Daily I am asked my opinion as to whether the Democrats are going to take over the Congress this autumn. I put the question to a dozen or so colleagues at a luncheon last week in the Capitol. Most of those who were counted believed that the GOP would hang on to both Houses but by the narrowest of margins. That would resemble Congress after the 2000 election, when Speaker J. Dennis Hastert hung on to his job by a five-vote margin and the Senate was in Republican hands only by virtue of Vice President Richard G. Cheney's having broken the 50-50 tie, which all came to an end when Senator James P. Jeffords of Vermont decided to become an independent who would caucus with the Democrats. Only one of these keen observers of the political process, other than I, believed that the Democrats would be back in the business of running the Congress. One actually suggested that the GOP would gain a couple of seats in the House and maybe even one in the Senate. This city is so consumed with what every pundit thinks about who will be in control next year that it makes Las Vegas blush. It is the number one topic at nearly every lunch or dinner. Every time there is an indication one way or the other, the reason for the change is hashed over and over.
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