This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal

Politically speaking, who has the upper hand in the upcoming talks over the debt ceiling?

DEMOCRATS (106 VOTES)

Democrats: 83%
Republicans: 3%
About equal: 14%

Democrats

"It should be the GOP, but the tea-party wing is determined to damage the U.S. financial standing, without a clear reason. They literally want to dump the economy in the harbor."

"Once again, Republicans look like they will screw up the national economy with their political games."

"There is no political gain in forcing a default over the debt ceiling."

"Most voters just want the problem solved. "˜Fight to the death' is not the order of the day."

"The president has the bully pulpit and is proving he knows how to use it; the Democrats are speaking with one voice; and public opinion is on our side."

"While the public's view is favorable to the Democrats, further inaction will result in a pox on both parties."

"GOP House members should speak to Newt Gingrich. He'll tell them how not to play with the debt-ceiling vote."

"Republicans don't have the upper hand in anything at this moment."

"When your brand is less popular than a cold sore, it makes it hard to win a PR campaign."

Republicans

"Democrats lost their leverage when [Joe] Biden swept in and gave it away for a song."

About equal

"Equally bad, that is."

"Both parties look pretty foolish, if we're being honest about it."

"The idea that Obama will "˜refuse to negotiate' on the debt ceiling makes no sense. He HAS to negotiate, or House Republicans will simply do nothing and catastrophe will ensue."

"Investors, workers, and our country have the lower hand. God help this country with the House."

Politically speaking, who has the upper hand in the upcoming talks over the debt ceiling?

REPUBLICANS (100 VOTES)

Democrats: 49%
Republicans: 19%
About equal: 32%

Democrats

"The president is eating our lunch in terms of message."

"GOP is stunned and scattered, wandering around drunk."

"Republicans don't have a leg to stand on. They're going to "˜make a stand,' then fold like a house of cards."

"Republicans can't get their act together or speak with one voice — unlike the president."

"It is inexcusable that the GOP has lost the advantage here. A failure of congressional leadership."

"The GOP's default position is "˜government shutdown' — and that's not an option that's palatable to voters."

"It is painful to watch John Boehner try to engage Obama in a game of chess, while the rest of the GOP House is playing a bad game of checkers."

"If GOP would focus more on the sequester and the continuing resolution, they'd have a better chance of rallying the public to their side."

Republicans

"Unlike with taxes for the rich, the voters are solidly with the Republicans on this one. They don't want more debt, and they think spending is the real problem in D.C."

"Americans will begin to see Democrats only want to raise taxes more, more, more."

About equal

"President got his tax increase. Debate shifts to spending."

"Both sides stand to lose about equally. No winners here."

"The GOP did better on substance than Washington scuttlebutt acknowledges. And the messiness of the fiscal-cliff deal gives them some added strength in the next round. But how long can they stand up under the media artillery barrage?"

Who has the most to gain politically from the gun-control debate?

DEMOCRATS (103 VOTES)

Democrats: 62%
Republicans: 11%
About equal: 27%

Democrats

"Democrats are responding to a horrible national tragedy with something a majority the American people see as a responsible policy. The Republicans look like pawns of the NRA."

"If the Democratic response recognizes that there is no one solution, but that reducing access to certain weapons is part of the answer, along with a look at mental-illness treatment and video-game content, the party can continue to position itself as pragmatic, focused on getting things done. That's what voters want."

"The discussion has changed from "˜Don't touch my Second Amendment rights,' to "˜How can we protect our children from unstable people with guns?' "

"Any issue that exposes the hard-line orthodoxy of the current Republican Party is a win for Democrats."

"The battle for the House lies in suburban districts currently controlled by Republicans. Passing smart improvements will favor the Democrats."

"Suburban women will especially be thinking that it could be their child in that school."

Republicans

"It is frightening to think how many gun nuts will redirect their kids' lunch money to the NRA to fund Republican candidates."

"Dems are moving to drive away the moderate base that just came back."

About equal

"Neither side has a coherent message about gun violence."

"Republicans could solidify suburban districts with reasonable compromises, although they seem unlikely to do so. Democratic gains would come from solidifying their base and their losses are limited, as there are few rural members left."

