Analyst Schoen: Dems Should Fret About O'Donnell Win, Tea Party

Wednesday, 15 Sep 2010 04:31 PM

By Jim Meyers

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Political analyst and Democratic pollster Doug Schoen tells Newsmax that Democrats have “reason to be nervous” about tea party favorite Christine O’Donnell’s victory over Rep. Mike Castle in Tuesday’s Republican primary for the Senate seat from Delaware.

Schoen 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.”

Editor’s Note: Get Doug Schoen and Scott Rasmussen’s new book — Go Here Now.

The national mood is “toxic” for Democrats, Schoen says, adding that Barack Obama will be a one-term president if he doesn’t move the party closer to the center.

Story continues below the video.



In an exclusive interview with Newsmax.TV, Schoen was asked whether Democrats are happy about O’Donnell’s win and victories by other tea party favorites.

“Tactically I think Democrats are happy,” he responds.

“It means Delaware is a much easier seat for the Democrats to win now that Mike Castle’s been knocked off.

“But in the larger scheme of things, given the tea party victories in six states, I think the Democrats have a substantial reason to be nervous, given the energy and enthusiasm the tea parties have engendered. People are, as we say in our book, mad as hell.”

He acknowledges that it is “unlikely” that O’Donnell will capture Vice President Joe Biden’s former Senate seat in Delaware in November, “but on the other hand we live in very strange times, where very unpredictable things happen,” he adds.

“After all, who would have thought a year and a half ago the tea parties would have had the impact they’ve had so far.”

As for which party will control the Senate after the November elections, Schoen tells Newsmax: “I think it’s touch and go. I think right now, the Real Clear Politics average has about an eight-seat gain for the Republicans, and if there’s a tide, it could go bigger.

“On the other hand, Delaware is probably more likely to go Democratic, so if I had to bet, I’d say it will be long evening on November 2.”

Schoen observes that a schism has developed between establishment Republicans and the GOP candidates who have tea party support.

“The establishment Republicans have been taking it on the chin in election after election, and given what happened in Kentucky, Nevada, Alaska, Florida, Colorado, we’ve seen state after state where the establishments had their ears pinned back.

“So I think there is a schism that probably helps the Democrats. But it also speaks to the energy and enthusiasm of a genuine grass-roots movement, which is what the tea parties are.”

Discussing the congressional races in general, Schoen predicts the country could see a repeat of the “Republican Revolution” that swept the GOP to power in 1994.

“I do see the Republicans making substantial gains like 1994,” he says. “The question is, can President Obama react to what is almost certain to be a substantial defeat [and move to] the center as Bill Clinton did? If he can do that I think he has a real chance to win. If he doesn’t he could end up being a one-term president like Jimmy Carter.”

Turning to individual races, Schoen says that, although Carl Paladino won the Republican nomination for governor in New York, Democrat Andrew Cuomo is the “odds-on favorite” to win in November.

But New York Republican Senate nominee Joe DioGuardi’s race against incumbent Kirsten Gillibrand “could be close,” he says.

“I’m not ready to put that in the tossup category yet. But if DioGuardi invests some resources and the national mood stays as toxic as it is for the Democrats, it could be much closer than people expect.”

Editor’s Note: Get Doug Schoen and Scott Rasmussen’s new book — Go Here Now.

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