Boehner: How does gaining 100 seats in November sound?

posted at 7:34 pm on April 30, 2010 by Allahpundit

It sounds … unlikely, John.

The House minority leader, speaking on National Public Radio’s “Morning Edition” on Friday, said that the “playing field” for the 2010 elections is wider than “anything we’ve seen around here during my 20 years.”

“At least 100 seats,” Boehner told NPR’s Steve Inskeep, when asked how many House districts are up for grabs. “You think there are 100 seats in the United States that could change hands?” Inskeep asked.

“I do,” Boehner responded.

“Well typically, you are correct there would be some limited number of seats in play,” Boehner said. “Let me remind you that Scott Brown won the Ted Kennedy Senate seat in Massachusetts. If Scott Brown can win in Massachusetts, there isn’t a seat in America that Republicans can’t win.”

He’s not the first person to float this possibility. Sean Trende of RCP made the case a few weeks ago that Democrats are sailing into an absolutely perfect political storm this year. Not since 1938, when 79 seats flipped, have the stars aligned this ideally; a triple-digit pick-up is on the radar screen, albeit at the far edge. My only question: Why on earth is Boehner, of all people, raising this idea? If a GOP tsunami hits and, say, 55 seats switch hands, we all know that the second story on the front page the next day will now be “GOP’S TAKE LOWER THAN EXPECTED.” Good work, John.

On a related note, Gerald Seib asks a question fraught with heart-ache: Should the GOP really want to take back the House?

If Republicans win control of the House, which is the big prize this year, they’d take on much more responsibility for what happens in Washington. Yet inevitably they would be in charge by such a slim margin they wouldn’t be able to really control much, particularly if Democrats keep control of the Senate, which seems likely.

Republicans’ own flaws and divisions, rather than those of the Democrats, would move to the forefront. President Obama actually would find it easier to move to the political center, which is where he’ll want to be for his own re-election campaign in 2012.

There are good reasons, in short, that some Republicans say privately that they hope they get close to taking control but don’t go over the top. That, they think, would set them up better to take back control of everything—presidency, House and Senate—in 2012…

Moreover, if Republicans take control of one chamber of Congress, Democratic leaders Nancy Pelosi in the House and Harry Reid in the Senate would recede a bit, leaving Mr. Obama more clearly the face of the Democrats. And despite his problems and critics, the president remains far and away the Democrats’ most popular figure and most effective spokesman.

Fair points all — if you remove policy from the equation, which, thanks to the stimulus and ObamaCare, you simply can’t do. Grassroots conservatives are frantic to impose some sort of brake on The One’s agenda before he pushes through whatever happens to be the next disastrous statist program he has on his agenda. If the GOP reclaims the House and not a single bill passes Congress for two years, great. That can’t be worse than another trillion-dollar boondoggle. Even if the inevitable tack to the right does improve Obama’s chances in 2012.

Fantastically depressing exit quotation from Ramesh Ponnuru: “Only once, a few weeks ago, have I heard anyone say that more than half of the [Republican] conference wants the majority. That congressman said that his colleagues do want to be in the majority but are not yet ready to do what it would take. But he thinks they’re getting there.”

Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air



Trackback URL


My little fantasy btw the is to see Reid and Boxer’s whimpering and hissyfitting looped on Fox and Hot Air until America gets it.

They were never representing you – the poor – or anyone else.

Watch how many I’s are in their concessions speeches.

Only to be outdone I am sure by the One’s in 2012 if not sooner.

seesalrun on April 30, 2010 at 9:57 PM

With this guy on our side, what could go wrong?

dnlchisholm on April 30, 2010 at 10:06 PM

I know I am working my tail off to get Nick Popaditch elected in CA-51. An amazing fellow, google him sometime. A tough fight, but as Nick says “Marines don’t get into fights they don’t intend to win”. If I have anything to do with it, he will be one of those 100!

JusDreamin on April 30, 2010 at 7:52 PM

He seems to be a very stand-up guy and great candidate – I wish you the best of luck on your mission. (I also love the eye patch…)

Believe it or not, over here in MA-4 we have, for the first time in decades, an outstanding conservative challenger for Barney Frank! His name is Sean Bielat and we could use all the help possible to get him elected.
It might take a miracle, but nice chunk of the gerrymandered district is Scott Brown territory and a couple of the very few Repubs. in the state legislature are from MA-4 so he may have a fighting chance.
He’s also a Marine (still on active duty in the Reserves) and has an incredibly impressive resume, especially when it comes to National defense and security.
He holds a Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, a Bachelor of Arts from Georgetown University, and will soon complete a Master of Business Administration from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania.
And he’s under 38 years old.

