It's not often that I enjoy reading an Ad Nags story - I'm beginning to wonder if maybe he's not actually a Republican hack, but just someone who really really likes writing "______s In Disarray" stories. On the other hand, I see quotes from both parties, so there's a very good chance that this was written by a body-snatcher or impostor of some kind. Or maybe Robin Toner is just a bad influence.
The battle for Congress rolled into a climactic final weekend with Republican Party leaders saying the best outcome they could foresee was losing 12 seats in the House. But they were increasingly steeling themselves to the loss of at least 15 and therefore control of the House for the first time in 12 years.Maybe because the Republicans have been blindly supporting the most criminal and incompetent presidency since Watergate? And then some?
Party strategists on both sides, speaking in interviews after they had finished conducting their last polls and making their final purchases of television time, said they were running advertisements in more than 50 Congressional districts this weekend, far more than anyone thought would be in play at this stage.
Nearly all of those seats are held by Republicans, underscoring the degree to which President Bush and his party have been forced onto the defensive two years after he claimed that his re-election had given him the political capital to carry out an ambitious domestic and foreign agenda.
“It’s the worst political environment for Republican candidates since Watergate,” said Glen Bolger, a Republican pollster working in many of the top races this year.
Joe Gaylord, who was the political lieutenant to Newt Gingrich when he led the Republican takeover of the House in 1994, said that based on polling he had seen in recent weeks, he expected his party to lose 25 seats to 30 seats on Tuesday. That general assessment was repeatedly echoed in interviews with Republicans close to the White House and the Republican National Committee.Sounds like they might just be managing expectations, so that anything short of total disaster (i.e., getting crushed in the House and just barely hanging onto the Senate by one seat) can be spun as a triumphant come-from-behind victory by those plucky Republican underdogs.
“It’s very grim,” Mr. Gaylord said. “Things are dreadful out there.”
On the other hand...
Karl Rove, Mr. Bush’s chief political adviser, has assured nervous associates that the Republican turnout operation would help save the party from electoral disaster.Karl Rove's brilliant Get-Out-The-Vote plan will save the day! Huzzah! So if the election results have no relation to the polling over the last 2-3 months, that's because of that great Republican turnout machine we saw in 2002 and 2004, and absolutely nothing to do with purging voter rolls, or vote suppression, or dodgy and unverifiable electronic voting machines.
“There are a lot of seats on the bubble, and that is why turnout makes such a difference,” said Representative Eric Cantor of Virginia, the deputy Republican whip.
Representative Thomas M. Reynolds, the New York Republican heading his party’s effort to hold the House, said: “Turnout will be key to us in these three dozen races that are close across the country.”
Ken Mehlman, the Republican national chairman, said in an interview that the “race for the House remains very close, and I believe we will keep our majority.
“And I think the Senate, in the last week,” he said, “has been very good for Republicans and very difficult for Democrats.”
(Side note: My dream scenario is that the Republicans pull out all the stops to try to game the vote in every way imaginable, and not only is it not enough, but they actually get caught so in flagrante derigto that the media actually has to report it.)
Only the Republicans would be able to concoct and sustain two mutually contradictory narratives at the same time. I guess it's like when a newspaper composes two different front pages and editorials before a big election or championship game, so that they're fully prepared for either outcome...