Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
April 16, 2014

Shutdown Fever: Is the House in Play Now?

On Sunday, a Huffington Post headline screamed what most Democrats were hoping: “GOP In Grave Danger Of Losing House In 2014, PPP Polls Show.” Of course, anything coming from Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling and MoveOn.org Political Action, which paid for the surveys, must be taken with at least a grain of salt.

PPP isn’t your typical polling firm. Its surveys often are intended to boost Democratic recruiting, fundraising or prospects. In this case, the “polls” were almost certainly commissioned to create a narrative about the political repercussions of the shutdown and the nature of the midterms.

It’s no coincidence, then, that the PPP memo accompanying the results, written by Jim Williams, observes, “The surveys challenge the conventional wisdom that gerrymandering has put the House out of reach for Democrats.”

Not surprisingly, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sent out multiple fundraising emails in the hours after reports of the PPP polls surfaced, and dozens of Democratic candidates and liberal groups did the same.

That’s the standard modus operandi these days on both the right and the left: have a sympathetic media organization or polling firm assert some alleged finding, and then have fellow travelers cite the initial report to try to raise cash or create momentum. It is becoming (yawn — excuse me) a little trite.

Anyway, the Huffington Post reported that of the 24 House districts polled, “Republican incumbents are behind in 17 of the districts analyzed.” Of course, the “polls” did not include head-to-head ballot tests of likely nominees (even though the surveys could have included candidate names in many contests), but instead relied on a messy question that was part “re-elect” and part “generic ballot.” The results are of little or no use because that is not the choice voters will face on Election Day.

Moreover, at least five of the 17 Republicans who are “losing” either have no serious opposition or have less-than-top-tier opponents at this point: Steve King (Iowa’s 4th District), Andy Barr (Kentucky’s 6th), Kerry Bentivolio (Michigan’s 11th), Patrick Meehan (Pennsylvania’s 7th) and Sean P. Duffy (Wisconsin’s 7th). Bentivolio may not survive a GOP primary.

Each PPP survey asked seven substantive questions and four demographic ones. Some of the questions were loaded, and as I have noted previously in dissecting PPP polls, the “more likely/less likely” question is a horrible one to use in surveys because it tends to measure the underlying attitude rather than gather useful information about an issue’s eventual importance as a vote cue.

PPP conducted a “second ballot” after additional survey questions gave more information to respondents and allegedly found four more Republicans “losing.” But as David Nir of Daily Kos Elections wisely noted in writing up the results:

Informed ballots such as these, though, must always be viewed with caution. They represent an ideal environment where one side is able to widely disseminate its preferred message, without pushback or interference from the other side. In other words, a scenario nothing like what you encounter in the real world.

But picking apart these automated PPP polls — and there are many questions about the samples, the questions and the interpretations — misses the key point: Surveys conducted in the first few days of the shutdown have a very short shelf life, since it’s dangerous to draw sweeping conclusions about voter behavior a year from now while in the middle of a media frenzy.

Is the House in play now? Of course not. My newsletter’s most recent race-by-race assessment, completed just days before the shutdown began, found that the most likely overall outcome next year is a small gain for one of the parties. At this point in the cycle, there is no compelling evidence that a Democratic wave is developing, which is what the party would need to net the necessary 17 House seats to win the majority.

That’s not to say it can’t happen, of course. If the shutdown (and, possibly, inaction on raising the debt ceiling) creates a severe economic downturn for which Republicans get most of the blame, anything could happen. But there are a lot of assumptions in that scenario.

If the 1995-96 shutdown is any guide, the political fallout from the current legislative stalemate is likely to be limited. According to the Brookings Institution’s “Vital Statistics on Congress“ (p. 54, see note e), Democrats gained nine House seats in 1996, only about half of what they need next year to win control. Moreover, the nation’s current polarization and the last wave of redistricting make it less likely that the current shutdown will result in a dramatic change in the cycle’s trajectory.

The House is not in play now, and we will need to wait until after the current legislative fights are resolved to see whether the outlook for the 2014 House elections has changed dramatically one way or the other.

The only thing we know right now is that the PPP/MoveOn.org polls are of little value in understanding the electoral landscape a year from now.

  • Mojojojo

    “Its surveys are intended to boost Democratic recruiting”—really, Rothenberg? “PPP is liberal, so its polls are wrong” is spin I expect from Ted Cruz, but you??

    PPP is absurdly accurate: http://www.politico.com/blogs/media/2012/11/the-most-accurate-polls-of-148876.html , http://articles.latimes.com/2012/nov/08/news/la-pn-which-pollsters-did-best-election-20121108

    Especially when I STILL catch you citing the conservative Rasmussen as if they didn’t rank next to last this year? Shame.

    • Robert C Gladstone

      The idea that Rothenberg is biased is absurdly stupid and you have nothing to point to accept your own wishful, biased thinking.

      http://www.youtube.com/rcgladstone

      http://www.vimeo.com/xxalivexx

      • mabramso

        Rothenberg’s analysis is also consistent with the other independent prognosticators, Charlie Cook and Larry Sabato. And I suspect that even the left-biased Nate Silver would agree.

        • guvhog

          Nate in fact DID agree with Rothenberg.

        • Mojojojo

          Show me one article where any of the three gives blanket judgment that all “PPP/MoveOn.org polls are of little value”, if you’re so sure. Should be easy, one alone will do.

        • Mojojojo

          That’s what I thought.

      • Mojojojo

        The idea that you address my points here with no facts, only insults, automatically loses the argument for you. Tough break.

