Sep 22, 2010

Every Wednesday, Fix blogger Chris Cillizza discusses the latest primary results, Congress, the Obama administration and the world of politics.

Little did I know when I agreed to this chat that I would be going up against a "glee" chat. How can I compete with that?

In other TV news, I have decided it is the time to start watching "Modern Family". Alert the appropriate authorities.

Let's chat.

With Pennsylvania having a very large population of seniors, why isn't Pat Toomey's vote against Medicare Part D in 2003 being played up?

My guess is Democrats will play it up in the final few weeks of the race.

We moved the Pennsylvania Senate race from "Toss Up" to "Lean Republican" this morning based on conversations with  a number of smart Democrats as well as a new Quinnipiac poll that showed Toomey leading 50 percent to 43 percent.

The problem for Joe Sestak is that President Obama is not at all popular in the state -- just 40 percent of voters approve of the job he is doing -- and even less so among independents.

That national dynamic appears to be making it difficult for Sestak to gain traction.

With statewide losses likely in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Ohio, will Democrats be able to hold their narrow majorities in the state houses and prevent the GOP from running the table in redistricting?

That's a major point of concern for national Democrats.

I think Michigan and PA are already gone at the gubernatorial level but I do think Ohio could still come back for Democrats.

Losing those races -- not to mention Iowa and Wisconsin, possibly -- would badly hamstring Democratic attempts to avoid being bowled over in the decennial redistricting process unless they can keep control of one of the state legislative chambers in each state.

When did we elect Bob Woodward to be the official historian of all 21st Century Presidents ? I know he's regarded as a god in the WP Newsroom but what does he have that makes Presidents go all googly-eyed when he asks to write a book ?

Woodward=magic.

If we go to Politics and Pints, do we get to meet FixAaron and FixFelicia?

OF COURSE. Why do you think I get people to come?  Next Politics and Pints is Oct 18 by the way -- Capitol Lounge.

Chris Coons: More Boxer/Sanders or Warner/Bayh? And will this matter in November?

Not sure and not sure it matters.

The election will almost certainly be a referendum on Christine O'Donnell and whether her profile is the right fit for the state.

Coons in this race is just the other guy. Assuming people in the ideological middle don't want to vote for O'Donnelll, all Coons has to do is meet a relatively low bar of credibility.

And, having met him, I am relatively certain he will be able to do that.

If Democrats lose the House, do you think a lot of House Democrats will announce their retirements, leaving the party with a lot of open seats to defend in 2012?

Maybe. If Ike Skelton and John Spratt manage to win this fall, I could see them calling it quits before 2012 if Republicans retook control.

There are few things in political life worse than being the minority party in the House and for some of the older Members, I can't imagine they relish the prospect after spending the last four years in the majoirity.

But, for some of these Democrats, 2012 could be a far better year politically with President Obama driving turnout among the base.

Recent polls have shown Republicans in Wisconsin with convincing leads in the Senate and gubernatorial contests and competitive in House races. Do you see Steve Kagen, Ron Kind, and Dave Obey's open seat all being in play?

I think the Obey and Kagen seats are in play for sure. The Kind seat is more of a stretch as Obama won it by 17 points in 2008 and Kind has held it since 1996.

In a HUGE wave, it could flip but that seems very unlikely to me at the moment.

Senator Reid is wrong! The hottest member of the Senate is Maria Cantwell.

maria cantwell

This is me not touching this question with a ten foot pole.

so which Senator is happiest that s/he is not running in 2010? Gotta be Lindsey Graham, right?

Ooh. Long list.

First of all, ANY Senator of either party is happy they are not up in this year.

But, there are a handful of Republicans who have to be especially happy due to the tea party's proven record of wins.

Graham would be in that group as would Lamar Alexander, Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Bob Corker, Dick Lugar and others.

Snowe, Lugar and Corker are all up in 2012...

As Chuck Todd noted, is Q-Poll's LV screen too tight or are things THAT bad for Dems?

Q has produced some interesting results of late.

The PA numbers -- Toomey +7, Corbett +15 in the gov race -- seem roughly right to me.

I was suprised to see Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland (D) down 17 points in a Q poll last week and stunned to see Carl Paladino (R) only behind Andrew Cuomo (D) by six points this morning.

I am not a tea party guy more of a "tired of politics" guy now - am I typical of the problem facing Dems?

