Top of the Ticket

Political commentary from Andrew Malcolm

« Previous Post | Top of the Ticket Home | Next Post »

Final Gallup Poll sees historic GOP wave into 'uncharted territory' of a 60-seat gain or beyond

Democrats Joe Biden and Barack Obama enjoy a laugh at a Cleveland campaign rally 10-31-10

The final Gallup Poll before President Obama's first midterm elections Tuesday indicates Republicans are poised to reap historic gains in the House of Representatives, possibly electing twice as many new members as they need to seize control of the chamber where financial legislation originates.

Gallup's latest findings this morning predict Republicans will easily gain the necessary 39 seats to seize control of the House regardless of voter turnout. They predict a minimum GOP gain of 60 seats "with gains well beyond that possible." That kind of rout would be the worst shellacking of a president's party in a half-century.

For comparison, the so-called Republican Revolution of 1994 saw the party....

...gain 54 House seats in Bill Clinton's first midterm, previously the largest loss by a president's party in 50 years.

The final poll of 1,539 likely voters finds 52-55% preferring the GOP generic congressional candidate while only 40-42% prefer the Democrat. The range is due to turnout variables.

Gallup notes that the unprecedented 15-point gap in favor of Republican candidates on its latest generic congressional ballot tally "could result in the largest Republican margin in House voting in several generations." The surge is so large, Gallup says, "that seat projections have moved into uncharted territory."New Democrat House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accepts the gavel from outgoing Republican speaker John Boehner of Ohio in January of 2007

Before 1994, the largest party switches occurred with 55 seats in 1942 and 71 seats in 1938, long before state legislatures began redrawing congressional districts each decade to ensure incumbents' safe reelection, reducing such large swings.

Historically, the largest membership swing ever was in 1894, another time of economic uncertainty during another Democratic administration (Grover Cleveland).

That year Republicans went from 124 House seats to 254, a jump of 130 members in a total chamber membership then of 357. Only two presidents have gained House seats in their first midterms -- George W. Bush in 2002 and Franklin Roosevelt in 1934.

If such a GOP wave materializes Tuesday, it will be a humiliating defeat for the former state senator from Illinois and his Delaware vice president, Joe Biden, who has guaranteed Democratic congressional victories even more often than he guaranteed a broad economic recovery last summer. Both men and their wives have spent recent weeks criss-crossing the country raising money, urging voter turnout and the need for more change while warning of Republican victories.

Indeed, despite the president's near-constant campaigning in recent weeks (see video below), dissatisfaction with Obama's oft-promised but lame job creation and economic recovery from hundreds of billions in stimulus spending appears to be the main stimulus driving GOP energies and the widespread defections of independents, who formed a crucial part of Obama's winning electoral coalition just 24 months ago. That and concern over continuing spending and mounting federal deficits and national debt.

Republican control of the House come early January would retire California's Nancy Pelosi as speaker and create a back-to-the-future scenario with her handing back the oversized gavel to Ohio's John Boehner, who had turned it over to her in 2007. (see photo) Boehner has promised to enforce a fiscal conservatism this time.

As recently as Saturday Boehner vowed, "We are ready to put in place strict budget caps that limit spending from here on out, to ensure that Washington no longer is on this spending binge."

This sets the stage for a potentially stark political confrontation over government spending during the next two years leading up to the 2012 presidential campaign. The good news for both sides is that they'll both have each other to blame.

Related Items:

Obama's got his midterm mantra down, so why isn't anybody listening?

Once again, Bill Clinton tries unsuccessfully to nudge an inconvenient Democrat from a Senate race

-- Andrew Malcolm

To cast your vote, simply click here to follow The Ticket via Twitter alerts of each new Ticket item. Or follow us @latimestot. Our Facebook Like page is over here. We're also available here on Kindle now.

Photo: David Maxwell / EPA (Obama and Biden enjoy a last laugh at Cleveland campaign rally Sunday); Pablo Martinez Monsivais /Associated Press.