    • johnr22

      Did you even read the article? Did you even read his explanation of WHY this PPP poll was flawed? The key statement in the article is that both the Left and the Right use this tactic of generating a BS poll in order to spur fund raising. That is 100% correct, and is why this particular PPP poll should be taken with a grain of salt.

      • Mojojojo

        Yes I did. He complains that PPP used leading questions, which he knows full well is an incredibly established, acceptable practice to test future messaging. He’s complaining 5 of those polled don’t have opponents yet, which is irrelevant on its face this early in the cycle. He complains about the poll’s purpose (“to spur fund raising”), which is logically irrelevant to its accuracy (it can be accurate and a fundraiser, like their polls invariably are).

        But most of all, he didn’t just say “this PPP poll is flawed”—he says PPP is ALWAYS flawed due to being run by liberals, while providing 0 evidence, and never saying the same when he cites Rasmussen (R). This is a talking point the Ted Cruzes memorize every election like clockwork, and then suddenly shut up about it when PPP turns out to nail it every election. Like clockwork.

        A real prognosticator would at least back that slander up with evidence. Not Rothenberg—because he is biased.

    • guvhog

      Seriously??? PPP has NEVER been accurate.

  • Atrios
  • Jack Smach

    It’s interesting that PPP was one of the most accurate pollsters during the 2012 campaign and, for the most part, Stuart Rothenberg fell short with his analysis, failed to make an accurate call , or waited until the last moment so he was sure Romney would lose. Who woulda thunk?

    • andrewp111

      PPP is extremely accurate close to an election. This far out, not so much.

    • mabramso

      This is simply BS. Rothenberg occasionally misses a House race when it is missed by everyone else, but he pretty much nails every state race (EC or Senate) because he rates any close state as a toss-up! And there are certainly not enough toss-ups right now to flip the House — not even close.
      And because PPP works for the party, Rothernberg’s analysis is spot on — until the last poll before an election, when PPP needs the credibility.

  • camdenme2

    Boehner better NOT cave !!!!

    • Gentil Aquitaine

      He is likely to. Wall Street and the Chamber of Commerce are now leaning on him. Moreover, even he has to see the lunacy in defaulting on the debt. The economic crash that would result from it would throw us into a depression.

      • camdenme2

        That’s not true,but the Presbo and the Demorats want you to believe that ! Boehner better not cave !!!!

        • Gentil Aquitaine

          The reality of our situation is that if we default (fail to pay the bills we already owe) it will cause a further decline in our credit rating, which WILL hit us hard within a years’ time. The stock market will crash, a few banks will go under and unemployment will spike again.

          From our dear Tealiban, we hear a lot of talk about not passing on debt to our children and grandchildren… Crashing the world economy now–and destroying the United States’ credit rating for decades to come–would be one way of ensuring that the next two or three generations grow up in poverty.

          Nothing good can come from defaulting on the debt.

          • camdenme2

            You have NO clue as to how the U.S. Treasury works . First,there is more money coming into the Treasury than the outflow. As long as the interest on the debt is met,there is NO DEFAULT. It’s just politics. The Treasury is REQUIRED to pay the down the debt first. You need to educate yourself about our government funding/expenditures etc. Do you spend more than your income ? Why should our government be different ??? Your president DOES NOT have a clue about running a business let trying to run our government. Presbo Kenya is totally clueless/ignorant ! Republicans need to play hardball !

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            This analogy of the nation’s finances with a household economy is specious and disingenuous. The two are apples and oranges. It’s a talking point meant to convince people who really don’t pay attention to these things that raising the debt limit is comparable to Joe Schmo getting a increase on his credit line to pay his bills. It is not. Even flirting with default as the Tea Party Caucus is doing is likely to cause a further downgrade of the U.S. credit rating. (Remember the one in 2011? Likely to happen again.)

            What we are seeing played out is the end game of the ‘Starve the Beast’ agenda the far right has been pushing since the late 80s. This sector feels there should be no Medicare, no Social Security, and so on and so forth. For this reason, it pushes both huge tax cuts (that really don’t help anyone but investors and huge corporations) AND increased defense spending in order to force the issue. When crises like this one come around they use them to try to push this agenda.

            “The most pernicious fiscal doctrine in history…” this is what one of Reagan’s treasury people has said about this agenda. Tea Baggers disgrace themselves when they advance it.

          • camdenme2

            Bull! Totally ignorant response! Just words!

          • gurureoul

            That’s a total – non-response. You’re just denying things, you’re proving nothing.

          • camdenme2

            What’s this t beggar crap? You need to deal with facts!

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            I ceased defending the Tealiban’s right to irresponsible (and frankly racist and anti-social) speech after I attended a few of their rallies, including that ridiculous event Glenn Beck held on the National Mall. Granted, at least half of the people I met were bussed in and told what to say… the other half was simply ignorant. Some of the rhetoric I heard was comparable to that of the Brown Shirts in Weimar Germany.

            This lot needs to be denounced, and vigorously.

          • camdenme2

            You need to go some where your babble mouth is understood!

          • johndubose

            Hitler and his people were both racists and SOCIALISTS. Alas, some Republicans ( like some Democrats ) are also racists. But there are virtually NO Republican socialists.

            The totalitarian instincts of real world socialists are the real danger.

          • Micheal Garza

            Hitler and his people were also Christians. But that doesn’t equate Christianity to gassing 6 million people. Anytime you bring Hitler into an argument you’ve lost.

          • mabramso

            By name only.

          • guvhog

            True. Hitler was in truth, a Socialist dictator.

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            Socialists? Mmmm… the word is in their name but they were no closer to Marxian socialism than than was the USSR under Stalin. Truth be told, in the 20th Century, the Fins and the Swedes and a few other small countries were the only nations to approximate socialism. Fascism and socialism are fundamentally incompatible.

