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Americans' Confidence in Elected Officials Hits All-Time Low

This is a rush transcript from "Hannity," July 22, 2010. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

SEAN HANNITY, HOST: The countdown is on. We're only 103 days away from the 2010 midterms, and as we inch closer and closer to those all-important elections, we are learning that Americans' confidence in their elected representatives has now hit an all-time low.

Now last night we told you that President Obama's approval rating has now sunk to 44 percent in the latest Quinnipiac Poll. Now that is a record low for his presidency.

And now Congress is in the hot seat. Take a look at this. Under the leadership of Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid, a brand new Gallup Poll reveals that only 11 percent of Americans say they have confidence in Congress. Now that is a six-point drop in less than a month.

And as you can see, it is the lowest point this number has hit since Gallup began tracking all the way back in 1973.

So with those numbers in mind and only 103 days before Americans step into the voting booths all across the country, can Democrats maintain control of Congress or is a major shift in power on the horizon in our nation's capital?

And joining me now with analysis, the one and only, Bob Beckel.

BOB BECKEL, FOX NEWS CONTRIBUTOR: Nice to see you, Sean.

HANNITY: Nice to see you, Bob. And Republican strategist Noelle Nikpour is back with us.

Guys, welcome back. All right.

BECKEL: Thank you.

HANNITY: Beckel, come on. You know numbers. Try and spin your way out of this. I'm just curious if you're going to even try.

BECKEL: This is a dance that I don't dance, my man. Look, the reality is obvious here that there's going to be losses for the Democrats. We know that. The question is, is there going to be enough losses to take 39 seats for the Republicans in the House and 10 seats from the Senate — in the Senate for the Republicans to gain the majority?

They won't happen in the Senate. In the House — the jury is still out on it. But I'll tell you this, it is not a wave election like we've seen before. The kind of election we saw in 1994 and the kind of election we saw in 2006.

We're not seeing the same indicators.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: One thing I'll tell you is that 80 million people going to the polls, more than likely, this November. And those 80 million there are lots still more registered Democrats than there are Republicans.

HANNITY: Well, first of all, the — let me correct you on two things, and I do so ever so gently because you're my liberal friend.

BECKEL: I hope so.

HANNITY: All right.

BECKEL: I hope so.

HANNITY: President Obama's approval rating is lower than of that Bill Clinton's in '94. And number two, Congress' approval rating was not that low and that became a major wave election.

So there's a lot more to this, Noelle. We'll get your take on it.

NOELLE NIKPOUR, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Yes, you know what? The way I look at it is that America is on the verge of losing her greatness. I mean think about it, our economy is at an all-time low. The jobless rate, which is one of the things that Americans care about and one of the reasons why the Republican Party is probably going to cleanup, clean house and have to clean up Obama's new mess.

You know, and one of the things that I've noticed is Obama has got so many social programs and not enough money to pay for it just like our great state of California, which is the whole reason they're in the toboggle.

HANNITY: Yes.

NIKPOUR: That they're in now. And —

HANNITY: All right — go ahead.

NIKPOUR: And as far as the elections, I mean, I'll give you three really good examples. Right here in my home state we've got Blanche Lincoln running against Congressman John Boozman for U.S. Senate. She's incumbent. Nobody would have ever dared run against her.

He is going to take that seat. And we're about this far from calling Congressman Boozman Senator Boozman.

And another thing you've got, like, randomly John Laughlin who is in Rhode Island who's about to take out an old seat once held by Patrick Kennedy.

HANNITY: Yes.

NIKPOUR: Longtime Democrat.

(CROSSTALK)

HANNITY: You got, look, you have Patty Murray in trouble. You got Barbara Boxer in trouble. You got Russ Feingold in trouble. You got Harry Reid obviously in trouble.

NIKPOUR: Oh, yes.

HANNITY: But let me dig a little bit deeper. And I think this is interesting, Bob. A plurality of voters now around the country think we would have been better off if John McCain was elected in the last election. Number one. And number two for the first time in Quinnipiac's history, you know, Americans believe 48-40 that President Barack Obama does not deserve a second term.

Those —

BECKEL: Yes — you know, with all due respect.

HANNITY: With all due respect —

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: You don't want to argue numbers with me. I mean let me go back and correct — first of all, I noticed my dear friend Miss Nikpour's accent gets a lot stronger when she's coming out of Arkansas. I would not count that Senate seat if I were you yet.

HANNITY: Ouch. Ouch.

BECKEL: Number one. Number two —

HANNITY: Ouch.

NIKPOUR: I am.

BECKEL: Here's some facts.

HANNITY: I'll let you say you're sorry, Bob. That was —

BECKEL: No, I mean her — I love her accent. But I'm just telling you —

HANNITY: Oh, I love her accent —

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: Did you understand it? You're from Long Island. You probably didn't understand a thing she said.

HANNITY: Wow. What hostility!

BECKEL: Now, listen, we're talking numbers now. Let's try to stick to numbers. And here — the fact is, in the wave elections that we had in '94 and 2006 the Democrats' in '94 numbers plummeted very much like they're doing now.

But simultaneously the Republican numbers started to go up. Conversely in 2006 the Republicans plummeted, the Democrats went up. In this case the Republicans haven't raised — gone up at all.

In fact they're still seen as more disapproved by people than the Democrats are.

