Even two Democratic pollsters, Patrick Caddell and Douglas Schoen, are afraid that if Obama-Pelosi-Reid health care reform is shoved through while ignoring current polls, that Dems could suffer major losses in next fall’s midterm elections, as they will have to face the beat of the stainless steel drums of an irate American electorate. Just check out their column in the Washington Post if you don’t want to believe me.
According to Caddell and Schoen, the Dems could lose as many as 30 house seats and eight Senate seats in the coming election cycle. In the Senate, that would give Dems only a one-vote majority at 51-49. In the House, a shift of 30 seats would still keep the Dems in power, moving them from 255-178 to only 225-208, but a loss of such proportions would likely cost Nancy Pelosi her Speaker-ship.
Of course, these are somewhat optimistic views from Democratic minds; their fear is that if the Dems get belligerent about health care reform, voters could get irate enough to push those Dem losses even higher, which could lead to a shift in the majority in the House; the Senate might not be as easy to shift to GOP hands in a single election cycle, but a narrow, one-vote majority would be a huge blow to the White House and the party, and would necessitate actual power-sharing with the GOP, rather than talk of being “one vote shy” of not having to acknowledge that the GOP even exists.
Personally, I don’t expect Obama-Pelosi-Reid to back down; and I expect the losses in November, as a result, to be even more significant than Caddell and Schoen suspect. Yet if the GOP returns to power in at least the House, they will need to continue to offer a fresh set of ideas and a real difference from Democratic solutions to retain that power; otherwise, if they make the same mistakes they made before – offering a choice of only Democrat Lite rather than real conservative solutions – their gains will be temporary, and they could even assure President Obama’s re-election in 2012, which currently does not seem certain at all.