          • Quartermaster

            Socialism is a form of Fascism. Both are kissing cousins to communism. All are intensely statist philosophies.

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            The two are statist philosophies but are dialectical opposites. Leader-centered vs. theoretically leaderless society.

            We are a mixture of both much much closer to fascism than socialism.

          • Quartermaster

            The two philosophies are very close to each other.

          • Art Bagnall

            Who told you that, your Mommy before she let you out at Kindergarden? That has to be the stupidest thing I’ve read all day and I’ve even been to Yahoo! today.
            Do you kiss your cousin or just think about it a lot?

          • Quartermaster

            What a hoot! Based on your post, mine could not have been the stupidest. To the low power intellect you possess Particle Physics would be stupid.

            You really need to get out some. Your discussion skills are in bad need of an upgrade. If that’s an attempt at mockery, then you really need to go back the grade school and learn how to do it.

          • Quartermaster

            There GOPpers that are progressives. Peter King is an excellent example.

          • Art Bagnall

            What the hell are you trying to say?

          • Phadras Johns

            I don’t believe a single thing you posted.

          • getcali

            “… half of the people I met were bussed in and told what to say… the other half was simply ignorant.”
            Gee, that sounds more like your typical union picket line.

          • bleedingheart67

            I couldn’t agree more about that inane analogy, G.A. This guy sums it up pretty well: http://pragcap.com/when-silly-analogies-go-viral#i3XE1rurCL17FbBS.01

          • robscottw

            The credit rating wasn’t downgraded because we flirted with hitting the debt ceiling last time.
            It was downgraded because the last debt agreement did nothing to address the long term budge problems.
            Thats what the credit agency said, saying otherwise is revisionist history.

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            They also cited political instability as a reason, which implies out flirtation with disaster had something to do with it. All the same, I question the veracity of the financial services industry as much as I do that of Boehner and Obama.

          • MNJAM

            Default is in the eyes of creditors — not you. No great power has ever survived a default. NONE.

          • camdenme2

            You and your oatmeal quick mind don’t get it ! America will not default on the debt ! INTEREST on the debt IS always paid ! All financial obligations are met and will continue to be met. You don’t have a clue as to how the government works ! IDIOT !

          • Pancho

            It is defined as not paying the interest and principle, if due…..nothing else if default genius…..please take a basic macro course….

          • jk13

            “The Treasury is REQUIRED to pay the down the debt first. ”

            No, this is an outright fabrication, the Treasury doesn’t prioritize it’s obligations, they pay whatever is authorized by Congress and there is no law or regulation that tells them to prioritize foreign countries first above it’s own citizens.

          • Mriordon

            The reality of the situation is that you have no clue about the way our government works- but you are excellent at using false Dem talking points. The treasury takes in 250 billion per month, the interest on the debt is 20 billion per month- now, genius, explain to me how we might default? I would have pointed out that there is a law on the books which forces the debt to be paid FIRST- but I didn’t point that out because I know that Dems don’t believe in laws. Nothing good can come from stupidity either.

          • andrewp111

            The Treasury’s systems do not differentiate between debt payments and other stuff. There are 3 payment systems, and they are either on or off. The same system that does debt payment also does social security, so yes, default is possible. And Obama wants a default. He wants if sooo bad.

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            Based on every analysis I have seen prioritization of the interests buys a few weeks but that is about it. The bond market WILL react adversely to a failure to pass a CR and the ill-effects will snowball from there. As for the Democratic Party… pfft… they as are beholden to special interests as the Republicans. Neither party represents the public. This whole Red State v. Blue State crap is a farce. If you’re on either ‘team’ you’re being sold a bill of goods.

          • James

            Unfortunately, camdenme2 and Mriordon are both incorrect in this case. The US Treasury receives less receipts per month than it spends outlays, on average. You can find the data here: http://www.fms.treas.gov/mts/mts0813.pdf. Using Treasury data going back to October 1980, averaging the sums of each monthly receipt and outlay, then finding the difference, you’ll see that our average monthly deficit is about $25 Billion. That requires us to borrow, on average, $25 Billion per month to pay the bills. So, while it’s true that we could still pay our $20 Billion of interest payments per month it still means we would have to default on an additional $25 Billion of payments for operating expenses, or $300 Billion per year. Those defaults would arise when the government could no longer foot the bill for roughly half of all discretionary spending. That means eliminating essentially all of the cabinet departments except defense, not to mention canning government research, agricultural subsidies, education funding, etc. That is pretty unacceptable considering huge swaths of the economy depend on those funds and the US Government is already obligated to pay much of those bills.

          • Mriordon

            I’m done James, “new math” has caused my surrender. I’ll put one link in: http://www.powerlineblog.com/archives/2013/10/the-federal-government-cant-and-wont-default-on-its-debt-obligations.php – and don’t expect anyone to believe it or probably even read it. I’ve got lots more links, but that would be asking too much. It amazes me how we ever get through a year without going bankrupt. But I know that all of you think that printing money creates jobs and the government spending money improves the economy, so further discussion is a waste of time. Good luck to all.

          • robscottw

            Only the interest on the debt (and the maturing principal) is a contractual obligation that has to be paid.
            Everything else is a ‘political promise’ (look at your SS statement – it clearly says Congress can change the benefit amount ANY time it wants to).
            So, if we hit the debt ceiling it just means we have to start living within our means.
            Of course that is the REAL story here isn’t it?
            The ‘recovery’ is SOLELY based on a TRILLION $’s a year of deficit spending.
            But since the debt is increasing faster than GDP we really don’t have a recover at all do we?
            So the sooner we hit the debt ceiling and stop adding debt to our unborn grandchildren the better.

