Economic upheaval threatening G.O.P. chances in Congress

October 9th, 2008 - 1:46 pm ICT by ANI  

Barack Obama

Washington, Oct.9 (ANI): The economic upheaval in the United States is threatening to topple Republican Congressional candidates, putting more Senate and House seats within Democratic reach less than a month before the elections.
The New York Times quoted lawmakers and campaign strategists as saying that the intense focus on the economic turmoil and last weeks bailout vote have combined to rapidly expand a Democratic advantage in Congressional contests.
Analysts now predict a Democratic surge on a scale that seemed unlikely just weeks ago, with even some Republicans in traditional strongholds fighting for their political careers, and Democratic leaders dreaming of ironclad majorities.
In North Carolina, Senator Elizabeth Dole, a former Republican presidential contender and cabinet member, is teetering. In Kentucky, the opponent of the Senate Republican leader, Mitch McConnell, has drawn even in some polls, though Republicans say they believe he will win.
Democrats say they feel confidently ahead in five Senate races where they hope to pick up Republican seats, and they believe their candidates are running competitively in seven more.
In the House, Democrats say they could capture a dozen of the 26 Republican seats left open by retirements, and challengers are closing in on Republican incumbents in Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, New York and elsewhere.
Everything points to warning signals for Republicans.
If such projections by Mr. Rothenberg and others are realized, it would push Senate Democrats tantalizingly close to the filibuster-proof 60-vote majority that has eluded Senate leaders since the late 1970s.
Strategists for both parties say Republican House and Senate candidates are being hurt by the dip in support for Senator John McCain at the top of the ticket, frustrating Republicans who had initially viewed McCain as a strong asset who could appeal to independents and even moderate Democrats and protect Republicans in a tough year.
But the market volatility and perceived Democratic edge on handling the economy has evidently turned voters to Democrats, a view supported by one top adviser to Republican candidates.
This financial crisis has provided momentum to Barack Obama and other Democrats, and their campaigns now have the wind at their backs, said the consultant, who asked not to be identified.
Republicans say they could still limit losses by arguing to voters that Democrats would pursue a tax-heavy agenda if they were to strengthen their grip on Washington and by pointing to Democratic fault in the economic situation. (ANI)

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