Saturday, August 05, 2006

Good News - Happy News

Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Melmac is still pretending to be optimistic, but the experts say it could be an electoral rout for the Republican Party.
GOP pooh-poohs dire election predictions

By Steven Thomma
McClatchy Newspapers

... Independent political analyst Charles Cook warned this week that Republicans face the threat of "an electoral rout."

"First, the political climate will be extremely hostile to Republican candidates. Second, while Republicans benefited from turnout in 2002 and 2004, this time voter turnout will benefit Democratic candidates. And third, the advantages that the GOP usually has in national party spending will be significantly less than normal."

Republicans would have to lose a net of 15 seats to lose control of the House; six to lose the Senate.

Cook lists 15 Republican-held House seats — and no Democratic seats — as tossups.

"In a very large tidal-wave election, as this one appears to be, it would not be unusual to see all tossups go to one party, along with a few out of the leaning column as well," Cook said, referring to races that "lean" in favor of Republicans, but not by much.

"Republicans might lose their House majority just in the seats in which they are behind or in which their edge is within a poll's margin of error," Cook concluded.

At the University of Virginia's Center for Politics, analysts Sabato and David Wasserman said polls suggest "that Republicans are headed for their most serious midterm losses in decades."

They likened the anti-incumbent mood to the one in 1994, when anger swept Democrats out of power in both houses of Congress. Sabato and Wasserman also increased their predictions of Democratic gains in the House and Senate.

They said they expected Democrats to gain 12 to 15 seats in the House, up from a forecast last month of a gain of six to eight seats. In the Senate, they said they expected Democrats to gain three to six seats, up from a July forecast of two to three seats.

"In this inhospitable climate, the GOP could well get burned worse than initially expected," Wasserman and Sabato wrote. ...

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