          • cktheman

            That’s what CUTS are for. I can find 17% right now to CUT. This process CANNOT go on indefinitely.

            Discretionary spending is just that – DISCRETIONARY. Get rid of all of it.

          • Quartermaster

            All FedGov spending is discretionary with the exception of those required by the enumerated powers. Those are encompassed by foreign relations (e.g. State Department and Defense) interstate (which is simply preventing the states from impeding it) and relations with teh Indian Nations. Beyond that, everything FedGov does is illegal.

          • andrewp111

            Credit ratings of the USA don’t matter. But default will make interest rates go up, and the longer the default is in effect, and the more payments missed, the more rates will go up. Once interest rates pass some unknown threshold (probably a pretty high number), interest rate derivatives will force a TBTF bank to fail. Then cascading failures spread all over the world. Once this starts there is no power on earth that can stop it. The message from Obama is clear. Either he gets to implement Obamacare, or there isn’t going to be a financial system to go back to.

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            I would dispute that further damage the nation’s credit rating is irrelevant. That hits all of us. And if the TBTF go, the Gov’t will not have the money to bail them out this time. The ‘Republicrats’ have indeed made Marx relevant again. (Who would have thought that possible in 1991?)

          • James

            If the Treasury can’t borrow and it’s
            receipts are less than outlays, then it WILL fail to make payments. That
            is pure and simple accounting. That rule applies to business or
            government. Sure, the government can continue to pay down sovereign debt
            interest BUT we will default on other payments such as government paychecks to
            contractors. The issue here is cash flow and by eliminating the ability to
            borrow, we have less cash to work with. That will have repercussions on
            the economy. A dearth of money being injected into the economy not withstanding, Wall Street predicts the S&P 500 will drop by a staggering 10% if the Treasury misses payments, even when interest is serviced. Further, the idea that we can prioritize interest payments
            is not proven legally.

          • Pancho

            We can’t default….we owe 20-30 billion debt service a month….we take in an average of 200-300 billion a month. By law, we have to service debt first. As far as the bills incurred, besides debt service, the money, or “bills”, are owed to the American people.

          • johnr22

            Well, we already had our national credit downgraded once…the first time in our history that it happened. And I didn’t notice any particular disaster.

            I don’t want us to default, but I’m not sure I’m buying all this doom-and-gloom about how the economy will collapse.

          • phearlessphreaks

            Then perhaps the President should consider negotiating with the GOP on the debt ceiling. It should be obvious to everyone that we cannot continue to raise the debt ceiling indefinitely. We need to address the underlying issue (spending) otherwise we’re only delaying the scenario you describe.

          • James

            The underlying issue is revenue, or lack thereof. We’re at ridiculously low tax rates on the historical spectrum. Coming off a deep recession and two wars, that’s plain irresponsible. It’s time for the wealthy to share in on the burden — so far they haven’t.

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            Lack of consumer demand in an economy that is is 70% consumer based is what leaves us economically stagnant. That’s what the Tealiban can get through their thick skulls. Americans small business aren’t hiring as they would normally because the demand for goods and services isn’t there. Tax cuts don’t remedy that issue. In fact, they merely exacerbate the problem by decreasing revenue.

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            He has given them too much already. Doing so again will only encourage their hostage taking and we will be hearing this noise the next time we reach a legislative stress point.

          • phearlessphreaks

            Both sides have compromised. I will admit the BCA of 2011 did favor the GOP, but only slightly, and it was not unreasonable. Again, during the fiscal cliff standoff December 2012, each side gave a little bit to ‘stave off’ said cliff for a few months. The bit republicans gave? Letting the payroll tax holiday expire. The bit the democrats gave? Keeping the Bush tax cuts in place for those making less than 450k. They pushed the real work, the hard work down the road to March, and couldn’t come to an agreement, hence sequester. The problem is two diametrically opposing philosophies with a gap too wide to currently bridge.

            I understand the concept of ‘feeding the beast’ and not wanting to capitulate to that, but if this President doesn’t want to encounter this problem again during his tenure, he needs to be conciliatory enough to work out an agreement, a *long term* agreement which prevents the government from getting to this kind of stress point again. This game he and Congress have played since 2011 isn’t addressing the problem, and it begs the question, does either side really want a solution?

          • robscottw

            The gov’t takes in $225 Billion per month, the interest on our debt is $25 Billion per month.
            So, if there is a ‘default’ it will be because the Obama administration chooses to default.
            Only the debt is a contractual obligation – and ONLY contractual obligations affect our credit rating.
            Just as when the c/c co’s quit letting an individual keep spending, hitting the debt ceiling will cause the US to stop spending more than it takes in.
            THAT WILL BE A GOOD THING!

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            Again, the individual’s financial situation is not analogous to that of a national government. It is a facile comparison.

        • thepoliticalcat

          It’s perfectly OK to be stupid or ignorant, but to be both, and demonstrably and publicly so, is a tad unsettling. Do you read at all? I recommend it. It’s amazing what you might learn. And you have a great deal to.

          • camdenme2

            You need to take a major dump!

        • Art Bagnall

          Wow – what are you going to do when Boehner caves, jump off the Empire State Building?

          • camdenme2

            Jump for joy !!!!

      • andrewp111

        Obama wants a default. He wants it bad. He will make avoiding it very hard without a total Republican cave-in on everything, and Obama always ups the ante at the last minute. That is his style.

