Tom Davis says GOP has 50-50 chance to retake House. Senate 'not impossible'

Former Rep. Tom Davis rates the GOP's chances at retaking the House '50/50.' Retaking control of the Senate was 'not impossible,' he said at a Monitor Breakfast today.

By , Staff writer

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    Former Rep. Tom Davis said the GOP has a 50 percent chance of taking back the House. Davis spoke at a Monitor Breakfast on Monday.
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Former Rep. Tom Davis, who now heads the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership, rates the GOP’s chances of taking control of the House in 2010 as “50/50 anyway, at least.”

Mr. Davis, who was elected to two terms as chair of the National Republican Congressional Committee, cautioned that a GOP victory in November’s congressional elections “is far from done. Because you have to run races and you have to execute. But to date, [Republicans] have put in all the pieces you need to do in terms of recruitment,” he said.

Kudos for the opposition

Speaking Monday at a Monitor-sponsored breakfast for reporters, Davis noted that Rep. Chris Van Hollen of Maryland, the Democratic Congressional Committee Chair, has done “a very good job” preparing his side. Davis said he saw a maximum gain of 50 to 55 seats in the House, with a floor of a 20-to-25 seat gain.

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Former representative Davis, who represented a district in the Virginia suburbs near Washington, is well known on both sides of the aisle for his knowledge of US election history and political strategy. He rated Republicans' chances of regaining control of the Senate as “not impossible.” But he said much will depend on the quality of the senatorial candidates Republicans can recruit in Washington State and Wisconsin.

Healthcare summit: high political theater

On other topics, Davis said Thursday’s bipartisan healthcare summit at the White House will produce “high political theater” but little else as participants wrangle over the healthcare reform plan Mr. Obama unveiled today.

“All of a sudden you bring in TV cameras, you know this is theater,” Davis said. “It is all about the politics of it. I don’t think you are going to bring any Republicans. I don’t think they are going to come in and sign a deal. But it is going to be very interesting to watch."

Now director of federal government services for Deloitte Services LP, Davis offered a blunt warning about the source of the next financial crisis. “The next bubble is government,” he said. “Governments have been overspending at every level. They are levered to the hilt. They are borrowing to the hilt. And something has to give sooner or later, or somebody is not going to be able to pay their bonds.”

Too much focus on the elderly

And Davis warned about the consequences of devoting such a large share of federal resources to older Americans. “We are investing in the past. We are investing in Medicare. We are investing in Social Security. Almost two thirds of our budget is just redistribution of wealth. We are not investing in education, which is the future. We are not investing in scientific research the way we should, which is the future. We are not investing in infrastructure, which is the future. That is where China is investing. That is where our global competitors in Asia are investing.”

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