Check him out at

racecar05 on April 30, 2010 at 10:07 PM

The Progressives, and the UN has to go, they are the pigs, we, are the trough.

Ugly times are coming, gird your loins…

M-14 2go on April 30, 2010 at 9:39 PM

Agreed mostly, however I urge you to make another stop at Names R Us and peruse the options.

ontherocks on April 30, 2010 at 10:11 PM

Some are big thinkers…they lead…some sit on the sidelines and snipe…non believers

winston on April 30, 2010 at 10:21 PM

It doesn’t matter how many seats beyond majority Boehner gets – McConnell is working to ensure he’s not majority leader come January.

steveegg on April 30, 2010 at 10:27 PM

hopefully minus connie mack (see above), that’s 99.

i’ll take it!

reliapundit on April 30, 2010 at 10:28 PM

We can’t afford not to take back at least the House. The country can’t withstand another two years of what we have endured — there will be nothing left to sweep up if the Dems maintain their control over House, Senate, and Presidency. I don’t care what the strategerists think, it’s foolish to hope for being in the minority.

AZfederalist on April 30, 2010 at 10:34 PM

100 seats “in play” does not mean 100 seats won; but it could mean 41 and that will be enough.

KW64 on April 30, 2010 at 10:45 PM

Even if the inevitable tack to the right does improve Obama’s chances in 2012.

That assumes that Obama will in turn tack to the center a la Clinton in 1995. Ain’t happenin’.

ddrintn on April 30, 2010 at 10:53 PM

100+ sounds good.

However, I would still be disappointed about the election if Rand Paul loses this primary. heh

Spathi on April 30, 2010 at 11:55 PM

That’s the back story to the PR should be a state push for Democrats. It gives them 2 more Senators and, what, 2 or 3 more House seats for sure. And those seats are rock solid for the next 75 years. After PR expect a push for DC to be a state. Then what? NYC? northern California? Mexico? France? Why the list is endless.

Fred 2 on May 1, 2010 at 12:13 AM

“At least 100 seats,” Boehner told NPR’s Steve Inskeep, when asked how many House districts are up for grabs. “You think there are 100 seats in the United States that could change hands?” Inskeep asked.

You are totally misreading what Boehner is saying. He is saying there are 100 seats up for grabs. That is totally different from the likely number of actual wins.

If you flip a coin 100 times, than every coin flip will be “up for grabs” in that it has a decent chance (in fact, 50-50) of landing heads. But it’s still virtually impossible for there to be anywhere near 100 heads.

They used to say that each time around, it was typical for about 40 seats to be in play. But some of them go one way, some of them go the other, and so the total change would be much less than 40. Boehner is just saying that “40” can be replaced by “100”. That’s totally different from Trende’s analysis before, where he suggested their could be a 100 seat net change.

RINO in Name Only on May 1, 2010 at 12:16 AM

To fix this problem people will need be voted out, taxes will go up, and a ton of federal employees must get walking papers. Unions must take a hit, pensions will suffer. After all of that, more will need to be done. Our government has promised what there is no way to deliver, either on the state, or federal level.

As hard as this will be, we need to do it, we all know it, yet hate to admit it. Some here know what it is like to write a check with your mouth that your ass can’t cash, our asses are currently on the line, time to get real!

The Progressives, and the UN has to go, they are the pigs, we, are the trough.

Ugly times are coming, gird your loins…

M-14 2go on April 30, 2010 at 9:39 PM

I like it and hate it and I also think you are not far off!

bluemarlin on May 1, 2010 at 12:46 AM

Obama has already spent his 4 trillion. No more money till 2013.

Mojave Mark on May 1, 2010 at 12:46 AM

I like it. Think big, aim high 100 seats can be won.

Big push from the grassroots.

Great GOP candidates to challenge the incumbents

RNC has to raise tons of cash and spend it wisely…

…who am I kidding? There’s a better chance of Glenn Beck getting pregnant.

Let’s just focus on getting enough seats to defund Obamacare.

Chrisin206 on May 1, 2010 at 2:45 AM

Dutch Muckinfutch 2012!

jimmy2shoes on May 1, 2010 at 7:22 AM

Any Republicans that don’t want to get every seat we can get need to be thrown out with the Dems. These are the same bozos that told us “oh, it win’t be so bad if Obama gets elected, he’s a moderate”

bitsy on May 1, 2010 at 9:30 AM

Goog grief, why not go for the whole darn thing? In my view NOT ONE SINGLE Democrat deserves to get elected – for ANYTHING!!! These people are purposefully destroying the country and need to be held to count for that. If the GOP isn’t ready to lead, someone else needs to take the reins. I’m not ready to go third party, but the Democrats need to be stopped, hard and fast.

jdawg on May 1, 2010 at 4:28 PM