        • Gentil Aquitaine

          He’s been a George H.W. Bush-style wimp often enough in his Presidency. He’s caved so many times to the Republicans, they have come to expect it. It took about 90 days for the Obama of 2008 to go away and the Wall Street lawyer to come out. (When he started naming guys like Geithner and Larry Summers to his economic team that was evident.)

          • Pancho

            He did not cave….leftist politics ALWAYS rewards the elites….it is par for the course

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            News flash: we haven’t had bona fide ‘leftists’ in positions of power since the 60s. We have two center right parties that do–I agree heartily–serve a ruling class of wealthy business interests. And until we break the two party cartel on the ballot that is not going to change.

          • Pancho

            Newsflash: You have them riddled through out this administration…..Barry himself is one. Like most leftist…they eventually join the elites…..leftist policy is for the masses not the leftist themselves: case in point, hell or high water will the nomenklatura and Barry ever be bound by Obama-care….ACA is for peons….ie you and me

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            All Fox News and Right Wing Talk propaganda… Obama is a corporate lawyer… as is Hillary who is likely to win in 2016. Both of them are center right all the way.

          • Lance Sjogren

            Right or left is not the right way to look at it.

            Take immigration policy, for example. Progressives and sweatshop advocates would be considered left and right, respectively, but they are allied in their desire to destroy the American middle class.

          • guvhog

            He has indeed caved………several times.

      • johnr22

        Even with the shutdown and a refusal to raise the debt ceiling, there is enough incoming revenue to service the existing debt FOR YEARS. In other words, the administration (i.e. Obama) would have to make a conscious choice NOT to service the debt in order for there to be a default.
        I’m sure they’ll poll test this to determine who till get the blame. If polls indicates Repubs will be blamed, then Obama will choose to default. It’s all….and I mean ALL…..about trying to win the 2014 election cycle.

        • Gentil Aquitaine

          Servicing the debt is the job of Congress, not the Administration. Obama could conceivably invoke the 14th Amendment to force Congress to do so, but he would probably be impeached. I’m sure there is pressure on him from the DNC not to do so, given that it would hinder their party in 2014.

      • Carl Pham

        You’re an idiot. “Default” means not paying your debts. Like, you “default” on your mortgage when you don’t pay it. The government has loads of money to pay its debt. Income tax revenue exceeds debt payments by something like a factor of 10.

        What would actually happen if the debt ceiling were not raised is that the government could not pay its debts and also all the other things it does right now, like Obamaphones and Head Start and block grants to the teachers’ unions and Solyndra boondoggles. There would have to be some belt-tightening somewhere — but not with respect to the debt. The 14th Amendment takes care of that.

        It’s as if your income was $50,000 a year, and your interest-only mortgage cost you $5,000 a year, but you idiotically spent $60,000 a year by borrowing $10,000 extra every year on your credit card. Alas, you’re running up against your credit limit, so you go to the bank and say OMG if you don’t raise my credit limit so I can borrow some more, I might default on my mortgage!

        That would quite rightly be seen as grossly irresponsible. You have more than enough income to pay your mortgage. You choose to spend it on things other than your debt.

        The Federal government has more than enough income to service the national debt. If it chooses not to because the House has said enough with the mindless irresponsible borrowing already, it’s time to rein in just a bit — well, that is genuine lunacy.

        • James

          First of all, there is no legal precedence for interest prioritization as a course of action. Many, to include the US Treasury and pretty much EVERY Wall Street Bank seriously doubt it can be done. Only the House GOP say otherwise, which is a glowing indicator their rhetoric is posturing. Further, even if they could prioritize payments to continue to service the debt the economy would suffer dramatically as payments to other sectors of the economy were cut back. Deutsche Bank suggests the S&P will fall 10% while Goldman Sachs suggests that GDP will shrink 4.2%. Those are recession numbers. And all because the GOP can’t stand a law that was passed by congress, signed into law by a two-term President and held up as constitutional by the Supreme Court.

          • robscottw

            So the truth is out isn’t it?
            Only by spending a TRILLION $’s a year (that we don’t have – thats why it is called DEFICIT SPENDING) is the so-called ‘recovery’ happening.
            But even with all that there is NO RECOVERY as we’ve added more debt than GDP in the last 5 years.
            So by all means, let’s keep borrowing and spending. I’m sure that at some point it will actually cause the economy to grow.
            Maybe if we borrowed and spent twice as much we’d get a real reovery?
            How much longer is this fraud going to go on?

        • Gentil Aquitaine

          The House is merely pushing an ideological agenda. You are either too stupid or too indoctrinated to see that.

      • TravisMonitor

        Only Obama can make us default.

        But given his crazy, petulant and venomous approach to the shutdown, creating unneeded pain and suffering for vets, DC, and others, I wouldnt put it past him if it meant political advantage.

        • Gentil Aquitaine

          I’ve got huge problems with Obama’s violent foreign policy. And he is complete corporate sellout. (This was obvious from the moment he chose his economic team: Geithner, Summers, et.al.) But I am not so sure he’s willing to crash the economy for political gain. (Of course, I am not sure he stands to gain from a crash.) Would the Republicans crash the economy intentionally? This lot? Absol-fricking-lutely! Crashing it so that Medicare and Social Security can be scrapped is part of their agenda (‘Starve the Beast’). Hence all the irresponsible tax cuts, the bloated defense budgets, the nation ‘building’ (if that’s what you can call Iraq), and the racial animus they like to foster…

          This is the essence of right-wing social engineering. And it what the Republican Party has been all about since the late 1970s.

          What they don’t grasp is that their agenda just might pull the rug from under the global capitalist enterprise. They don’t understand the extent to which ‘Starve the Beast’ and Teahadism have actually made Marx relevant again.

