Democratic Pollster Schoen: GOP Will Take House, Senate Long Shot

Thursday, 21 Oct 2010 07:49 PM

By Jim Meyers

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Political analyst and Democratic pollster Doug Schoen tells Newsmax that Republicans will win as many as 60 seats to take control of the House in November, and says that while a GOP takeover of the Senate is a long shot, it’s possible.

In individual races, Schoen predicts Senate victories for Republicans Sharron Angle, Marco Rubio, Pat Toomey, Rand Paul, and John Raese, but believes Democrats Barbara Boxer and Patty Murray will hold on to their seats in close elections.

Schoen, a Fox News contributor, is co-author along with pollster Scott Rasmussen of the new book “Mad As Hell: How the Tea Party Movement Is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System.”

Story continues below.


In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Schoen discusses the prospects for Republican Senate candidates in November’s midterm elections.
“Right now the Real Clear Politics average shows the GOP picking up a net of eight seats,” he says.

“There are a number of very close races. But assuming that Republicans do pick up seven or eight seats, there are two seats in the West — in the state of California and the state of Washington — that would have to go Republican for the Republicans to win the Senate.

“And they would also have to hold the lead they have been maintaining in Pennsylvania, which has been moving back to Democrat Joe Sestak from Republican candidate Pat Toomey.

“So if all the seats break right for the Republicans, and they win a breakthrough in West Virginia with John Raese, then and only then will they win the Senate.

“But that’s really drawing to an inside straight, and at this point, if I had to bet, I’d bet that they don’t win the Senate.”

For the House, Schoen’s co-author Scott Rasmussen predicts Republicans will gain 55 seats, and Schoen says “my sense is that Scott Rasmussen is pretty close to the mark.

“I see from my vantage point that there are 90 to 100 seats in play, and my guess is that the Republicans will pick up north of 50, somewhere around 55, perhaps close to 60 if everything goes right for them.”

Referring to a recent poll that shows Republicans making major gains in Congress but voters nevertheless narrowly favoring a Democratic-controlled Congress, Schoen observes: “I think the Republicans have yet to close the argument.

“There’s widespread dissatisfaction with President Obama and the Democratic Congress, but there really isn’t a strong reservoir of support for the Republican Party as a governing party.

“The Republicans now are really the repository of anti-Democratic and anti-Obama sentiment, but the Republicans still have a long way to go to convince people that they should be in charge.”

Asked if President Barack Obama has failed to connect with white working class voters, as some have said, Schoen responds: “My sense is that one of the most evident areas of weakness for the Democrats is indeed white working class voters. I think it’s less a question of the president not connecting than supporting policies that white working class voters and indeed lots of voters of all races, colors, and incomes reject.

“The big government approach, the increased debt, the increased deficit, and the healthcare bill I think have [alienated] white working class voters, many of whom have either lost a job or have somebody in their immediate circle who’s lost a job. Those voters are increasingly dissatisfied with policies that they find objectionable.”

Asked if there is any good news for the Democrats, Schoen says that if they lose the House “probably overwhelmingly” but hold on to the Senate, “given how much the country has turned against the Democratic Congress and President Barack Obama, that will be good news for the Democratic Party.”
Commenting on individual races, Schoen tells Newsmax:
  • In Nevada, Republican Sharron Angle did very well in her debate with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and should win a close race.
  • In Washington State, Democratic incumbent Patty Murray will “narrowly hold on” to defeat Republican challenger Dino Rossi.
  • The races will be very close in California, but Democratic Senate incumbent Barbara Boxer will defeat Carly Fiorina “just by a hair,” and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jerry Brown will probably defeat Republican Meg Whitman.
  • In Delaware, tea party favorite Christine O’Donnell is “finished,” and with a double-digit lead, Democrat Chris Coons is poised to win.
  • Polls show that in Florida, Republican Senate candidate Marco Rubio will be an “early winner on election night” against Democrat Kendrick Meeks and independent Charlie Crist. The gubernatorial race is “too close to call,” but if Schoen had to bet, he would bet that Republican Rick Scott will “pull it out.” However, a win by Democrat Alex Sink would not surprise him.
  • In Pennsylvania, Pat Toomey will win by a slight margin in a “nail-biter” over Joe Sestak.
  • In Kentucky, Republican Rand Paul will “probably pull out a slight victory and will win by two, three, perhaps four points” over Jack Conway.
  • Schoen said in West Virginia, he is “going to go out on a limb” and say Republican John Raese will defeat Joe Manchin, “given the president’s low approval rating in the state.”
Schoen also says he doubts President Obama will move closer to the center if the Democrats lose big in November, and declares that NPR’s firing of Juan Williams for making “an entirely in my judgment understandable comment that reflected widespread fear is to me just plain wrong” and a “profound injustice.”



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