Sat 25 Oct, 2008 07:56 am
WASHINGTON " Democrats are on track for sizable gains in both houses of Congress on Nov. 4, according to strategists in both parties, although only improbable Southern victories can produce the 60-vote Senate majority they covet to help them pass priority legislation.
A poor economy, President Bush's unpopularity, a lopsided advantage in fundraising and Barack Obama's robust organizational effort in key states are all aiding Democrats in the final days of the congressional campaign.
"I don't think anybody realized it was going to be this tough" for Republicans, Sen. John Ensign, chairman of the party's senatorial campaign committee said recently. "We're dealing with an unpopular president (and) we have a financial crisis," he added.
"You've got Republican incumbent members of the Congress" trying to run away from Bush's economic policies, said Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, who chairs the House Democratic campaign committee. "And they can't run fast enough. I think it will catch up with many of them.
It's hard to run away from your own party's past performance.
Even Palin, in her successful nomination speech, tried to ridicule the Democrats' saying that McCain would be like Bush. If Bush were not a huge liability, she never would have done that. Instead, she would have talked about how McCain was going to continue Bush's great record, instead of trying separate McCain from Bush.