          Who would have thought that possible in 1989?

          • TravisMonitor

            “Would the Republicans crash the economy intentionally? This lot?” No they wont.

            Obama and the Democrats have done enough damage to the economy already. The Republicans are trying to fix what Obama keeps breaking.

            You are wrong to claim Obama cant be a left just because he serves elites. Yes, he is a leftist and yes he serves elites. He is a total arrogant elitist himself.

            Leftists socialist and communist serve elites too, you know. As a leftist you probably admire those communist countries ALL of whom ended up having elites – whether the ChiCom or Soviet elites.

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            Don’t rush to judge on my credentials as leftist. That I often choose to repudiate the arrogance and the moral bankruptcy of our so-called conservatives should not be construed as evidence that I endorse Marxism. In fact, much of the the yammering I hear from the American ‘Left’ (which is actually only slightly left of center) gives me a headache.

            As for the damage done to the economy by Obama… Good God! It pales in comparison to what has been done to it by Republican policies.

            In 1980, the U.S. was the world’s leading creditor. By 1987—after almost 2 full terms of that incomparable a$$ Ronald Reagan—it was the world’s leading debtor. And as for the reign of George W. Bush… the unnecessary—and, in some cases, illegal—wars, the grossly irresponsible tax cuts (that only exacerbated income inequality and did nothing to foster private sector job growth), and then MMA (which was not paid for)…

            Ay, caramba! These bloody fools can’t get to history’s ash heap fast enough.

    • MNJAM

      He and the rest of you will be remembered as the greatest traitors in American history.

      • Gentil Aquitaine

        Stupid statement. Not even Bush was that and he was 100 times more of an obscenity than Obama.

      • camdenme2

        Patriots ! You Socialists are being defeated !!

      • BTeboe

        Ah, but that’s where you’re wrong. History will not go on and on about the 108th Congress, it will however pontificate on what kind of politician your beloved Dear Leader was. No, this will come back to bite him in the butt, if it hasn’t done so already.

      • johnr22

        Traitors? I thought we were terrorists. Or perhaps racists…or homophobes…or Nazis, or just plain stupid. You neo-Marxists need to agree on which names you’re going to call us because it’s just too confusing at this point.

      • guvhog

        You seriously need to learn the definition of the word traitor because you are WAY off base.

  • Gentil Aquitaine

    I suspect the GOP will lose some seats, but 17 is quite a lot in a mid-term.

    The larger issue with the Republican Party is that it is so divided. Neocons, theocons, Southern Evangelicals, the ‘Tealiban’, Radical Republicans (Ayn Rand enthusiasts), and the remnants of the center right… it is hard to see this party uniting by 2016 to take the White House. (The 2016 Republican Primaries are likely to be a freak show again.)

    Complicating their problems is the fact that the Republican base is shrinking.

    Time for history’s ash-heap…

    • johndubose

      Just wishful thinking. The Republicans will return after the Democrats make a big enough mess. ( And they will )

      • MNJAM

        At this point, Republicans are the biggest mess in American history.

        • Clarence Whorley

          Biggest mess in US history, bigger than slavery, bigger than not allowing women to vote, all things by the way championed by the GOP and opposed by Democrats

          • Pancho

            Slavery and then Jim Crow were a Democratic plank until the 70s….

          • jeffwarren2

            CONSERVATIVES are CONSERVATIVES first, and GOPs 2nd. They make sure the WORLD KNOWS how proud they are to be CONSERVATIVES. CONSERVATIVES supported slavery and CONSERVATIVES (like CONSERVATIVE IMMORTAL William F Buckley) were against Civil Rights.
            And now Conservatives are against subsidies for health insurance.

          • Pancho

            dang man…read some history….every major and minor Jim Crow racist was a Democrat……if continue down this road go see the beginnings of the feminist movement….they were as bigoted as you could get….

    • Phadras Johns

      “Time for history’s ash-heap…”. And time for a wondrous period of one party rule eh?

      • Gentil Aquitaine

        Truth be told, we have had 1 party–the ‘Republicrats’–for some time now. (By the late 80s, the Democratic Party had ceased to be what it was in the 60s and early 70s.) Republicans and Democrats alike are fundamentally corporatists and both proponents of exploitative foreign policy. Their incidental differences (on Abortion, Gays, sex, etc) are basically a side a show, meant to divert us from the fact that they are wholly owned by our business sector. It’s telling that Bill Clinton was in office when 1) the war on terror was kicked off (as a resumption of the war on Communism) and 2) that Clinton signed off on both the repeal of Glass-Steagall and the deregulation of derivatives in 2000. George W. Bush was an idiot and possibly the worst President since Andrew Johnson–moreover, his Administration was headed by war profiteers more despicable than even him– but the first decade of the 21st Century wasn’t all his doing.

        • chrismalllory

          The idiot Roosevelt cousins, Wilson, Truman, and LBJ were all worse presidents than Bush and Obama.

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            I give TR, FDR, and Truman SOME credit for standing up for the lower and middle classes, which is something few leaders in American history have ever done. But I have problems with all of them.

            As for Bush–Jesus Christ!–where does one begin… an illegal war of aggression, violating U.S. and international law with regard to torture, the tax cuts, Katrina, the war profiteering of Cheney and Rumsfeld… He’s up there with the worst of the worst.

        • Pancho

          “Democratic Party had ceased to be what it was in the 60s and early 70s”

          So what you are saying is that the current R lot is like those 60-70 Ds….diverse in opinion?

