the midterm snapshot

The Midterm Snapshot: October 13

As Nancy Pelosi warns of Republicans defunding all of President Obama’s accomplishments, the Republicans are using Obama’s introspective interview with The New York Times Magazine against him. Meanwhile, Michelle Obama hit the campaign trail, Meg Whitman gave her campaign another $20 million, and Michele Bachmann broke a fund-raising record. Here’s a look at what’s happening in the race for Congress.

National Polls and Projections

FiveThirtyEight: Senate — 51.5-48.4 Dems; House — 226.5-208.5 GOP
Cook Political Report: Senate — 47-42 Dems (11 toss-ups); House — 198-197 Dems (40 toss-ups)
CQ Politics: Senate — 48-44 Dems (8 toss-ups); House — 205-190 Dems (40 toss-ups)
Real Clear Politics: Senate — 48-46 Dems (6 toss-ups); House — 211-185 GOP (39 toss-ups)
The Daily Beast’s Election Oracle: Senate — 52-48 Dems; House — 220-215 GOP

Talking Points


In a conference call with bloggers and reporters earlier today, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi laid out exactly what it would mean if the Republican Party wins control of the House. “If the Republicans were to win they would defund Wall Street reform, health care as a right not a privilege in our country,” she said. “The list would be a long one of things that they could hold up. They couldn’t necessarily repeal with President Obama in office. But they could defund. And that’s important for members to mention.”


The GOP jumped all over some of President Obama’s remarks in an upcoming New York Times Magazine profile, in which the president admits that he’s allowed himself to look like “the same old tax-and-spend liberal Democrat,” and acknowledges that “‘there’s no such thing as shovel-ready projects’ when it comes to public works.” The NRCC ran with it, firing off a press release proclaiming “Twenty Days Until Election Day, Self-Proclaimed ‘Tax and Spend Democrat’ Admits There is ‘No Such Thing as Shovel-Ready Projects.’”

Eye On …

Wisconsin Senate:

Progressive Democratic senator Russ Feingold is headed for a spanking at the hands of political newbie Ron Johnson, a millionaire businessman. The Democrats are hoping that Michelle Obama can help. The First Lady, who is way more popular than her husband, made a rare appearance on the campaign trail today for a speech at a Feingold fund-raiser.

California governor:

As California processes a final televised debate that saw Meg Whitman and Jerry Brown tangle over Whoregate and Nannygate, Whitman has donated another $20 million to her campaign, further extending the all-time self-funding record that she set this year.


Sharron Angle isn’t the only polarizing right-winger raking in huge amounts of cash this year. Republican incumbent Michele Bachmann, the founder of the Tea Party Caucus in the House, brought in $5.4 million over the last three months, which is “more than any Minnesota congressional candidate has raised in an entire election.” According to the Center for Responsive Politics, “the sum is staggering considering the average winner of a House race raised $1.4 million in the entire 2008 cycle.”

The Midterm Snapshot: October 13