For the sake of the country, the country’s economy, and the entire world, let us hope the Republican’s worry is true. Surprisingly, Sarah Lueck’s entire article doesn’t mention the Iraq War once – you’d think the Republican’s support for the war might have something to do with their anticipated losses.
Republicans are bracing for double-digit losses in the House and the prospect of four or five losses in the Senate, as they fight to hold a wide range of districts and states normally seen as safe for them, from Alaska and Colorado to Mississippi and North Carolina.
The feared setback for Republicans, coming two years after their 2006 drubbing, is unusual for several reasons. It is rare for a party to lose two election cycles in a row. And many expect losses even if their presidential candidate, John McCain, captures the White House.
A larger Democratic margin means that schmucks like Senator Lieberman would lose their clout.
But a wider margin of control in both chambers would give the party a more workable majority, a change that would let it push more ambitious agendas on health care, energy policy and tax issues. While Democrats are already able to pass much of their agenda through the House, many of those bills currently get stuck in the Senate. A handful more seats in that chamber would give Democrats a better chance of overcoming filibusters, which require 60 votes to break.
“A lot of Republicans thought that 2006 was the low point, and that simply isn’t the case,” said Nathan Gonzales, political editor of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report, which predicts Democratic gains of eight to 12 seats in the House and three to five seats in the Senate.
“It’s like 2006 never ended for Republicans,” said Jennifer Duffy, of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, which predicts Democratic gains of 10 to 20 seats in the House and four to seven in the Senate.
Already this year, Republicans have lost three House seats in special elections in Republican-leaning districts, an alarm bell for many in the party as they strategize for campaign season.
The dynamics at work: voters’ sharply negative views of President Bush and dismal feelings about the direction of the country, including rising oil and gas prices, a weak economy and fallout from the housing crisis. Even though Congress continues to register low approval ratings, voters overall appear to prefer putting Democrats in charge.
And that little policy decision to continue a massive war in Iraq, let us not forget. The electorate may be dense on lots of topics, but most people realize that pissing away billions of dollars a month in the desert ($720,000,000 a day, according to the Washington Post, which probably doesn’t include all related, long-term costs) isn’t good for the rest of the economy.