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            They’re diverse but not in a way I would think they want. (The GOP of today is by no means what Lee Atwater had in mind when he called for a ‘big tent.) The Southern Evangelicals and the Libertarian Ayn Rand nuts are fundamentally incompatible. The Southern Evangelical vote has been their bread and butter since the 80s, but they are alienating with the radicalism of the libertarians.

            The Democrats simply sold out the lower and middle classes in the 80s. From Clinton’s time onward, they have been fairly straightforwardly corporatists. Obama is more of the same. He is as much beholden to Lloyd Blankfein as Hillary will be when she runs.

        • Phadras Johns

          Got it real bad don’t you?

    • ta111

      I guarantee the R’s will pick up 5-10 seats. Obamacare is the most hated law in 100 years and the d’s own it. By next year the full clusterfarkn of obamacare will be in force. The R’s will have a very good shot of taking the Senate as well.

      • Gentil Aquitaine

        Obamacare does seem to be the defining issue. If people start to like it, the GOP will lose badly (but probably not lose the House). If it is actually hated (and this ‘hate’ is not simply Fox News propaganda) the Senate could be in play. Time will tell.

        • jeffwarren2

          They will lose enough that when factoring in the extreme right obstructionist TEABAGGERS, DEMs will be the effective majority as Boehner(or whoever is speaker in Jan 2015) will have to beg for DEM votes on every major piece of legislation. There will be no Hastert rule in 2015

    • BjonerStromblad

      Tealiban? Is that a new attempt at name-calling to diminish the tea party? Are they done being called old white racists yet?

      • Mygoodness

        You left out hater, bigot and the fact they don’t pay their fair share

      • Gentil Aquitaine

        Tealiban, Teahadist, the American Taliban… these monikers stick because of observed behaviors—and because these folks are as ideologically purblind as Muslim extremists.

        • BjonerStromblad

          They don’t really stick; They just make you sound like a close-minded idiot who is opposed to having a rational discussion.

          • Gentil Aquitaine

            A rational discussion? With people who disregard science, logic and education… who can’t grasp anything beyond the dogma they are fed by Fox News and the right-wing demagogue de jour (who, at the moment, is Ted Cruz, if I am not mistaken)? How’s that going to work?

    • philcic

      When the hard working people who form the backbone of the Republican party conservative wing are overcome by the big government/welfare/entitlement Democrat party, it will be the US on history’s ash heap.

      But just to get a taste of it, why don’t you go live in Detroit or another one of these liberal paradises to find out if you really want it.

  • tpartynitwit

    Is Stewy a blatantly partisan charlatan? Of course he is!

  • JadedFan

    Deomcrats lying and decieving the public for political gain.

    How unusual.

  • Ronald W. Mann

    I would expect this to add to the republican numbers, dims cannot use bribery and corruption to get elected, not anymore

  • madskills

    I’m glad Rothenberg is whistling by the graveyard. Keep thinking no one is listening to what is happening in Washington. Immigration reform, no big deal, attacks on women, no big deal, attempts to stop voting rights, no big deal, stopping the government in its tracks, no big deal. See you in Nov 2014.

    • philcic

      Attacks on women? I am against abortion, but in your case if your mother wanted to abort you I would not have objected and attacked her.

      • madskills

        philic,
        You need to move to Mexico which all ready has your type of country for you. This was a protestant country, 98% when they made the constitution. You a Catholic wack job that wants to turn us into one of your crapy Sounth American country or some evangelical, some new made up religion… You all you guys left we wouldn’t have to deal with your cults…..

    • Mygoodness

      Yeah those attacks on women are horrible, how many women did democrat mayor Filner personally grope? How many pictures of his penis did Anthony Weiner send out? How many prostitutes did democrat Bob Melendez hire? Yeah that’s some war on women you got there

  • Gray Panther

    In light of the horrible optics being put on for the sake of sheer politics, I cannot imagine anyone in their right mind wanting to support a Democrat, any Democrat.

    • Stephen McDonald

      Or support a Tea Cry Baby Terrorist…? right….

      • Gray Panther

        Keep on gluggling that Kool Aid, pal; maybe you’ll choke on it.

      • Mygoodness

        Cry baby? Are you referring to the temper tantrum throwing, name calling idiot named Obama?

  • Stephen McDonald

    And Stuart is owned by the Koch Brothers.. ..

    • philcic

      And the democrats own you and you live on their plantation.

    • Mygoodness

      And the democrats by George Soros

  • jus1drun

    2014 will be about the status of the recovery (dems will get sole credit or blame) and may be about obamacare if it is a spectacular albatross or win (again dems will get sole credit or blame) and the party that holds the presidency is at a disadvantage in off year elections of which 2014 is. looks to me like the repubs will continue to control the house.

    • JadedFan

      You are discounting how much Obamacare will play in 2014. People are just starting to get the bills and tens of millions are losers in this, and will be angry and will show that anger by voting, as they always do. Republicans got the backlash when voters turned on Bush for Iraq, expect the same in 2014. The Senate has already gone republican, they just do not know it yet.

      • Mygoodness

        The democrats will do away with Obamacare as soon as they realize you have to have a valid government issued photo ID to access it. Oh the racism

  • skippingdog

    Yet.

  • demmi

    HuffyPost poll ? Really…

  • appman

    LIBTARDS … ON THE WAY TO emulate the loser and wacko Wally Mondale. Old Wally carried one state in 1984.

  • appman

    THE REAL QUESTION: Can libbers unembalm Algore by 2014?

  • Dan

    Remembering that this is from the same group that predicted a Romney landslide the day before the 2012 election, I do agree that it is too early to say if the Dems can win the House. But it is also to early to say that the Dems cannot win the House.

