Friday nightcap with Charlie Cook

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Thought I’d ease into the weekend with with a nightcap while reviewing the Cook Political Report. Charlie issued an update yesterday with a special assessment for 2010:

“…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.

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. A new Gallup poll that shows Congress’ job disapproval at 70 percent among independents should provide little solace to Democrats. In the same poll, Congressional approval among independents is at 22 percent, with 31 percent approving overall, and 62 percent disapproving.”

This is consistent with my expectations for 2010. There is no realistic likelihood of the GOP regaining a majority in either the House or Senate, but they are certain to cut into the Democratic majorities. This is also consistent with history, as the party out of power will usually pick up seats in the midterm election of a first term President (GWB being a notable exception).

If I was a betting man, I’d put the over/under at a net 12 seat gain for the GOP in the House of Representatives. Looks like Charlie Cook is setting the early line at 20 seats. This is surprising, as it is comparable to the Democratic Party gains in 2008 when they had everything going in their favor.

Charlie also notes that this sentiment in the electorate may effect our congresscritters behavior when they return from recess.

We’ll see how it develops… Cheers.