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Charlie Cook: Democrats 'Out of Control'

By Dave Eberhart   |   Friday, 21 Aug 2009 11:00 AM

Checking the 2010 election landscape, Charlie Cook, editor and publisher of The Cook Political Report, writes in his most recent column that he can envision a scenario in which Democratic House losses could exceed 20 seats.

"These data confirm anecdotal evidence, and our own view, that the situation this summer has slipped completely out of control for President Obama and Congressional Democrats," Cook wrote.

"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," he continued.

"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," Cook, the political analyst for the National Journal Group added ominously.

In reaching his conclusion, Cook noted that President Barack Obama’s job approval rating in both their Aug. 16-18 and Aug. 17-19 averages was just 51 percent — the lowest level of his presidency. The latter sampling showed his disapproval up to 42 percent, matching his all-time low hit in the Aug. 15-17 tracking poll.

As to Congress, Cook pointed to a new Gallup poll showing that body’s job disapproval at 70 percent among independents — concluding that the post-recess reality world could feel considerably different than when Congress left in August.

"We believe it would be a mistake to underestimate the impact that this mood will have on Members of Congress of both parties when they return to Washington in September, if it persists through the end of the Congressional recess," Cook opined.

“All of this is happening against a backdrop of an economy that appears to be rebounding and a resurgent stock market underscores how much the President’s and his party’s legislative agenda have contributed to these poor poll numbers,” Cook concluded.

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