October 15, 2006
-- by Dave Johnson
A word of caution. The Republicans haven't really started campaigning yet. From White House Upbeat About GOP Prospects,
So far, there have been few surprises in the Bush-Rove playbook, which seems little changed over the past four years. It includes tapping the powers of incumbency, mobilizing Christian conservatives and others in the GOP base, and seeking to polarize the electorate around national security and taxes. A huge effort to raise money by Bush, Vice President Cheney and first lady Laura Bush seems to be paying off: By Taylor's calculation, the various GOP campaigns and party committees will have a $55 million money advantage in the final three weeks of the campaign.UpdateThat $55 million was just The Republican Party itself. But check this, $200 million more in spending is coming - '527' political groups raise cash, ready negative ads,
The RNC is also planning another big get-out-the-vote drive in the final three days before the elections. Rove believes that many of the polls in individual House and Senate races understate what he expects to be a GOP advantage in turnout, according to one party strategist who has heard him discuss the midterms.
Many ads will be produced by independent organizations known as 527 groups, after the part in the tax code that allows them to spend virtually unlimited sums on political activity as long as it is not formally coordinated with parties or candidates.
The 527 groups had raised nearly $200 million as of June 30. The total raised and spent by the groups on this election could surpass $300 million, eclipsing the $258 million spent in the last midterm election, in 2002.
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Despite the early celebration, I'm going to be VERY surprised if the repugs don't retain both houses. For everything wrong with repugs, I can't imagine why anyone would vote democrat.
I don't know how this is going to turn out. Sooner or later the repugnant Republican tactics have to backfire -- unless the public is really a lot more stupid than I think it is. Here in NY, where we're expecting something close to a clean sweep for the Democrats, and not just in the races for governor and senate were the democratic lead is still somewhere over 70% or better, but even in traditionally Republican congressional races. This, believe it or not, would be a BIG change considering that we have a Republican governor, NYC has a Republican mayor, etc. This gets called a blue state, but that's been true in name only for several terms.
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