second-term president in that mid-term.
“But because the Republicans have really doubled down and embraced extremism, because they voted 40 times to repeal Obamacare, because they seem hell-bent on doing everything they can to ensure President Obama can’t be successful, even if it means harming the economy, we think that because we’ve had strong recruitment…."
Democratic candidates are "going to be able to take advantage of the fact that we have a lot of voters in these districts that have elected Tea Pary incumbents who are really going to have, and already have, buyers’ remorse. They don’t want an extremist representing them in Congress. What voters simply want for us is to work together” …including “smoothly implement Obamacare.”
But not everybody shares Wasserman Schultz’ belief that voters who turned to the Tea Party in 2010 will elect Democrats in 2014.
According to the Cook Political Report, Republicans have 206 “solid seats” in the House going into next year’s midterms, compared to 163 for Democrats. Twenty-seven seats “lean” Republican and 30 “lean” Democrat, leaving just nine House members in races that political analyst Charlie Cook calls a “toss-up or worse.” Democrats occupy eight of those nine endangered seats.
Cook also says that to keep their current majority in the Senate, “Democrats need to win only two of the six most competitive races” in Alaska, North Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, Kentucky and Georgia, while Republicans “must win five of the six to claim 51 seats.”
But he added that “while Republicans have a narrow path to the [Senate] majority, the seats they must win are in friendly states, and turnout will work in their favor because this is a midterm election.”
In the previous century, only President Bill Clinton gained any congressional seats in his second mid-term election – the first time since 1822 that the party that did not control the White House failed to gain seats in a second mid-term election.
But in 1998, the federal government was running a $70 billion surplus, unemployment was at its lowest level since the 1960s, and GDP was growing at a brisk 3.5 percent annually.
Even so, the five House seats Democrats picked up during Clinton’s second term were not enough to win back the majority in that chamber, and Republicans maintained their control of the Senate.