Comments () | Archives (51)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Say Bye-Bye Socialistas!

Somewhere in San Francisco right now, a crotchety old woman is sleeping with a wooden gavel tucked tightly under her chin, just so she can hold it one last time...

If the GOP gets control of the House, this country isn't going to be improved one bit. It's going to slide further into a soap opera style, ugly partisan fiasco, with the Republicans acting like spoiled children trying to undo any and all social nets, tax laws (for the rich) and health care changes that have passed, and I suppose they may try to impeach Obama over the birth certificate as well.

Thank you fellow Americans, if this is the choice you make, for proving how stupid you are, and why the rest of the world resents us.

I knew this was coming long before the pollsters told me so..... In 1994, the Democrats clearly lost on the issue of Hillary-care which did not pass.... and that began the Republican Revolution.

Here, Obamacare has passed which gave birth to the Tea Party movement. Washington didn't get it and the Liberal mainstream press tried to pass off the Tea Party movement as crazy bigots.... What they didn't seem to understand is they are American People, that have been marginalized, disrespected, rebuked and dismissed. This angered a right of center nation that felt it needed to send a clear message and its going too!

I have never seen a sitting president desperately crisscross a nation, trying to fire up his base like grandma trying to light the burners on an old stove with a few sticks of matches left in the box.... to no avail.... On Monday, Obama is scheduled to visit D E L A W A R E ? Isn't Christine O'Donnell trailing Coons several miles behind? Something is UP and I smell one of the biggest routs of a sitting party in power ever!

There is a Big movement out there... and come Tuesday night.... Fasten your seat belts it's gonna be a bumpy night!

Ummmmmmmm...LAT writes: "Indeed, dissatisfaction with Obama's oft-promised but lame job creation and economic recovery from hundreds of billions in stimulus spending appears to be the main stimulus driving GOP energies and the widespread defections of independents, who formed a crucial part of Obama's winning electoral coalition just 24 months ago. That and concern over continuing spending and mounting federal deficits and national debt."

Q. If LAT (the day before the election) describes Obama's efforts over the past 2 years as being lame, then WHY DO YOU INSIST ON ENDORSING DEMOCRATS SUCH AS BOXER/BROWN???? Is it so that the "lameness" will continue?

An Observation From The Other 49 States: When CA goes bankrupt within the next 18 months - AS IT MATHEMATICALLY MUST - do NOT come to the rest of us for a "bailout", o.k.? In other words, remain upon your path of irresponsibility if that's your wont, but you're on your own. Good luck; it's been nice knowing you.

When Boehner and his wealthy cronies have stripped the middle class of the last bit of their savings and left the nation in greater debt - maybe we will finally see the end of a generation of Americans deluded into believing that the Republicans are the fiscally responsible party.

I still believe it's ObamaCare (plus the deficit) that is driving Dem defection. Bill Foster in Illinois lost my vote when he case his vote for ObamaCare.

And say hello Fascistas... y mensos tambien...

It will teach them a civic lesson: ye can govern, but only with the consent of the governed.

Can you say Obozo is looking more and more like a one term blunder? The next step is to make all of the new Congress accountable for their actions both fiscally and productively. It is going to be great seeing Reid, Boxer, Pelosi and the rest thrown out of power. The less job security for anyone in Congress, the better.

Wow. People in this country are really stupid... let's see, the republicans will spend the next two years investigating and trying to impeach Obama, and fighting to keep tax cuts for billionaires.

It takes me back to my mantra: People get the government they deserve.

At least California will stay blue.

I have been out of work for over 700 days, lost my home and been through chapter 7. I want a job. I have never asked for anything from anyone and now I need help.

I volunteered to fight for your country during the Vietnam war and your government turns me away when I am in need

Shame on the democrats and republicans. You stole my country and I want it back, now!

