Round ‘Em Up!

After briefly breaking into the 40s Chimpy’s approval rating has slipped back below the Pony Line inevery major poll conducted since September 29.

CNN 39% Approval, 56% Disapproval

USA Today/Gallup 37% Approval, 59% Disapproval

ABC/Washington Post 39% Approval, 60% Disapproval

CBS/New York Times 34% Approval, 60% Disapproval

Newsweek 33% Approval, 59% Disapproval

Time 36% Approval, 57% Disapproval

AP-Ipsos 38% Approval, 59% Disapproval

Pew 37% Approval, 53% Disapproval

NBC/Wall Street Journal 39% Approval, 56% Disapproval

Republicans cansee the handwriting on the wall.


Republican campaign officials said yesterday that they expect to lose at least seven House seats and as many as 30 in the Nov. 7 midterm elections, as a result of sustained violence in Iraq and the page scandal involving former GOP representative Mark Foley.

Democrats need to pick up 15 seats in the election to take back control of the House after more than a decade of GOP leadership.

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GOP leaders privately said that Democrats are edging much closer to locking down a majority of House seats because a small but significant number of conservatives are frustrated with Republican governance, while independent swing voters are turning against GOP candidates.

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With four weeks left in the campaign, GOP strategists, speaking on background, have begun to outline a highly gloomy view of the House election for their party.

They are all but writing off GOP open seats in Arizona, Colorado, Texas and Florida (the one previously held by Foley). Party officials said that three GOP incumbents in Indiana are trailing in private polling and that seats thought safe suddenly appear imperiled. These include the open Florida seat vacated by Rep. Katherine Harris, who is running for senator. “It is unquestionably closer than we would like,” said Rep. Adam Putnam (R-Fla.).

In a sign that the political environment is getting worse for Republicans, political handicapper Charlie Cook now lists 25 GOP-held seats as a tossup — seven more than before the Foley scandal broke Sept. 29. Stuart Rothenberg, a nonpartisan expert on House races, has raised to nine the number of GOP seats tilting Democratic or likely to switch hands.

Unlike in most elections, when both parties defend several seats, Democrats are favored to win every seat they now occupy and are spending money to defend only a few. As a result, Democrats are not as vulnerable to the GOP’s campaign finance advantage in the final weeks as they have been in past campaigns.