"Both sides are simply talking to their base, not each other."

"Whoever sounds more reasonable will win, which means probably a draw."

Who has the most to gain politically from the gun-control debate?

REPUBLICANS (97 VOTES)

Democrats: 44%
Republicans: 35%
About equal: 21%

Democrats

"If Democrats can be successful in pushing serious gun-control efforts, it will be their first victory in two decades on that issue and poke the NRA right in the eye."

"Centrist voters are OK with moderate restrictions, and the GOP position has been, "˜Don't give an inch.' "

"Once again, the Democrats engage in a false debate and propose solutions that won't actually make anyone safer. But, hey, it's good politics, so they don't care."

"Nothing that means anything will be passed, but Democrats are in a better position to demagogue the issue."

"MVPs are always the ones playing offense not defense!"

Republicans

"Democrats risk overplaying their hand here."

"The Democrats' base isn't as interested in legislating safety as much as they are interested in demolishing the Second Amendment culture. That always leads to a political overreach on this issue."

"Obama will have every gun owner and their family members voting Republican in the midterm election."

"The president is overreaching and will only energize the Republican base, putting Democratic Senate seats at risk."

"Democrats will find themselves in the same place they were after their gun-control splurge in the 1990s."

About equal

"Both sides can alienate some of their own voters, if not careful. In the end, not much will happen."

"America is divided along partisan lines."

"The president has been AWOL on this issue for five years, so any progress will help him. If Republicans are smart, they will go along with enhanced background checks and banning 30-bullet clips so
that they are not simple shills for the NRA."

"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦

Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O'Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O'Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.

Who has the most to gain politically from the gun-control debate?

REPUBLICANS (97 VOTES)

Democrats: 44%
Republicans: 35%
About equal: 21%

Democrats

"If Democrats can be successful in pushing serious gun-control efforts, it will be their first victory in two decades on that issue and poke the NRA right in the eye."

"Centrist voters are OK with moderate restrictions, and the GOP position has been, "˜Don't give an inch.' "

"Once again, the Democrats engage in a false debate and propose solutions that won't actually make anyone safer. But, hey, it's good politics, so they don't care."

"Nothing that means anything will be passed, but Democrats are in a better position to demagogue the issue."

"MVPs are always the ones playing offense not defense!"

Republicans

"Democrats risk overplaying their hand here."

"The Democrats' base isn't as interested in legislating safety as much as they are interested in demolishing the Second Amendment culture. That always leads to a political overreach on this issue."

"Obama will have every gun owner and their family members voting Republican in the midterm election."

"The president is overreaching and will only energize the Republican base, putting Democratic Senate seats at risk."

"Democrats will find themselves in the same place they were after their gun-control splurge in the 1990s."

About equal

"Both sides can alienate some of their own voters, if not careful. In the end, not much will happen."

"America is divided along partisan lines."

"The president has been AWOL on this issue for five years, so any progress will help him. If Republicans are smart, they will go along with enhanced background checks and banning 30-bullet clips so
that they are not simple shills for the NRA."