    But you disregard the points of the PPD polls at your own peril. That is at the current time most do blame the GOP for the situation. And if the shutdown continues and or a default does happen and does damage that is more broadly felt, it will likely affect the 2014 election more than if it is settled today.

    So while I agree it is premature to say the GOP is in trouble of losing its House majority, it is just as premature to say the GOP is in no trouble. But we can say the longer the shutdown goes on the more likely it is that the GOP will be in trouble.

  • Glenn Shiloh

    Is it true that the Speaker of the house claims they don’t have the votes to pass a clean bill, only to have Obama call his bluff and tell him to put it to a vote?

  • garyinaz66

    I suggest you may be wrong. republicans are staying home at an ever increasing rate as the establishment republican politicians push obamas agenda. obamacare, debt, deficits, amnesty etc…..
    why go out and vote for people who score touchdowns for the other team?
    republicans have been bought by the same lobbyist and special interest groups that have paid for democrats. the difference is, democrat voters want that agenda, so they get out the vote in support. republicans vehemently oppose obamas agenda so they will not vote for obamas republican water carriers.

  • Goon’s ND Redneck

    The Democrats are taking the house back, I have seen polling that suggest that the Dems are going to have a tough time keeping the senate.

  • http://www.military-history.us/ Patrick Shrier

    Most polls are less accurate measures of people’s sentiment than propaganda pieces to support a narrative. The prudent thing is to distrust all polling.

  • Lance Sjogren

    Strong political winds can easily shift the outcome of congressional elections. I see it as very unlikely that the winds will shift toward the Democrats, considering that the Democrats are as big of aholes as the Republicans and the public is well aware of that. However, you can’t rule out a Democratic takeover of the House if for some reason there is a strong political wind in their direction, one that there is no reason at the present time to believe is going to happen, but it’s not impossible.

  • Lance Sjogren

    That absolutist philosophy of Ayn Rand shows why LIbertarians are no more enlightened than Communists or Nazis.

  • BobbyPFalcon

    The shutdown is the reason the GOP will lose more seats in both the House and Senate next fall. Their Gallup approval rating of 28% is the worst rating EVER for either party. The Tea Party’s 15 minutes are nearly over.

  • Rob_Chapman

    Correct me if I am wrong, but isn’t there a thirteen month intervening period between now and the federal elections?

    It is unlikely what happens now will have much effect on the outcome of an election then.

    What effect is the shut down having on current Congressional elections such as New Jersey’s special Senate election on Wednesday?

    The federal government shutdown is prominent in that race by its absence.

    It is hard to not to see the voter indifference to the federal shut down in a current Senate election as an indicator of the issue’s weakness in House primary races and the general elections in the spring and autumn of 2014.

    • Jesse4

      The voters aren’t indifferent to the shutdown, they are strongly against it.
      But you do have a point about 13 months being a long time away. Voters have short memories, but still, the current situation will not help the Republicans one bit next election. The only question is how much it will hurt them.

    • billbear1961

      Yes, what’s the big deal about a major political party attempting to subvert the normal democratic process to replace it with a fascist tribunal that will dictate national policy from this point forward AND threaten to DESTROY the economy if its will is not obeyed without question?

      Happens every day!

      Nothing to be upset about! Nothing at all! Sure!

      If you’re a cringing SLAVE . . .

      These GANGSTERS have threatened their own country with economic CHAOS.

      NOTHING excuses that–NOTHING!!

      Citizens of a free society who do not punish such behaviour DESERVE to lose their freedom.

      They’re slaves already, or might as well be.

      Pathetic!

      If you think people who LOVE this country will EVER forget this outrageous and traitorous threat, you’re very much mistaken.

      These fascists have finally gone too far, and will PAY for it.

      • Rob_Chapman

        Billibear, get the twist out of your shorts.

        A majority of the Senate Republicans and a third of the House Republicans voted with the Dems to re-open the government and assure it pays it bills and maintains the full faith and credit of the USA.

        The identity of the bad guys is clear, Ted Cruz, John Boehner, Justin Amash, Steve King and the Republican House Conference who supported Boehner in blocking a vote on clean funding bills.

        • billbear1961

          If the party had won in its efforts to subvert democracy?

          If the fascist Tea Party tribunal were now in power?

          Or if they had carried through with their threat to DEFAULT?

          You put this country through HELL for over two weeks!

          So-called “moderates” behaved like COWARDS during this sordid affair!

          You’ve cost the economy $24 BILLION!

          You’ve shaved half a percentage point off economic growth!

          You’ve made a laughingstock of your country in the eyes of the world, and threatened our dollar’s position as the planet’s principal reserve currency!

          YOUR party. YOUR threats. YOUR . . . TREASON!!

          OWN IT!

          It will go down as one of the most disgraceful events in American history. Patriots who LOVE their country and would NEVER threaten her well-being in this monstrous way will SEE TO IT.

          You don’t get points now because SOME of you did the decent thing–once you saw that your fascist coup was FAILING!!

          EDIT: Purge the party of all who supported this coup, Republican, and rehabilitate yourselves in the eyes of the country–and the WORLD!!

  • MajLiz

    The GOP is as out of touch as with Romney lol…. OMG the tragedy of it all, sacrificing the entire country and the global economy on Tea Party faulty politics. At this point just too much testosterone floating around, but hey, hurting women and children never stopped anyone least of all the mighty TeaTitanic

  • Art Bagnall

    PPP was the most accurate polling service in the 2012 Presidential Election.
    Your highly respected Gallup is a totally Republican operation, but where’s Stu to let us in on that little fact? How about Rasmussen, the world’s worst polling service? Republican.
    Stu, you know better. Lying to people is going to come back to haunt you.

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...