Misc Political Commentary For Oct 4, 2006

— Right now, Robert Novak is projecting that the Democrats will pick up 12 seats in House, 3 seats in the Senate, and 3 Governorships. If that were the case, the GOP would keep control of Congress.

— Speaking of which my current projections have the GOP losing 5 seats in the Senate, 9-14 in the House, and 3-5 governorships (Of course, those numbers can and will change). The good news is that the Foley scandal probably isn’t going to keep going too much longer unless there’s more info out there that implicates people in the House other than Foley. Also, the GOP’s money edge should start to make a difference from about this point on.

— Given how badly things are going right now, here’s how I view things on the day after the election:

* Republicans retain control of the House and the Senate. That’s good news.

* The Republicans only lose 7-12 seats in the House and 3-4 seats in the Senate. That’s great news.

* The GOP only loses 4-7 seats and 1-2 seats in the Senate. That’s almost an ideal scenario given how poorly this last election cycle has gone.

— On the other hand, given that almost everything has broken the Democrats’ way, failing to take back Congress should prompt some real soul searching. After all, if they can’t take back the house in an environment as favorable to the Democrats as this one, that indicates that they have some serious problems.

— Given how much the Republican base dislikes John Murtha and that the newest poll which shows Diane Irey within 10 points of him even though Murtha has an enormous cash advantage, the GOP should really consider trying to give her some help. Get some big names down there to campaign for her, do a big ad buy, give her some support. After going all out for people like Lincoln Chafee and incompetently damaging Randy Graf’s campaign, getting behind someone like Irey would be a good idea.

— Speaking of Chafee and the AZ-08 district where the Republican Party backed Rino Steve Huffman, isn’t it time for the Party to take an official “hands off” policy in the primaries?

— The people calling for Hastert to step aside now over the Foley scandal are not just wrong, they are holding him to a standard that is so bizarre and irrational that it would practically require the House Leadership to step aside every time a member of the Party engaged in illegal or unethical behavior. But, any way you slice it, this is a damaging blow for Hastert. He wasn’t popular before this whole scandal and would have probably faced a challenge to his leadership position after the elections. Although it would be an ENORMOUS MISTAKE for him to step down right now, the spin on this incident almost guarantees that when that challenge happens, he’s going to lose.

— I like George Allen and given that the two latest polls have him up by 6 points after the dueling “N-Bombs” contest in Virginia, I think he’s going to win. However, he has been tarnished enough by the accusations of racism and the poor handling of his campaign against Webb, that he’s probably toast as a presidential contender. Who benefits from that? From what I’m seeing so far, Newt Gingrich, who is now the default “conservative” candidate in the race may be grabbing some of Allen’s support — and Mitt Romney also seems to be getting some new looks from people who are too turned off by McCain’s treachery, Rudy’s liberalism, and Newt’s personal baggage to consider voting for them.

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