One major difference between the Democratic Congressional losses in 1994 and the expected losses this year is that the media people hammered Bill Clinton from Day One of his presidential candidacy and throughout his presidency; they reported every slimy rumor about him and were determined to destroy his presidency.

On the other hand, the vast majority of media people carried Barack Obama around on a sedan chair even after facts began to surface about Obama's less than glorious political life and his dubious associates (Tony Rezko and the Rev. Wright, for example).

Obama was given every edge and even had the media papering over his inadequacies; they never did Bill Clinton any similar favors.

So, if Obama experiences huge Democratic Congressional losses, it's not because he wasn't given every chance to succeed as president -- he was.

When conservatives gain power they need to stop the flow of tax dollars to all of the NGOs. The NGOs have become a Democrat racket. ACORN, NPR, NEA, and Planned Parenthood are perfect examples of socialists fleecing America while paying back the Democats with campaign cash.

If only we had socialists...

....And work starts wednesday to retire more liberal progressives, rinos and the big BO in 2012. Pelosi, Reid and Obama have awakened a sleeping bipartisan giant in the tea party that will only get stronger.

Have some tea John Boehner to celebrate the day you take the gavel back from the vile Nancy Pelosi....the first and worst female Speaker of the House. A speaker so successful at running the house in a rude, arrogant, imperious, partisan fashion that the democrats will lose a historically unprecedented number of house seats.

Gosh Nancy, You're so good at helping our side please stay on as the shrill, petty, whiny minority leader we remember so well when GWB was president!!!

Democrats' Top Ten Excuses for the Landslide Republican Victory on Tuesday:

10. It's really not Democratic policies that voters dislike, but rather the Democrats' inability to effectively communicate them.

9. Obama inherited a mess.

8. Voters are angry because Obama isn't bringing the change fast enough.

7. Voters are slow-witted lemmings who have been misled by the Republicans into voting against their own interests and in favor of their corporate overlords' interests.

6. The evil Chamber of Commerce spent millions of dollars of foreign money supporting Republicans. (Remain mum on the fact that unions - who also have foreign affiliates - have comfortably outspent the Chamber of Commerce in support of Democratic candidates this election cycle.)

5. Voters are angry because Obama's policies are not liberal enough.

4. Republicans are the "party of no." (Never mind that with huge Democratic majorities in both houses, the Republicans couldn't block anything until Scott Brown got elected, and even then, how extreme do your policies have to be for you to not be able to peel away Susan Collins or Olympia Snowe?)

3. It wasn't Obama's policies so much as voters being angered by the legislative process - they didn't like seeing the sausage made.

2. John Kerry: “We have an electorate that doesn’t always pay that much attention to what’s going on so people are influenced by a simple slogan rather than the facts or the truth or what’s happening.” (Everybody now, on three: "Yes we can! Hope! Change!")

1. It's George W. Bush's fault.

The key for Repubs here is not to overreach; not to allow Obama to portray them as extremists. This tsunami is NOT an endorsement of the Repbus, but a rejection of the Obama/Pelosi agenda of european-style socialism. Repubs should focus on cutting govt spending; don't do tax cuts if it means increasing debt, and stay the heck away from the social issues.

There goes the neighborhood, the trash is back.

Obama cut taxes; 5 straight quarters of economic growth; voters don't know it. As the nation goes to the polls, most voters are ignorant of the basic facts of the issues they say are motivating them. Why did last week's Bloomberg poll get such little coverage? The mainstream media would be admitting they are incompetent, irrelevant or both.

So if the GOP gains more that 71 House seats (which now seems possible), it will be the second biggest shift in history? Amazing. Looks like 2008 and 2010 are both historic election years!

the senate and the presidency will remain in democratic hands so its much more likely that we'll be saying bye bye to the party of no rather than any imaginary "socialists" the GOP is going to have to put up or shut up and guess what? tax cuts aint gonna fly this time.

Fire Pelosi.

