Blue Dog says Dem losses would strengthen centrists' policy positions

Centrist Blue Dog Democrats might see their position strengthened if Democrats suffer broader electoral losses, one Blue Dog member suggested Tuesday.

Rep. Jason Altmire (D-Pa.) argued that an Election Day rebuke for Democratic candidates across the nation could lead some in the party to rethink their plans on healthcare reform and other issues.

"It looks as though the anger that has been boiling up the last couple of months is going to lead to a pretty high turnout from Republicans and from people who are concerned about increased spending," Altmire said Monday evening during an appearance on Fox Business Network.

ADVERTISEMENT
"And I do think that if the results show Republicans have a pretty good night, that probably is going to lead some Democrats to think that, going into next year, we need to take a second look at the way that we've done a lot of bills we've addressed up to this point," the Pennsylvania congressman added.

Many prognosticators are looking to governors' races in New Jersey and Virginia as well as a special election in New York's 23rd district for signs about the strength of the national Republican and Democratic parties. Democrats are hoping to hold on to the two governors' positions, while the GOP wants to retain the congressional district left by former Rep. John McHugh (R-N.Y.), who became secretary of the Army.

Altmire, who had been a critic of previous healthcare reform proposals, said that he felt better about the current House bill, but added that he's going through the process of deciding whether or not he will support it.

"I can't speak for anyone else, but I do feel like my concerns have been heard," he said.