Yes. The issue for Democrats is that people voted for change in 2008 and don't feel as though that change has been delivered. As a result, polling suggests that people are willing to give Republicans a chance even though they dislike the GOP as much if not more than Democrats.

It's a very weird election year. And, that makes predicting what will happen very tough.

Who do you think Obama will pick for WH Chief of Staff? When will the Democratic Establishment in DC and PA starting helping Joe Sestak's Campaign?

What does "Woodward" have to do with this question? 

Answer: Woodward has to do with EVERY question.

As for WH COS gig, I mentioned three names in Morning Fix this am: Tom Donilon, Tom Daschle and Bob Bauer.

All I read is that there is no enthusiasm among Democrat voters and thus they will not be coming out to the polls on election day ...so what do you think they should do to get their voters out?

Send President Obama out on the campaign trail, which is exactly what they are doing.

Obama will make a campaign swing next week and my guess is that he will be on the road at least once a week through the election.

No figure is better able to get the Democratic base excited AND set the stakes of the election then Obama.

The marginal gains Democrats have enjoyed over the past few weeks are attributable in large part to Obama's raised profile on the campaign trail.

What do you make of Maes's meager fundraising the last 2 weeks? On the local NPR news report last night they said people are wondering if he can even compete for the rest of the campaign, having raised only 14K in the last 2 weeks (while even Tancredo walloped that total)

The race is essentially over. John Hickenlooper is a huge favorite.  Neither national party will spend a dime here.  The focus on Colorado is now on the Senate race between Sen. Michael Bennet (D) and Ken Buck (R).

Hi Chris! Is Bachmann going to win again?

Hard to know with 6 weeks left in the campaign but she has to be considered a favorite given the demographics of that district and the national environment.

Democrats are excited about their nominee -- Tarryl Clark -- but Bachmann's district is solidly conservative and it will be harder to oust her than most people seem to think.

Remember that she imploded on national television just a few weeks before the 2008 election -- not exactly a good one for Republicans -- and she still won.

Don't worry, I have been toggling between the chats and you are WAAAAAYYY ahead--- but I have to say Sue rocks!!

Yes! Take that "Glee"!

Cillizza 1

Singing show 0

Victory is mine.

Good choice on Modern Family, Chris! Probably my favorite new show of last year (though my wife and I are huge Glee fans too). Hope you like what you see!

I have heard good things and I have loved Julie Bowen since she was Carol Vescey on the greatest show no longer on television aka "Ed".

I still am bitter at the American public for not watching "Ed". What is WRONG with you people?!

I've been trying to come up with a Republican (non-Palin, non-Romney) who could take away some Tea Party votes but not alienate a majority of people or even a more moderate primary electorate which is possible. Is this why Pence took on O'Donnell about witchcraft while other Republicans were circling the wagons?

Stay tuned...am working on a Pence 2012 post for the Fix as I type...

Any chance Specter would've put up a better fight than Sestak is or is the climate too anti-Democratic in PA?

I think, actually, Specter would have struggled more. Sestak can make the case that he is a legitimate outsider; Specter could never make that sell.

are moderates. I guess being moderate and Republican is quickly becoming a mutually exclusive state.

Being a moderate is never a safe place in either party particularly when there are lots of ambitious people of your party looking to take you out in a primary.

But, yes, the tea party has shown a capacity for doing just that this cycle that almost certainly puts any moderate GOPer on notice.

Why is it so hard for voters to understand the maxim that Mario Cuomo always used -- we campaign in poetry, but we govern in prose?!

So true.

And, part of Obama's problem. He could NEVER have lived up to the expectations people had for him when he was elected.

How about this for a team name: John Boehner and the K Street Band?

Good one!

Oct 18! Be there! Capitol Lounge is the location! Fix Felicia and Fix Aaron will be signing autographs!

Folks...I have to run...lots to get done before the #17 nationally ranked Catholic University field hockey takes the field in Fredericksburg, VA at 4:30 pm today!

Have a great day and I will see you back here at 11 am Friday for the full hour long "Live Fix" chat!

In This Chat
Chris Cillizza
Chris Cillizza is the managing editor of PostPolitics and he writes "The Fix," a politics blog for The Washington Post. He also covers the White House for the newspaper and website. Chris has appeared as a guest on NBC, CBS, ABC, MSNBC, Fox News Channel and CNN to talk politics. He lives in Virginia with his wife and son.

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