In a just and perfect world, Nancy, Barbara and Jerry will open a bagel shop in San Francisco.

Let's hope not

I am still very worried about DemocRAT vote fraud. In this economy with this purple-lipped Marxist, this election should be an even greater landslide.

Great, we are digging ourselves in a deeper hole!!

Goodbye Pelosi. Goodbye Harry. Goodbye Obama agenda. Goodbye Obamacare. Goodbye socialism. Goodbye overspending stupidity. Goodbye union sleepovers. Goodbye arrogance and hubris. Thank God!

T.L. said: "At least California will stay blue."

No better reason to vote red than that!

America has had her Marxist president - and her Marxist economics lesson - and she’s had enough.

“Sixty-eight percent of U.S. voters prefer a smaller government with fewer services and lower taxes to a more active one that offers more services and higher taxes.” – Rasmussen Reports

It no longer matters what the Washington Post, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, Time, MSNBC, CNN or even Clueless Comrade Barry himself has to say about anything.

The voters have seen how this president operates and they’ve seen enough.

They watched the Clueless One take over anything he could get his hands on, borrow as much money from the Chinese as they would lend him, pay off every deadbeat Democrat that would line up for a handout, suck up to every anti-American despot who would give him an audience, call everyone who disagreed with any portion of his agenda a racist, clown with every TV talk show host and pose for every frivolous magazine cover that would have him all the while throwing nightly dance parties at the White House as if a newly minted rap star had been anointed President-for-a-Day... all this, of course, when he wasn’t taking his entourage on yet another Air Force One-chauffeured vacation.

Americans have taken a good hard look at Comrade Barry and are now firmly convinced this fool has no business running anything they have a stake in much less holding court in the Oval Office.

“If once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem.” – Abraham Lincoln

The first post-American president has succeeded in one thing only… proving that you cannot redistribute your way to prosperity.

Perhaps, as Sarah Palin has opined, America still is “One Nation Under God” with the Creator of the Universe having a special plan and Manifest Destiny for America. If so, Comrade Barry’s role was to discredit and marginalize the Marxist Democrats. Having now performed that feat to perfection, he no longer serves any useful purpose and can thus exit the public stage.

You can put a fork in him. Clueless Comrade Barry is done.

The only thing left for the Marxist Democrats to do is start their obligatory rewrite of history. It’s all over but the name calling and finger pointing.

Sic semper tyrannis!

And good riddance!

So, basically, we're going to be moving from a government that does too much to a government that does nothing at all, thanks to legislative gridlock.

I give it 6 months (July 2011) before Americans start complaining again that the government isn't doing enough to increase jobs, fix the economy and make them feel safer from terrorism.

I implore my fellow Americans to turn off their TVs and really think for themselves about who got us here in the first place. When in power, the Republicans turned our nation's healthy budget SURPLUS into an alarming DEFICIT, with an unfunded (some would say unfounded) war in Iraq, an unpaid for war in Afghanistan (now the longest running combat operation in American history), an unfunded prescription drug plan and worse, a $700 billion tax SUBSIDY for the wealthiest Americans. All of this on the backs of America's middle class and working poor.

Our immense economy is a behemoth ship that needs time to turn. Give our President the chance to effect the change we want and if it isn't working in 2012, give the Republicans the keys. The instant gratification we seek in today's world just doesn't work with an economy the size of ours. When you pause to think about the importance of this vote, the choice is clear. These pachoderms have conveniently eschewed their professed value of personal accountability and instead want to pin their mistakes on our sitting President.

Rewarding those who got us into this mess with the power they greedily seek for doing nothing but obstructing progress these past two years is dangerous. Make Republicans earn the privilege to serve. Please reflect, remember who got us where we are today, then vote.

Anyone who calls themselves a "Democrat" these days is either a Marxist operative who lies as a matter of course; or a woefully ignorant dependancy-addict who should probably be required to take a test before being allowed to cast a vote.

