Every time the DOW sinks lower the number of people who will vote GOP gets less. There is lots of talk about a landslide for Obama. That would be an interesting phenomena. But Democrats, don't get over confident. Sarah Palin may be cute, but the GOP is capable of anything.
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Rothenberg Warns of GOP "Bloodbath"
The horizon looks bleak for House and Senate Republicans
UPDATE, 4 pm: The Cook Political Report is also amping up their predictions of Democratic gains in the House and Senate next month. In the latest updates, Charlie Cook now says Democrats are positioned to win between six and eight Senate seats and 15 to 25 House seats. "At this stage, the most relevant question would seem to be: 'How big will the train wreck be for the Republican Party up and down the ballot in November,'" writes Charlie.
As grim as things look at the moment for John McCain's chances at the White House, the horizon is even darker for House and Senate Republicans trying desperately to avoid huge losses across the country this fall.
As we noted in a story for the Post over the weekend, Republican strategists closely following the battle for Congress are bracing for major losses -- the result of a severely damaged Republican brand combined with the late-breaking economic crisis that has redounded to their party's considerable detriment. (Make sure to read Peter Baker's excellent piece in the New York Times magazine about retiring Virginia Republican Rep. Tom Davis's frank assessment of the miserable state of the GOP.)
And now comes a column from Stu Rothenberg who, along with former Fix boss Charlie Cook stands atop the congressional handicapping game in Washington, in which Stu declares that the GOP stands on the precipice of an electoral "bloodbath."
"While Democratic gains both in the House and Senate could still grow or shrink, for Republicans, the end of this movie won't be pretty, no matter the ultimate number.
We could see a new modern floor for House Republicans made in November, and it's likely to be in the 170s, if not the upper 160s. Given the realignment of the Reagan years and the GOP's advantages coming from the last redistricting, this is an incredibly low level."
Rothenberg goes on to revise upwards his previous seat gain predictions for Democrats in the House and Senate; in the upper chamber he says that 60 seats are now within reach while projecting gains of between 20 and 30 seats in the House. (Need more on the most vulnerable races in the Senate and House? Check our latest Senate and House Friday Lines.)
The impact of such a high-profile handicapper declaring that a second Democratic wave in as many election cycles is forming is hard to overstate. Watch for a series of pieces from major newspapers and cable outlets on the increasing peril for Congressional Republicans this fall -- like this one penned by the New York Times' Carl Hulse today.
What will all that coverage do? Embolden Democrats, depress Republicans and generally make an already bad situation for GOPers even worse.
And, remember: While McCain still has the power to change his situation -- as a presidential nominee he can directly affect the news on any one day between now and Nov. 4 -- House and Senate candidates have little ability to fundamentally alter the national narrative. That's bad news for anyone running downballot with an "R" after his or her name.
By Chris Cillizza | October 9, 2008; 3:06 PM ET | Category: Eye on 2008 , Fix Picks , House , Senate
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