Driving the GOP’s imperiled Senate situation, or course, is a massive shift in party identification. While the two parties are normally about tied in party ID, the Democrats now enjoy a 44-30 advantage in the latest Fox News poll of April 29.A combination of the Iraq war, gas prices, the credit crisis and a looming recession are dragging down the Republican Party, big time.
So is a president with a 28 percent approval rating. Bush needs to go out and tell America that things are bad, but not that bad. There are solid signs that the economy may not be tanking after all. Unemployment, while rising, is still at historic lows. The credit crisis has not led to a wholesale collapse of the financial industry and the instability appears to be easing. And, in Iraq, we are approaching a more stable situation with lower combat deaths. Bush, who has largely been hunkered down in the White House, needs to hit the trail and move his ratings up into the mid- or high 30s, not an insurmountable challenge.
Will the endangered Republicans recover? Most have prevailed, in the past, by lifting their personal ratings out of possible danger early in the race. But when long-term incumbents find themselves mired in the high 40s or low 50s in vote share, it indicates a massive voter desire for change that is not likely to abate.
In the House, the incredible three Democratic bi-election victories, combined with the retirements of so many Republican incumbents, indicates that the GOP may be facing disaster there as well.
This is not a good year to be a Republican.