The Constitutional government of We The People requires an independent, educated polity. We are a nation of individuals. The Marxist Socialist Communist groupthink mindset is the stuff from which tyants and despots draw power. Ignorance is not bliss.

Remember too- this is not your father's GOP. This new GOP is considerably different, and is in many ways opposed by the old GOP- the big-government, high-spending, shifty political GOP of the past. This GOP wave is being led by newcomers, veterans, libertarians, moderates, independents, and energized citizens. They will fight the establishment GOP for control over the process, and I hope they win!

Vote Rocky Raczkowski for Congress for MI-9th!

"Say Bye-Bye Socialistas!" - posted by A Change I Can't Believe In on November 01, 2010 at 03:16 AM

Since it is said that democracy always ensures that people get the government they truly deserve, let's hope in your case that's true in spades.

An eidolon, an image of an ideal or idealized figure rarely, if ever, lives up to expectations. So it is with our current President, who had the impossible task of saving our nation from the pathetic pathos created by one George W. Bush. Indeed, it most certainly is time to give President Obama a chance to lead us out of the muck and mire, in epic proportions, of the failed Bush policies.

bryan galt said.....
Thank you fellow Americans, if this is the choice you make, for proving how stupid you are, and why the rest of the world resents us.


No BRYAN, THANK YOU. Thanks to Obamabots like you that put Democrats in exclusive charge of the executive and legislative branches of the federal government over the last 2 years a whole generation of younger voters have now seen and learned exactly what Democrat socialism means in real life terms. Complacent Soft Republicans and Reagan Democrats have also been reminded of how truly bad the Jimmy Carter years were and are voting Republican again. Without you BRYAN putting BO/Pelosi/Reid in charge there would not have been a backlash and with it the strong likelihood that many of the current 16 black republican candidates will be elected to office and eligible to join the congressional black caucus. Without your past votes BRYAN, 50% of Democrats would not currently want a primary challenger to Barack Obama and his inept legacy of partisanship, debt and spending addictions, soon to be repealed "achievements" and utterly inept foreign policy. BRYAN, where are the jobs from your demi-god, Obama? If people had jobs more than likely they'd have health insurance too. Does the community organizing empty suited fool realize this?

Real American producers with families and financial obligations are tired of being punished for being responsible, earning a living and being they hard-working private sector union employees, small business people, big business people, farmers, professionals, African Americans, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, Caucasian Americans, men or women. Real American producers are tired of paying for freeloaders, free-riders and career politicians. Real American producers, who produce all that is valuable in this country are going to boot as many sorry ass Democrats out of power this year as possible and then we're going to retire some more liberal democrats in 2012.

BRYAN, thank you, thank you and thank you again for your past votes. November 2nd, 2010 could not have happened without people like you.

Uncharted Territory? The coalition Progressive government of President Obama, the Pelosi's House, and Reid's Senate the past two years was the uncharted territory! We are simply moving back to territory which was charted by our Founding Fathers... a constitutional representative republic!

Andrew Malcolm gives several reasons for the nose-diving popularity of Obama and the impending rout of House Democrats. Although the examples he mentions are certainly valid reasons for taxpayers to hate the Dems, he leaves off one of the big reasons why people are rising up: Obamacare. If there's one thing that most sensible people hate, it's a power-hungry government presuming that it can order you, under pain of imprisonment, to purchase a private product from a private company. Any sensible American would be willing to throw these bums out, and for that alone.

It's truly amazing how delusional the ObamaSoros shills and Democrats here really are. Yeah try convincing the electorate how awful it WILL because everything is sooooo freaking rosy since the Democrats took over.

You morons, people are losing jobs, business, homes, their savings and health care insurance at record rates the last two years and there's no signs what so ever of improvement on the horizon...

Those of us left in the middle class have already been taxed into oblivion by this regime and felt the crush of their Fascist jack-boots on our freedoms THAT'S WHY we're going to turn out in huge numbers tomorrow and punish them.

