NY Times Tries to Breathe Life into a Corpse
In an article titled "House Majority Still Uncertain, Republicans Say," readers learned that with four weeks remaining to the November elections, Republicans aren't saying that those big, fancy electronic boards the networks use on election night will be lighting up solid red from Maine to California.
So what would the New York Times expect the likes of Republican Minority Leader John Boehner to say? That the GOP anticipates making big gains on election night? Think John Boehner wants Republican candidates and scads of grassroots volunteers to take a victory lap now?
Of course, four weeks is forever in politics. Anything could happen to significantly limit GOP gains and buck up the Democrats. But if current trends hold, the GOP has a better than even shot to take the House. The Senate is an iffier proposition, though if a really big wave happens, the Senate could end up swimming in Republican red too.
The NY Times article is less revelation than it is conventional wisdom. Lot of fluidity in congressional races four weeks out. You don't say? Fluidity is typical in most election cycles - until voters enter the October window. Then "undecided" starts to melt away like ice in a spring thaw. But given polls that show voters consistently upset and frustrated about the economy and out-of-control government, the likelihood that voters are going to break the Democrats' way is pretty slim.
And the NY Times gives too much credit to the Democrats for "stabilizing" their contests by playing small ball. In other words, rather than address the big issues that voters care most about - again, the economy, jobs, taxes, runaway government spending and debt - Democratic candidates are launching personal attacks on their GOP opponents and trying to distance themselves from Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi.
Small ball in an election environment geared to big issues is a sign of Democrats' desperation. The Democrats are finding the political environment so toxic to their positions and votes on key issues that they're resorting to throwing spitballs and playing hide and seek.
Dick Morris' wildly optimistic predictions of a GOP tsunami this November may be just that - wildly optimistic. But only the cynics and Kool-Aid drinkers at the New York Times and among the newspaper's readership think that Democrats can do better than limit some of their losses on election night.