"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦"¦

Democratic Political Insiders Jill Alper, John Anzalone, Brad Bannon, Dave Beattie, Andy Bechhoefer, Cornell Belcher, Matt Bennett, Mitchell W. Berger, Mike Berman, Stephanie Bosh, Paul Brathwaite, Donna Brazile, Mark Brewer, Ed Bruley, George Bruno, Bonnie Campbell, Bill Carrick, Guy Cecil, Martin J. Chavez, Tony Coelho, Larry Cohen, Jerry Crawford, Brendan Daly, Jeff Danielson, Peter Daou, Howard Dean, Scott DeFife, Jim Demers, Tad Devine, David Di Martino, Debbie Dingell, Monica Dixon, Patrick Dorton, Pat Dujakovich, Anita Dunn, Jeff Eller, Steve Elmendorf, Carter Eskew, Vic Fazio, Peter Fenn, Scott Ferson, Jim Fleischmann, Tina Flournoy, Don Foley, Jeffrey Forbes, Vincent Frillici, Gina Glantz, Niles Godes, John Michael Gonzalez, Joe Grandmaison, Anna Greenberg, Stan Greenberg, Pat Griffin, Larry Grisolano, Michael Gronstal, Lisa Grove, Marcia Hale, Jill Hanauer, Dick Harpootlian, Paul Harstad, Laura Hartigan, Doug Hattaway, Mike Henry, Karen Hicks, Leo Hindery Jr., Harold Ickes, Marcus Jadotte, John Jameson, Steve Jarding, Jonathon Jones, Jim Jordan, Gale Kaufman, Lisa Kountoupes, Celinda Lake, David Lang, Penny Lee, Chris Lehane, Jeff Link, Bob Maloney, Jim Manley, Steve Marchand, Jim Margolis, Paul Maslin, Keith Mason, Susan McCue, Gerald McEntee, Steve McMahon, Tom McMahon, Phil McNamara, David Medina, Michael Meehan, Mark Mellman, John Merrigan, Michael Monroe, Steve Murphy, Janet Napolitano, David Nassar, Marcia Nichols, John Norris, Tom Ochs, Tom O'Donnell, Jeffrey Peck, Debora Pignatelli, Tony Podesta, Jefrey Pollock, Jack Quinn, Larry Rasky, Mame Reiley, Ed Rendell, Steve Ricchetti, Will Robinson, Steve Rosenthal, David Rudd, Ryan Rudominer, John Ryan, Michael Sargeant, Stephanie Schriock, Terry Shumaker, Sean Sinclair, Phil Singer, Erik Smith, Doug Sosnik, Greg Speed, Darry Sragow, Ken Strasma, Doug Thornell, Jeffrey Trammell, Ed Turlington, Rick Wiener, James Williams, JoDee Winterhof, Brian Wolff, Jon Youngdahl, and Jim Zogby.

GOP Political Insiders Dan Allen, Stan Anderson, Gary Andres, Saulius (Saul) Anuzis, Rich Ashooh, Whit Ayres, Brett Bader, Mitch Bainwol, Brian Baker, Gary Bauer, David Beckwith, Paul Bennecke, Clark Benson, Wayne Berman, Brian Bieron, Charlie Black, Kirk Blalock, Carmine Boal, Jeff Boeyink, Ron Bonjean, Jeff Buley, Luke Byars, Nick Calio, Al Cardenas, Danny Carroll, Alex Castellanos, Ron Christie, Jim Cicconi, Jonathan Collegio, Rob Collins, Cesar Conda, Jake Corman, Scott Cottington, Jay Cranford, Greg Crist, Diane Crookham-Johnson, Fergus Cullen, Tom Davis, Mike Dennehy, Ken Duberstein, Debi Durham, Sara Fagen, Frank Fahrenkopf, John Feehery, Don Fierce, Mindy Finn, Carl Forti, Alex Gage, Bruce A. Gates, Sam Geduldig, Adam Geller, Benjamin Ginsberg, David Girard-diCarlo, Bill Greener, Jonathan Grella, Lanny Griffith, Janet Mullins Grissom, Doug Gross, Todd Harris, Steve Hart, Christopher Healy, Ralph Hellmann, Chris Henick, Terry Holt, David Iannelli, Ed Ingle, Jim Innocenzi, Clark Judge, David Keating, David Kensinger, Bob Kjellander, Ed Kutler, Chris LaCivita, Jim Lake, Steven Law, Steve Lombardo, Kevin Madden, Joel Maiola, Gary Maloney, David Marin, Mary Matalin, Dan Mattoon, Brian McCormack, Mark McKinnon, Kyle McSlarrow, Ken Mehlman, Jim Merrill, Lisa Camooso Miller, Tim Morrison, Mike Murphy, Phil Musser, Ron Nehring, Terry Nelson, Neil Newhouse, David Norcross, Ziad Ojakli, Jack Oliver, Todd Olsen, Kevin O'Neill, Connie Partoyan, Billy Piper, Van B. Poole, Tom Rath, Scott Reed, David Rehr, Tom Reynolds, Steve Roberts, Jason Roe, David Roederer, Dan Schnur, Russ Schriefer, Rich Schwarm, Brent Seaborn, Rick Shelby, Andrew Shore, Kevin Shuvalov, Don Sipple, Ken Spain, Fred Steeper, Bob Stevenson, Terry Sullivan, David Tamasi, Eric Tanenblatt, Richard Temple, Heath Thompson, Jay Timmons, Warren Tompkins, Ted Van Der Meid, Dirk van Dongen, Jan van Lohuizen, Stewart Verdery, Dick Wadhams, John Weaver, Lezlee Westine, Dave Winston, Ginny Wolfe, Fred Wszolek, and Matthew Zablud.