GAWD I can't wait to get in that booth tomorrow a vote a straight Republican ticket for the first time in my life and do my part to slam you slimy, lying Democrats in your collective chops!

What I find most interesting is how many comments here flatly refer to those who disagree with them as "stupid". I suppose that makes a certain type of person feel better about himself, but continuing with that behavior while watching the president and his party take a painfully public lashing for doing the same thing kinda makes me wonder who really are the stupid ones...

Just sayin'.

@ Byran "Thank you fellow Americans, if this is the choice you make, for proving how stupid you are, and why the rest of the world resents us."

This is why Libs are so silly. To them, the balance of the voting populace is some combination of stupid, inbred, stubborn or lately, racist.

Libs also can't accept the fact that the USofA is a center-right country. 15+% of voters self-identify as "liberal". That's hardly a majority. At some point Libs may recognize that they are the ones that are out of step with America.

Maybe now Obama has learned a hard lesson about the economy: you don't cure the patient by feeding the parasites.

keep up the fighting words there bryan galt. if you were the intellect you proclaim to be by your disdain for the majority of your fellow countrymen you would have used the name john galt. but perhaps that would indicate that the american people far from being the dim-wits you and think them to be, you at least have heard of ayn rand and are aware that there is an intelligent, thoughtful and logical alternative to the march towards neo-socialism and the corporatist state. whatever your drink of choice is, get lots of it at the store tonight. you're gonna need it to get through tomorrow. cheers =)

Something an open mic didn't recently pick up from Speaker Pelosi:

"They'll get that f*@#ing gavel from me when they pry it from my dead cold fingers!"

After Nov. 2nd we're going to need Marlon Perkins and Jim Fowler from Mutual of Omaha's Wild Kingdom. Fowler will risk a severe mauling to throw the net over Pelosi, even after Perkins delivered several tranquilizer darts to her backside. After removing the gavel, they'll tag her in the ear and release her back into the plain-o democratic wild, no worse for wear.

Carpe House of Representatives!!! Maybe even, Carpe Senate!!!

Silly what sense is a 60- or 70-seat pickup "uncharted territory" if the Republicans gained 130 seats in 1894?

Just sayin'.

I am praying for a huge Republican victory so we can have some good, old-fashioned GRIDLOCK. The less laws our congress passes, the better off we'll be.

thanks bryan for telling us how stupid we are. exactly why this is happening, elitist like you think you know more than hard working people.

"limit spending from here on out." weak sauce.

= reduce the growth in government spending.

NOT reduce spending.

The IMF will enforce the spending cuts if we won't...

I have voted in many elections since the 1950s and I have many friends of good will in both parties and of different ideological bearings. So without any personal antagonism toward any fellow American of any political stripe, I think it is easy to see what happened this year. Like many presidents, Mr. Obama came in to office in January 2009 with high hopes and good intentions. But he got terrible advice from his staff which was to forget about post-partisan promises and exploit the economic crisis to grab for as much partisan advantage and power as he could. He foolishly followed a radical socialist program of taking over finanncial institutions, the auto industry, housing, and personal health care insurance plans so that he could have an irreversible permanent government takeover of massive chunks of the private sector economy. You cannot accumulate that much power without stomping all over personal freedom and millions now resent his first two years and now doubt that his intentions were sincere in 2008..

bryan galt, you are most assuredly not related to John Galt. What makes you think you are so mentally superior to the rest of us out here??? It is exactly that kind of Kool-Aid drinking class warfare that got us into the mess we're in now. You want wealth? Go out and EARN it, just like I'm doing. The rich get richer because they keep doing the things that make them rich. Likewise, the poor stay poor because they keep doing the things that keep them poor. I know. I've been both places.

1 2 | »


Recommended on Facebook


In Case You Missed It...

About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
President Obama
Republican Politics
Democratic Politics



Get Alerts on Your Mobile Phone

Sign me up for the following lists: