October 14th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Pelosi hurt the Democrats in midterms?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi may wind up doing in her own party in the midterm elections.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/10/14/art.pelosi.jpg caption="Speaker of the House Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)."]
Jonathan Allen writes for Politico on how Pelosi, even more so than President Obama, could be the heaviest drag on the Democrats' hopes of holding onto the House in November.

All around the country, Republicans are using Pelosi's image on billboards, in mailers and in video clips to encourage voters not to support the Democratic candidate.

In Florida, billboards show one Democrat as a marionette with Pelosi as the puppeteer; and the National Republican Congressional committee is airing anti-Pelosi ads in dozens of districts that show how often a Democratic lawmaker has voted with Pelosi.

Midterm elections are usually seen as a referendum on the president, but Allen writes that if the Democrats lose the House, it's as likely to be a rejection of Pelosi, one of the most unpopular figures in U.S. politics today.

One expert says the strategy of demonizing Pelosi didn't work for the Republicans in the past two elections, but this time around it just might. He says the "vitriol" against Pelosi is similar to what Democrats showed against Newt Gingrich.

And Democrats are feeling the pressure. Several of them have already said they will not vote for Pelosi as speaker in the next Congress, that is if their party manages to keep control.

Other Democrats insist the GOP is pouncing on Pelosi because she has been so successful passing legislation such as health care and Wall Street reform.

Here’s my question to you: How much might House Speaker Nancy Pelosi hurt the Democrats in the midterm elections?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Democratic Race • Democrats • Nancy Pelosi
October 12th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

OK when Democrats run against Pres. Obama?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

With the midterm elections only three weeks away, some Democrats are running scared - from their own president.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/10/12/art.chris.jpg caption="Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-MD)"]
Take Rep. Bill Owens, who won a special House seat in a conservative upstate New York district last year. He's out with an ad declaring that he voted with "the Republican leader 63 percent of the time." A Democrat bragging about how he's voted with the Republicans.

And he's not the only one. Other vulnerable Democrats have been promoting their votes against some of President Obama's signature pieces of legislation, such as health care and the stimulus bill.

One Democrat's campaign ad goes so far as to show the candidate shooting a bullet through the cap-and-trade legislation. Another uses an ad to tout his support of former President George W. Bush's Medicare plan.

But the Democrats claim this is all good. The lawmaker in charge of keeping control of the House - which is a tall order this election season - says this is actually a sign of his party's strength. Come again?

Rep. Chris van Hollen, D-Maryland, insists the Democrats are proud to have "an ideologically diverse caucus." He says members who voice their opposition to the president are showing their independence on certain issues.

Van Hollen says Democrats have a big tent, and they're problem-solvers. Maybe. But the White House has to be at least a little nervous that Democrats are distancing themselves from the president and some of his key initiatives.

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Democrats • President Barack Obama
October 7th, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Why are many whites turning against Pres. Obama & Democrats?


President Obama shakes hands after addressing a rally last week at the University of Wisconsin in Madison. (PHOTO CREDIT: GETTY IMAGES)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

President Obama continues to have problems when it comes to race.

White independent voters helped make Barack Obama the first African-American president in history, but now a lot of them apparently don't like him so much anymore.

A CNN poll taken shortly after President Obama was inaugurated in April 2009 showed a 61 percent approval rating among whites. That same poll now shows the president with a 34 percent rating among whites. Meanwhile, more than 90 percent of blacks approve of the job the president is doing.

And there are more signs of trouble when it comes to support from white voters - not just for the president but for the Democrats in general.

Another new poll shows working-class whites are flocking to the Republican Party, which will make it even tougher for the Democrats to keep control of Congress.

The Associated Press-GFK poll shows whites without college degrees prefer Republican candidates by 22 percentage points. That's double the margin of the past two elections.

Compare that with white people with college degrees, who are split evenly between the two parties; and minorities, who heavily back the Democrats.

Working-class whites are a key voting bloc - they make up about four in 10 voters nationally, and the Democrats can't afford to lose more of them. A lot of these voters were never too fond of Barack Obama to begin with. Remember Obama's comments about bitter small-town voters who cling to their guns and religion?

The silver lining for Democrats here is almost 30 percent of working-class whites in this poll say they may still switch candidates. If they don't, the Democrats could see a tsunami.

Here’s my question to you: Why have so many whites turned against President Obama and the Democrats?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Democrats • President Barack Obama • Race
September 28th, 2010
04:52 PM ET

Why would white women desert Democrats?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

More bad news for Democrats. As if they don't have enough problems these days, The Daily Beast reports white women are now deserting the Democratic Party in droves.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/28/art.women.jpg caption=""]
Exclusive polling data from Gallup shows enthusiasm among all women is down, but white women are the least enthusiastic of all the major demographic groups.

Only 27 percent of white female registered voters say they're excited about the midterms. That compares to 36 percent of black men and women and 40 percent of white men.

Another Gallup Poll from earlier this summer showed that Republican women are the most enthusiastic of registered female voters. It's Independent women and Democratic women who aren't too psyched about the upcoming elections.

