Van Hollen: We Got Swamped in Rural Areas

There's no two ways about it: Democrats got smoked in the 2010 midterms. As President Obama put it, his party endured a "shellacking." No one's trying to hide it.

In fact, Rep. Chris Van Hollen, the chairman of the Democratic Party's House campaign arm--the man responsible for softening the blow across the country by raising money and spending it to help his Democratic brethren--marveled recently at how badly Democrats had done in rural areas.

"We got swamped by the vote in the rural areas," Van Hollen told radio host Bill Press on Friday, off microphone before the show went on air. The pre-show comments were recorded on video and posted by C-SPAN, which saves the in-studio video footage of Press's show in its online archive.

"Someone said we lost half our geographic territory," Van Hollen said. "We had made gains in those areas because of the swing [in 2006 and 2008], and so those are the areas that, you know, collapsed back."

The Blaze snagged some video of it:



The video is available at C-SPAN here.

Van Hollen, it should be noted, isn't taking too much heat for how mightily the Democrats were beaten on Tuesday. Democrats seem to recognize that Van Hollen, a productive fundraiser who led the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee quite successfully in 2008, did basically all he could to protect vulnerable members. Multiple congressional sources told me over the weekend that Van Hollen is not being blamed for the way 2010 turned out, rather credited for the work he put in to try to stave off the landslide.

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Chris Good is a political reporter for ABC News. He was previously an associate editor at The Atlantic and a reporter for The Hill.

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