I’ve been pessimistic about the Republicans’ chances of retaking congress in ’08, because there are so many more Republicans retiring than Democrats, which strongly favors the Democrats keeping control, and even increasing their lead.
Human Events has another viewpoint on that:
But one little-noticed fact may have a major impact on Republican ranks in the House after ’08, no matter what their numbers: that with so many of the seventeen including prominent moderate GOPers, odds are strong that the trend toward the terms “Republican” and “conservative” becoming mutually inclusive will continue after the next election.
As the moderate wing of the party has seen its prominent members — notably from the Northeast — be defeated or step down, the election of conservatives to the House on the Republican label grows. As the “Sunbelt” (South and the West) dominates the ranks of Republican U.S. Representatives, there is but one Republican lawmaker left from New England: liberal GOPer Christopher Shays (R.-Conn.). In addition, as more moderate GOPers vacate safe or Republican-leaning districts, the nomination process is increasingly yielding a successor who is conservative.
There are other hopeful signs being reported by Fox News and the New York Times.
First the Fox report:
Republican supporters looking for a comeback said a number of districts lost in the 2006 midterm election can be retaken with the right focus and resources. Many of the Democrats targeted are key freshmen who Republicans said won their seats in a “perfect storm” of conditions that won’t hold the same relevance in the next election.
Among the Democratic lawmakers in GOP sights are:
— Rep. Nick Lampson, D-Texas, who lost his seat in 2005 after a Republican-engineered redistricting in Texas but won it back last year when the chief conductor of that redistricting, then-GOP Majority Leader Tom DeLay, announced he would not be running again for office amid political scandal;
— Rep. Tim Mahoney, D-Fla., who won his seat last year after GOP Rep.Mark Foley resigned following reports of inappropriate e-mails sent to underage House pages during Foley’s tenure on Capitol Hill. Foley’s departure was too late to get the Republican candidate’s name on the ballot and Mahoney sailed through the election, winning in a district that is heavily Republican and went for President Bush by 52 percent in 2004;
— Rep. Chris Carney, D-Pa., another Democratic winner in a Republican-leaning district amid scandal. A lieutenant commander in the Naval Reserve, Carney won his seat after long-time incumbent Don Sherwood’s popularity plummeted following news he not only had an extramarital affair but had been accused of beating the woman.
— Rep. Gerald McNerney, D-Calif., who managed to wrestle this heavily GOP district in suburban northern California from incumbent GOP Rep. Richard Pombo, who many believed was punished by the voters for his ties to disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff.
Republicans are fully aware of the need for change across the country and are telling candidates in key districts to bash Washington if necessary, said one party insider.
The New York Times covers the problem vulnerable Dems have in red states with being associated with Hillary. She’s like an anchor chained to their ankles:
Mrs. Clinton is a long way from winning the Democratic presidential nomination, and over the last few weeks has struggled to hang on to the air of inevitability that she has been cultivating all year. But the possibility that she will be the nominee is already generating concern among some Democrats in Republican-leaning states and Congressional districts, who fear that sharing the ticket with her could subject them to attack as too liberal and out of step with the values of their constituents.
And few incumbent Democrats face a greater challenge next year than Ms. Boyda, whose district delivered almost 60 percent of its votes to President Bush in 2004.
Ms. Boyda, 52, is a former Republican who represents the state capital, Topeka, and a surrounding expanse of prairie and pasture interspersed with conservative small towns, military posts and this college community, home to Kansas State University. It was by appealing to conservative Democrats and moderate Republicans that she was able to defeat Jim Ryun, a five-term congressman, by 51 percent to 47 percent last year.
This time both Mr. Ryun and another Republican, Lynn Jenkins, the state treasurer, are lined up to run against her. And while vulnerable Democrats like her are not likely to have an easy time even if Senator Barack Obama, John Edwards or any of the other Democratic presidential candidates wins the nomination, Republicans in Kansas say Mrs. Clinton’s presence on the ticket would unite their party in opposition to her and give dispirited conservatives a reason to get excited about the race.
Also, the Republicans’ secret weapon…the gift that keeps on giving, Senator (the Iraq War is Lost) Reid is still bound and determined to declare defeat, and bring the boys home:
“The surge hasn’t accomplished its goals,” Reid said. “… We’re involved, still, in an intractable civil war.”
the only way Battlin’ Harry’s leaving the field of defeat is if he’s carried off.
Gateway Pundit seems downright giddy about our chances:
The Republicans are ready to take back the House from the “do nothing”Dems.
I haven’t been too worried about the presidential election because the Democratic candidates are so weak, but I’ve realized for some time that ’08 would be an uphill battle for the Congressional Republicans. If we can at least retake the House, I’ll be happy.