Bad Year for Congressional GOP

Jonathan Weisman of the Washington Post yesterday provided a handy roundup of the Republican Party's troubles lately in congressional politics. They lost a normally Republican ...
by | March 17, 2008

Jonathan Weisman of the Washington Post yesterday provided a handy roundup of the Republican Party's troubles lately in congressional politics. They lost a normally Republican seat that had belonged to former Speaker Dennis Hastert. They failed to recruit strong challengers against potentially vulnerable Democratic senators in South Dakota and New Jersey -- or any challenger at all against Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor.

They haven't been able to get credible opponents to run against several of the Democratic freshmen who took GOP seats in 2006. And the treasurer of the NRCC, the House Republican campaign committee, stole $1 million or so from the organization.

Davis Virginia GOP Rep. Tom Davis, formerly the NRCC chair, has always been good for a quote questioning his own party. Now that he's retiring, he's not holding back, telling Weisman:

"You have a very unhappy electorate, which is no surprise, with oil at $108 a barrel, stocks down a few thousand points, a war in Iraq with no end in sight and a president who is still very, very unpopular. He's just killed the Republican brand."

There are some polls showing McCain now beating the Democratic candidate, especially marking gains against Obama. There's not really all that much movement, though. Since it's always been clear that Democrats would hold the House and Senate, however, it's easy to see McCain at some point offering himself as a brake against one-party control.

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