Just when you thought the news for the Democrats could not get worse, it does. Charlie Cook, is an acclaimed political analyst and publisher of The Cook Political Report newsletter, which publishes analysis of the primaries and general elections for federal political offices and state governorships. The Report’s predictions are accorded high credibility among journalists and politicians. Cook’s latest article in the National Journal paints an increasingly ugly picture for the progressives who run Congress:
Simply put, Democrats find themselves heading into a midterm election that looks as grisly as any the party has faced in decades. It isn’t hard to find Democratic pollsters who privately concede that the numbers they are looking at now are worse than what they saw in 1994.
The race-by-race outlook confirms the dire forecasts. Cook Political Report House Editor David Wasserman points out that at this point, 32 Democratic incumbents are running even or behind their Republican challengers in one or more public or private polls. At this point in 2006, when Republicans lost control of Congress, only 11 GOP incumbents were running even or behind.
Privately, some Democratic pollsters say that they are routinely seeing districts where Democratic incumbents are running only even with relatively unknown GOP challengers. In other districts where the Republican challengers are reasonably well known, the incumbents are often running 5-10 points behind, a rather extraordinary development at this point.
In the Senate, while the odds still favor Democrats holding on to a narrow majority, it is not only mathematically possible for the GOP to capture a majority this year, but it has become plausible. The odds of Democrats capturing even one currently Republican-held seat appear to be getting longer. Meanwhile, Republicans are running ahead or roughly even in 11 Democratic-held seats, one more than necessary for control of the Senate to flip. It’s still a tall order but not crazy to say that Republicans will win the Senate.
And still the leaders of the Democratic Party, Reid and Pelosi along with the Administration are saying its not their policy, its
- The GOP is the Party of No, or
- The People are too dumb to understand, or
- George Bush’s Fault
Maybe after the Election, the progressives will understand that it is their own fault for forgetting a rule one of my teachers used to tell me, “God gave you two ears and one mouth for a reason, listening is much more important than speaking.” If the progressives would listen to the people, their fortunes in November would be much better. But then again, if they had any respect for the people they wouldn’t be progressives, would they?