The Daily Beast article suggests that the so-called PUMAs may finally be leaving the Democratic party for good. These are the white women voters whose motto was "Party Unity My Ass" during the primaries.

At the time, they were so unhappy with Hillary Clinton's loss to Barack Obama that they were supposedly going to vote for John McCain in 2008. Turns out they didn't, but only time will tell what these women will do next.

The Daily Beast article suggests Democrats still have a last-ditch chance to attract white female voters by focusing on issues that matter more to women - like health care for children.

And, pollsters point out that although Democrats may be losing white women, they aren't necessarily headed into the Republican column. They may just stay home on election day.

Here’s my question to you: Why would white women be deserting the Democratic Party?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Democratic Race • Democrats
September 2nd, 2010
04:40 PM ET

Why have voters fallen out of love with the Democrats?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When it comes to the midterm elections, the question now seems to be: "Just how bloody will things get for the Democrats?"
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/02/art.dnc.jpg caption="A file photo from the 2008 Democratic National Convention."]
Each day brings more bad news. And here's the latest: a new USA Today/Gallup Poll shows Americans think Republicans in Congress will do a better job than Democrats in handling seven out of nine key issues.

They include: terrorism, immigration, federal spending, the economy, Afghanistan, jobs and corruption in government. The two parties are essentially tied on health care; and the only issue where Democrats score higher is the environment. Not exactly what's going to bring people to the polls this November.

Republicans need to win 39 seats in order to win control of the House - and some experts are predicting they could win as many as 51. Some even think Democratic control of the Senate is at risk - but that's more of a long shot.

And it's not just about Congress. Democrats are at risk of losing the governorships of some states that usually lean left, like Michigan and Pennsylvania, and maybe even President Obama's home state of Illinois.

So with Democrats poised to get a beating in 60 days, and with everybody saying: "It's the economy, Stupid" - the president has chosen this time to give another go at peace in the Middle East.

A noble cause, for sure. But for decades, American presidents have tried and failed. A column in the Daily Beast called "The Peace Talks Charade" suggests the situation is in the same place it was three years ago under President Bush. And neither the Israelis nor Palestinians have the confidence in Mr. Obama's ability to broker a deal.

Here’s my question to you: Why have voters fallen out of love with the Democrats?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Filed under: Democratic Race • Democrats • Election Process • Elections
August 31st, 2010
05:00 PM ET

How concerned should Dems be about losing the House?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

When it comes to November's midterm elections, the writing on the wall is not looking good for Democrats.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/02/art.donkey.jpg caption=""]
A new Gallup poll shows Republicans with an unprecedented 10-point lead over Democrats - 51 percent to 41 percent - on the generic ballot question. That's the Republicans' largest lead in the 68 years Gallup has taken the generic ballot poll.

Then there's this: Republicans are twice as likely as Democrats - 50 percent to 25 percent - to say they're "very" enthusiastic about voting.

Gallup suggests all this could mean a major "wave" election - where Republicans win enough seats to take back control of the House. To do that, they would need to win 39 seats.

Some think it could be even worse for the Democrats. A political science professor at the State University of New York - who has a good record of predicting presidential elections - says the Democrats could lose about 51 seats in November.

Even a growing number of Democrats now say in private they think the House is already lost. As one Democratic strategist tells Politico - the Democrats are out there talking about Iraq and President Bush, while Americans are worried about the economy and their jobs.

Some Democrats are also frustrated that the White House has been focusing on the wars and issues like the mosque and Islamic center near Ground Zero... instead of the economy.

But other Democrats - including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi - insist they'll hold onto their majority. Gallup points out that Democrats did lead in the generic ballot earlier this summer; and there's always the chance that could change again before Election Day.

Here’s my question to you: How concerned should the Democrats be about losing the House in November?

Tune in to the Situation Room at 5pm to see if Jack reads your answer on air.

And, we love to know where you’re writing from, so please include your city and state with your comment.

Filed under: 2010 Election • Democrats • Elections
August 19th, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Things get worse if Dems lose control of Congress?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Things are pretty bleak for millions of Americans these days... but President Obama says they'll be worse if Republicans take over the reins.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/02/art.donkey.jpg caption=""]
That's the message coming from the commander-in-chief as he hits the campaign trail for Democrats - in a midterm season that could be a real bruiser for his party.

The president says that the GOP wants to "go back to doing the same things... if we give them the keys back, they will drive this economy back into the ditch."

But experts aren't so sure this message will resonate with voters. Blaming President Bush and the Republicans for what happened in 2008 may not work when many Americans are still hurting badly today - worried about finding a job and putting food on the table.

Meanwhile, polls indicate the Democrats may have reason to worry about November.

A CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows Republican candidates have a three point advantage over Democrats in the :generic" ballot question... that puts them in almost the same exact position as in August 1994 - months before the GOP took control of the House for the first time in 40 years.

What's more, President Obama's disapproval rating of 51 percent matches his all-time high.

This poll also shows Republican voters are feeling an intense amount of anger over the direction this country is headed in... much like they did in 1994.

When you add all of this to the fact that Republicans have held a significant edge for months when it comes to voter enthusiasm... it doesn't seem to bode well for the Democrats and President Obama.