HANNITY: All right. Let me give one more shot.

BECKEL: So it's not as if you've got an election that is anti-Democrat. It's anti-incumbent.

HANNITY: All right. Look, let me see if we get into the internals, and then you are good in numbers, Bob, but you're also good at spinning numbers, which is what we love about you.

And, look, a tip of the hat, you know you're spinning. You don't smile that much if you're not spinning — all right. Obama's ratings don't get any better if we turn to specific issues.

Noelle, let me give you an example.

NIKPOUR: Yes.

HANNITY: Disapprove, 56-39 on his handling of the economy. That's massive. That's nearly 20 points.

NIKPOUR: Yes.

HANNITY: Disapprove, 58-30 on illegal immigration. Disapprove 51-41 on the handling of the Gulf. Disapprove on the — same with foreign policy. I mean the only issue he's winning on right now is Elena Kagan.

NIKPOUR: Well, I mean, this is proof enough that Obama doesn't know how to get the job done. I mean think about. He promised transparency and he promised that we were going to have a better America.

I'm not seeing a better America. As a matter of fact, I've got friends — real friends that have MBA's that can't find a job. I've got a girlfriend that just graduated from college, she can't find a job.

I'm not seeing it. I'm seeing my neighbors getting their houses foreclosed on. So I don't know what America that Bob Beckel is living in.

BECKEL: Noelle — Noelle, could I ask you a question? You don't think America is better off today than it was in January of —

HANNITY: No.

BECKEL: — 2000?

NIKPOUR: No. No, it's not.

BECKEL: You don't?

NIKPOUR: No. No, I'm telling you —

BECKEL: You guys are both taken leave of your senses. If you remember back then things were frozen. People were —

HANNITY: Oh stop it.

(CROSSTALK)

BECKEL: We've come such a long way— wait one second.

HANNITY: You can't blame Bush forever.

(CROSSTALK)

NIKPOUR: Bob, what are you drinking?

HANNITY: Stop.

NIKPOUR: What are you drinking?

BECKEL: What am I drinking?

NIKPOUR: Seriously.

BECKEL: I'm not drinking anything.

NIKPOUR: I mean you actually —

BECKEL: I haven't drank for 10 years.

NIKPOUR: Have you gone —

BECKEL: It's what you all are drinking is the problem.

HANNITY: All right, hang on. Hang on.

BECKEL: And you've got to look at numbers.

HANNITY: Hang on. We are. Let me bring something up here. I think this is important. Whoa, whoa, whoa, back to neutral corners.

The finger-pointing, though, has begun in the Democratic Party, Bob. Now you — look.

BECKEL: Yes.

HANNITY: We have Robert Gibbs admitting the obvious that yes, the House is in jeopardy. I think even the Senate is probably in jeopardy but the Republicans would need to run the table and that is going to be difficult. No doubt about it.

But they're pointing fingers also — you got Kent Conrad, and you got Ben Nelson, and you got Evan Bayh, they're now telling Nancy Pelosi is saying by the way, we're going to eliminate the Bush tax cuts especially for the rich. They're saying hold on now, we don't agree with that.

These are Democrats now seeing that the country is at odds with the Obama economic agenda. So I don't know how — you got a battle going on within your own party.

BECKEL: Let's try to get what they said correct. Eliminate the Bush tax cuts only for the rich.

HANNITY: And Conrad said no. And nelson said no.

BECKEL: Listen. Is the House in jeopardy? I've said this over and over. Of course it's in jeopardy. Is it going to be a — is it a possibility the Democrats will lose? Yes. But you all are making it sound like this is a slam-dunk with over 100 days left to go.

I've been in a lot of politics, a lot of campaigns in my life. And I'll tell you this, when go into an election, when you've got a party — the Republican Party — that is not seen as anything more favorable — in any dimension more favorable than the Democrats —

HANNITY: All right. Let me ask this.

BECKEL: — you got a president that's unpopular in some things, there's no question. But the formula is not here for a wave election. That's something you've got to pay attention to.

HANNITY: All right. I'll take that bet. All right, let me ask the last question to —

BECKEL: We haven't made a bet yet, but I'm happy to make one with you.

HANNITY: Last question to Noelle. Charlie Rangel. We saw the impact the Mark Foley issue had on the Republican Party. Now we've got Rangel charged with multiple ethics violations. Is this going to be a big, big thorn in the Democrats' side?

NIKPOUR: Absolutely it's going to be a torn. They can't take much more on that — on the Democratic Party and on them as a whole. At all.

HANNITY: By the way, Beckel, I like your Larry King look.

BECKEL: Hey listen. Hey, Sean, just one thing on our bet. If the Democrats lose control I'll wear a Boehner pin for a week. And if the Democrats maintain control you wear Pelosi on the air for a week.

HANNITY: No. No.

BECKEL: You won't do that?

HANNITY: No.

BECKEL: You're not that confident? Come on.

HANNITY: No. I'd rather —

BECKEL: Come on.

HANNITY: No, I'm not betting — I would never take that bet because I would never want to have to pay off. Never bet something if you don't want to lose.

All right, thanks, guys, for being with us. We appreciate it.

BECKEL: Good seeing you. Take care.

— Watch "Hannity" weeknights at 9 p.m. ET!

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