By Dick Morris & Eileen McGann
October 24, 2006
With two weeks to go, anything can happen, but it is beginning to look possible that the Democratic surge in the midterm elections may fall short of control in either House.
Mike Keefe, The Denver Post
Distributed to subscribers for publication by Cagle Cartoons, Inc.
Nationally, Zogby reports that the generic Democratic edge is down to four points, having been as high as nine two weeks ago.
None of these data indicates that the Republicans are out of trouble yet, but Democrats must win one of these three races: Ford in Tennessee, Menendez in New Jersey or Webb in Virginia. If not, they'll fall at least one seat short of controlling the Senate even if they succeed in knocking off all five vulnerable GOP incumbents in Montana, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Missouri.
Why are Republican fortunes brightening?
The GOP base, alienated by the Foley scandal and the generally dismal record of this Congress, may have fast forwarded to the prospect of a Democratic victory and recoiled. They may have pondered the impact of a repeal of the Patriot Act, a ban on NSA wiretapping and a requirement of having an attorney present in terrorist questioning - and decided not to punish the country for the sins of the Republican leaders.
Bush's success in dealing with North Korea and his willingness to reassess tactics in Iraq could also play a part in the slight shift now underway.
Then, too, some in the Democratic Party must be finally realizing what a disastrous decision it was to put Howard Dean in as party chairman. The Democratic National Committee is broke and borrowing, while the GOP can afford to fund fully its key races.
Right now, we would have to say that control of Congress has gone from "lean Democrat" to a "toss-up." And that's progress for the Republicans.
E-mail: Dick Morris at firstname.lastname@example.org