Here’s my question to you: Will things get worse if the Democrats lose control of Congress in November?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Congress • Democrats
August 10th, 2010
05:30 PM ET

Why don't some Democrats want to be seen with Pres. Obama?


 President Obama attended a fundraiser Monday in Austin, Texas. (PHOTO CREDIT: Getty Images/File)

FROM CNN's Jeff Cafferty:

The mid-term elections are shaping up to be an uphill battle for the Democrats.

And here's just one reason why: Presidents who keep their approval rating above 50 percent traditionally see their party lose fewer seats in Congress than presidents with lower approval ratings.

According to Gallup, the average midterm election seat loss for presidents below 50 percent approval is 36 seats in the House of Representatives. That's compared to an average loss of 14 seats for presidents getting higher marks.

The Republicans need to gain 40 seats this year to retake control of the House, which is pretty close to that average of 36 seats.

And none of this is good news for President Obama and the Democrats. Not only is Mr. Obama below the 50 percent mark – but he's approaching 40 percent in some of the polls.

Some Democrats up for election have already figured this out. When President Obama comes into town, they leave.

Just yesterday in Texas, the Democratic candidate for governor, Bill White, was nowhere in sight when Pres. Obama came to Austin and Dallas for fund-raising events.

The week before it was Georgia, where another Democratic candidate for governor, Roy Barnes, decided not to appear with the president.

The White House insists they're not taking it personally, saying it doesn't say anything broadly about the president's coattails... they say there's never been a president who's been wanted by every single candidate around the country to campaign for them. Which is sort of what you'd expect them to say.

Here’s my question to you: Why don't some Democratic candidates want to be seen with President Obama?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Democrats • President Obama
August 2nd, 2010
06:00 PM ET

Will ethics issues haunt the Democrats come Nov.?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Remember when Nancy Pelosi promised to "drain the swamp" after the Democrats took control of the House a few years back? Well turns out some of her high-profile Democratic colleagues may be swimming in that very swamp.
[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/08/02/art.donkey.jpg caption=""]
Two senior Democrats in the House of Representatives now face possible ethics trials - which is just about the last thing Democrats need headed into what's already shaping up to be a brutal midterm election.

Long-time New York Congressman Charlie Rangel has been formally charged with 13 counts of violating House ethics rules... including not paying taxes on rental income from the Dominican Republic.

Several House Democrats have already called on Rangel, a 20-term veteran, to resign.... and President Obama says he hopes Rangel can "end his career with dignity."

Then there's California Congresswoman Maxine Waters. Today, the ethics panel charged her with breaking House rules by using her position to get federal bailout money for a bank with ties to her husband.

While Rangel admits to making mistakes... Waters insists she's done nothing wrong.

For their part, top Democrats insist these potential trials show that the ethics process is working. We'll see about that.

Really? They're both still there.

Meanwhile, this could create a situation similar to elections past where ethics scandals dominated the news... and control of the House passed from one party to the other.

In 2006, the Republicans ran into a series of scandals... including then-Senate Majority Leader Tom DeLay and Congressman Duke Cunningham.

They lost the House to the Democrats.

In 1994 - it was the Democrats that lost the House... amid allegations that top Democrats misused funds from the House Post Office.

Here’s my question to you: Will ethics issues haunt the Democrats come November?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Democrats • Elections • Ethics
June 22nd, 2010
05:00 PM ET

Will lack of immigration reform hurt Democrats in midterms?


FILE PHOTO: A candlelight vigil calling for federal immigration reform in response to the Arizona law giving police new stop and search powers. (PHOTO CREDIT: MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

The debate over immigration reform has turned into a childish game of "he said - he said."

Republican Senator Jon Kyl says Pres. Obama told him in a one-on-one meeting, "if we secure the border, then you all won't have any reason to support comprehensive immigration reform."

Kyl suggests border security is being held hostage by the Democrats for political reasons.

The White House denies it, saying: "The president didn't say that and Senator Kyl knows it."

But Senator Kyl is not backing down from his version of events.

Actually, it almost doesn't matter who you believe in this. The truth is that immigration reform is looking less and less likely to happen yet again - what a surprise. But this time inaction could cost Democrats dearly.

Take Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is facing an uphill battle for re-election in Nevada. Reid is now pandering to Latinos there with Spanish TV ads.

He needs their vote - and is still hoping they'll support him even though he promised immigration reform and now likely won't deliver.

Democratic Senator Robert Menendez of New Jersey tells Politico: "I don't necessarily think we're going to have a comprehensive bill this summer."

One key Republican, Sen. Lindsey Graham, already backed away from bipartisan efforts for immigration reform.

Meanwhile as Arizona moves forward with its own immigration law, the Obama justice department is thinking of suing the state.

It's absolutely absurd. The federal government refuses to do anything about the illegal immigration crisis in this country. After all if they sealed the border, if they enforced their own laws against illegal immigration, Arizona wouldn't need such a law in the first place. Our government is badly broken.

Here’s my question to you: How badly will a lack of immigration reform hurt the Democrats in the midterm elections?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?


Filed under: Democrats • Elections • Immigration
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