From their mouth to God's ear
The respected Rasmussen Report has today said that current polling indicates the Republicans may lose control of the Senate. It is already a foregone conclusion that they will lose control of the House of Representatives. Saddled by having the most incompetent president in modern history leading their party the Republicans can't do a whole lot except spend tons of money in the hopes of clinging to power.
But there is only so much money can buy and no amount of spending will make Bush competent. Considering how the Republicans, in order to hold power, have allowed Bush to dismantle their core values one by one and replace them with big government "compassionate conservatism" it is only fitting that they lose power in the end over the same things. No self-respecting libertarian who understands anything about libertrianism could support Bush. He's bad on economic freedom, bad and civil freedom and thirsts to be the world's policeman -- a job no where outlined in the Constitution. As I see it the only libertarian who can support this man is either 1.) not a libertarian at all, 2) totally ignorant of libertarian values, 3) totally ignorant of what Bush has done or 4) just plain stupid. Luckily there are few of these individuals around these days.
As I see it if the general public has gotten smart enough to figure out that the Republicans have to go there is no excuse for an "intelligent" person concluding otherwise.
What the Rasmussen polls found is that just a week ago the Republicans were leading in 50 Senate races with five considered too close to call. The Democrats had to win all five of the toss-up states and would then be stuck with a tie in the Senate which could be broken by Vice President Cheney voting.
But what a difference a day makes! Now the polls show a shift in public opinion. The Republicans are leading in 49 seats which looks good but the Democrats are now leading in 48 seats and three states are toss ups. The three states that could go either way are Tennessee, New Jersey and Missouri.
In Tennessee the Democrat, Harold Ford, Jr., has moved up in the polls and is now trailing the Republican, Bob Corker, by just one point. Only a month ago Corker had a 6 point lead. In New Jersey, Republican Tom Kean Jr., has a lead of five points over opponent Bob Menendez. But this race has been tight all year with the candidates swapping the lead. And if one takes a three poll rolling average Menendez has been leading for several months. In Missouri Democrat Claire McCaskill is in the lead by 3 points over Republican incumbent Jim Talent. McCaskill had the lead for most of the last year but fell behind in May, pulled up even in June and then pulled ahead again.
Virginia should be a safe state for the Republicans but is now listed as a toss-up by Rasmussen. Incumbent Republican George Allen is running against Democrat Jim Webb. Webb is a former official in the Reagan administration who bolted to the Democrats -- so many Republicans are doing the same thing. Allen has huge amounts of funds made available to him by the GOP and the Democrats have failed to get behind Webb. In spite of that Webb, who once was behind by 20 points, has continually closed the gap and now trails by 7 points.
Allen made a public racial remark about a poll worker for Webb which cost him dearly. He then tried to claim the term was not racial and he that it was the name of a town in South Africa. Wrong! There is no such town in South Africa and Allen was making up an excuse. With some funding Webb might be doing much better. Allen should have had an easy time of it. If Virginia is a toss-up this indicates how unpopular Bush is with voters. And Republicans know that every Democrat running for office is running against Bush. No one sees it otherwise.
Montana was a safe Bush state in recent years but it now looks like they will elect a Democrat to the Senate. Jim Tester. Republican incumbent Conrad Burns had a lead of 12 points some months back but has seen support declinging. Now Tester is ahead by 9 points.
Another indication of problems for the Republicans is that the number of Americans who say they are Republicans is dropping like a brick. In October 2004 the number was 37.2% but the latest survey shows it is down to 31.9%. Democrats have gone up and now sits at 37.3%. And a new record of 30.8% say they are independent.
Only a few days ago it was unlikely the Democrats would win control of the Senate. Now it seems possible. Losing either house would be hard on the Republicans, losing both would be a disaster for them. But they brought it on themselves.