It goes without saying that the GOP is taking a dreadful thrashing right now. Conservatives are unmotivated, Democrats are obliterating Republicans in the fundraising arena, and the GOP's poll numbers have dropped off a cliff.
George Bush, the face of the Republican Party, has an approval rating of 30% and according to Rasmussen Reports, one of the best polling agencies in the business, 41.4% of Americans consider themselves to be Democrats while only 31.4% say they are Republicans. Worse yet, voters trust the Democrats more than Republicans on the economy, government ethics, the war in Iraq, health care, Social Security, education, immigration, and abortion. Yes, the GOP still has an edge on taxes and national security, but how are Republicans going to compete in 2008 if they cede all those other issues to the Dems?
That's something Republicans in Congress are just going to have to figure out. How do you win elections when your supporters are unenthusiastic, people are sick of your political party, and money is in short supply? Unfortunately, in 2006, the answer was, "You don't."
In 2006, Republicans lost 6 seats in the Senate and 30 seats in the House. Although it's far too early to say for sure, judging by the direction the political winds are blowing, it wouldn't be the least bit surprising if the GOP loses another 4-6 seats in the Senate and an additional 10-15 House seats this time around.
So, why does the GOP seem to be trapped in this recurring political nightmare?
There are a plethora of different reasons for it: the war in Iraq, gas prices, a soft economy, George Bush's lack of communication skills, corruption scandals, the illegal immigration brouhaha, nominee John McCain, out-of-control spending -- you can go on and on.
However, there is one overriding problem that dwarfs all the others, a problem that few people in the leadership of the Republican Party seem to have come to grips with. That problem is that conservatives, who are the heart and soul of the Republican Party, no longer believe that the GOP has their best interests at heart.