Indiana Senator Evan Bayh says Democrats could lose 60 House seats

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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Indiana Senator Evan Bayh said Monday that Democrats should be prepared to lose 60 seats in the House on Tuesday, and he criticized his own party for hurting itself after disregarding an early warning from voters.

“I think the over-under went from 40 a couple of months ago to 50, three or four weeks ago,” Bayh said on MSNBC’s Morning Joe with regard to possible losses. “It’s probably 60 in the House right now.”

Bayh, who is retiring from the Senate, is one of only a few Democrats who are publicly predicting huge losses. The senator said his own party is to blame for the upcoming rout.

“When we lost Massachusetts, Ted Kennedy’s Senate seat, for goodness’ sake, that should have been a real wake-up call,” he said. “But…when faced with a cliff, rather than stepping on the brake, we doubled down,” passing the health care bill and the stimulus.

He called both bills poorly timed, and, speaking about the stimulus: “When people are concerned about the deficit, a trillion-dollar spending bill?”

Bayh also criticized his own party for the fact that “we never came with a long-term program, once the economy has begun to recover, for getting the deficit down,” adding that this in particular had damaged Democrats’ prospects with independents.

Quoting a British Labor Party leader, he said that Democrats need to stop governing with the ivory tower attitude that “The public has rejected us again. What’s wrong with them?”