Politically speaking, who has the upper hand in the upcoming talks over the debt ceiling?

DEMOCRATS (106 VOTES)

Democrats: 83%
Republicans: 3%
About equal: 14%

Democrats

"It should be the GOP, but the tea-party wing is determined to damage the U.S. financial standing, without a clear reason. They literally want to dump the economy in the harbor."

"Once again, Republicans look like they will screw up the national economy with their political games."

"There is no political gain in forcing a default over the debt ceiling."

"Most voters just want the problem solved. "˜Fight to the death' is not the order of the day."

"The president has the bully pulpit and is proving he knows how to use it; the Democrats are speaking with one voice; and public opinion is on our side."

"While the public's view is favorable to the Democrats, further inaction will result in a pox on both parties."

"GOP House members should speak to Newt Gingrich. He'll tell them how not to play with the debt-ceiling vote."

"Republicans don't have the upper hand in anything at this moment."

"When your brand is less popular than a cold sore, it makes it hard to win a PR campaign."

Republicans

"Democrats lost their leverage when [Joe] Biden swept in and gave it away for a song."

About equal

"Equally bad, that is."

"Both parties look pretty foolish, if we're being honest about it."

"The idea that Obama will "˜refuse to negotiate' on the debt ceiling makes no sense. He HAS to negotiate, or House Republicans will simply do nothing and catastrophe will ensue."

"Investors, workers, and our country have the lower hand. God help this country with the House."

Politically speaking, who has the upper hand in the upcoming talks over the debt ceiling?

REPUBLICANS (100 VOTES)

Democrats: 49%
Republicans: 19%
About equal: 32%

Democrats

"The president is eating our lunch in terms of message."

"GOP is stunned and scattered, wandering around drunk."

"Republicans don't have a leg to stand on. They're going to "˜make a stand,' then fold like a house of cards."

"Republicans can't get their act together or speak with one voice — unlike the president."

"It is inexcusable that the GOP has lost the advantage here. A failure of congressional leadership."

"The GOP's default position is "˜government shutdown' — and that's not an option that's palatable to voters."

"It is painful to watch John Boehner try to engage Obama in a game of chess, while the rest of the GOP House is playing a bad game of checkers."

"If GOP would focus more on the sequester and the continuing resolution, they'd have a better chance of rallying the public to their side."

Republicans

"Unlike with taxes for the rich, the voters are solidly with the Republicans on this one. They don't want more debt, and they think spending is the real problem in D.C."

"Americans will begin to see Democrats only want to raise taxes more, more, more."

About equal

"President got his tax increase. Debate shifts to spending."

"Both sides stand to lose about equally. No winners here."

"The GOP did better on substance than Washington scuttlebutt acknowledges. And the messiness of the fiscal-cliff deal gives them some added strength in the next round. But how long can they stand up under the media artillery barrage?"

Who has the most to gain politically from the gun-control debate?

DEMOCRATS (103 VOTES)

Democrats: 62%
Republicans: 11%
About equal: 27%

Democrats

"Democrats are responding to a horrible national tragedy with something a majority the American people see as a responsible policy. The Republicans look like pawns of the NRA."

"If the Democratic response recognizes that there is no one solution, but that reducing access to certain weapons is part of the answer, along with a look at mental-illness treatment and video-game content, the party can continue to position itself as pragmatic, focused on getting things done. That's what voters want."

"The discussion has changed from "˜Don't touch my Second Amendment rights,' to "˜How can we protect our children from unstable people with guns?' "

This article is from the archive of our partner National Journal.

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