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Political Experts on NBAA Webinar Debate Race to Control Congress

October 4, 2010

“In a midterm election, it’s all about who shows up,” said Republican political strategist Ralph Reed, agreeing with Democratic strategist Julian Epstein on one point: the results of this year’s midterm elections will be decided by the strength of each party’s get out the vote operations.

The two political experts debated each other on the national race to control Congress as well as bellwether races in Pennsylvania and Florida during NBAA’s Election 2010 Preview Webinar, presented free to NBAA Members.

Epstein, CEO of LMG, Inc., a former aide to the House Judiciary Committee and chief Democratic counsel for the impeachment proceeding against President Bill Clinton, noted that while persistently high unemployment rates make it likely for Democrats to lose at least 30 House seats in November, the party will probably retain control of the Senate and are stronger than they look.

“Many of the Tea Party candidates are extremely popular with a very active part of the base, but they may alienate independents,” said Epstein. “And while Republicans talk about freezing domestic spending, that will do almost nothing about the spiraling federal deficit without cutting entitlements.”

Reed, Chairman & CEO for Century Strategies, former Republican Party Chairman for Georgia and the first executive director of the Christian Coalition, agreed that the economy is mostly responsible for creating a “perfect storm” brewing against Democrats, but voters are also reacting to the president and Congress’s policy overreach.

“Those who view the Obama-backed healthcare plan ‘very unfavorably’ are 41 percent of the electorate and those who view it ‘very favorably’ are 18 percent,” said Reed. “That’s almost two-to-one on the intensity meter and it’s creating an enthusiasm gap for Democrats.”

Both experts cited a wealth of statistics to back up their points and shared several informative charts throughout the webinar.

The webinar was moderated by NBAA's Lisa Piccione, senior vice president, government affairs. Piccione encouraged listeners on both sides of the spectrum to get involved in the political process this year.

“Whomever you support in these upcoming elections,” said Piccione, “please reach out to them and educate them about the importance of business aviation to their local community and to the national economy.”

To learn more about this webinar and to download a recording synched with slides, visit