Posted by | April 5, 2011 14:45 | Filed under: Top Stories

by Stuart Shapiro

Representative Ryan will introduce the GOP blueprint for reducing the debt later this week and GOP pollsters are already worried about their chance of holding the House in 2012.  According to Charlie Cook:

However, talking with Republican pollsters, strategists and veteran campaign professionals recently, I now hear sounds of concern that haven’t been heard in almost two years.

Among the worries the party now has is that a government shutdown could get blamed on the GOP.  Additionally, these party insiders believe that taking on entitlements, specifically Medicare, could jeopardize the party’s hold on the House, its strong chances of taking the Senate and the stronghold that the party has been established with older white voters—not coincidentally, Medicare recipients.

Add to that, news that Republican Senate incumbents are likely to face primary challenges in Utah and Maine that may allow Democratic upsets (in Maine at least), and you have the possibility of a very competitive race for both houses of Congress in 2012.  The dynamics of the upcoming shutdown/budget battle are impossible to predict, but what seemed unthinkable — a return to Democratic control of the presidency and Congress — a few months ago, now seems possible.  And it is all thanks to the Tea Party.

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Copyright 2011 Liberaland
By: Stuart Shapiro

Stuart is a professor and the Director of the Public Policy
program at the Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers
University. He teaches economics and cost-benefit analysis and studies
regulation in the United States at both the federal and state levels.
Prior to coming to Rutgers, Stuart worked for five years at the Office
of Management and Budget in Washington under Presidents Clinton and
George W. Bush.