Karl Rove had lunch with reporters and editors with the Washington Times and predicted the GOP will prevail in November:
“I’m confident we’re going to keep the Senate; I’m confident we’re going to keep the House. The Foley matter has impact in some limited districts, but the research we have shows that people are differentiating between a vote for their congressman and a member from Florida,” Mr. Rove said, referring to the Republican who resigned last month after his sexually explicit online messages to former congressional pages were discovered.
President Bush has begun to paint this year’s election as a choice between strength and weakness on national security — and the stark differences will show Americans the true nature of Democrats, Mr. Rove said.
“It is useful to remind people what [Democrats] said and what they do. I think they have given us here, especially in the last couple of weeks, a potent set of votes to talk about. You had 90 percent of House Democrats voting against the terrorist-surveillance program, nearly three-quarters of Senate Democrats and 80 percent of House Democrats voting against the terrorist-interrogation act. Something is fundamentally flawed.”
In the hourlong interview, Mr. Rove was upbeat, telling stories from the campaign trail and joking about skewed political coverage that disproportionately shows Democrats poised to take control of Congress
Mr. Rove’s optimism is not shared by pollsters, many of whom predict a Republican loss in the House — with some saying the party could lose as many as 40 seats. The mood in the White House has shifted in recent days, with some beginning to concede the threat to the Republican majority in the House of Representatives, which they won in 1994.
Although Mr. Rove had previously predicted a loss of eight to 10 House seats, he said he remains confident that Republicans will not lose more than 15 — the magic number that would flip control of the chamber to Democrats.
Democrats have to pick up six seats to gain control of the Senate — virtually impossible, Mr. Rove said.
Expect outrage from the left side of the MSM. Doesn’t Rove know he’s supposed to lie down and admit defeat?
National Review has a symposium with analysis from Ed Gillespie, Dick Morris, Lisa Schiffren and others on whether the GOP can win in November.
Rich Lowry quotes from yesterday’s White House bulletin which says pollsters are weighting their polls more toward Democrats, believing that more people are calling themselves Democrats:
In short, between 1992 and 2004, only once did one party enjoy an advantage as large as 4 points over the other in party ID. But in recent polling samples used by eight different polling organizations (USA Today/Gallup, CBS/NYTimes, ABC/Washington Post, CNN/Opinion Research, Newsweek, AP/Ipsos, Pew, and Time), the Democratic advantage in the sample surveyed was never less than 5 points. All these organizations conducted surveys in early October. According to Winston, the Democrats held the following party ID advantages in these early-October surveys:
* USAToday/Gallup: 9 points.
* CBS/NYT: 5 points
* ABC/WP: 8 points
* CNN: did not provide sample party ID details.
* Newsweek: 11 points.
* AP/Ipsos: 8 points.
* Pew: 7 points.
* Time: 8 points.
More reason to take polls with a grain of salt.
Also see Lorie’s post from earlier this morning.
Update: Martin Lewis writing at the Huffington Post says this:
Let us make no mistake – Rove has not ceded this election yet.
“Yet”? You actually think Rove will surrender to the Democrats? Ever? Think again, Lewis.
Update II: Miguel A. Guanipa writing at The American Thinker is also upbeat about the GOP in November because the Democrats are simply, well, Democrats:
There is nevertheless, a poignant irony to the story that Democrats have had to resort to, raising doubts about the integrity of their opponents by highlighting one of the worst cases of Republican dereliction of duty and moral bankruptcy; after all, this common deficiency in Democrat circles has seldom proven detrimental to their own party in years past. This incessant pounding on Republicans by the media and Democrats with the Mark Foley hammer seems to have produced three unintended results.
1. It has desensitized many exasperated Republicans to the point that they are no longer listening.
2. It has further angered some of the undecided voters by defining the Democrats as complete hypocrites who condemn unethical behavior only when it is politically expedient.
3. It has failed to significantly move the Republican base, which views the scandal as the transgression of one individual rather than a sign of the moral decay of a sizeable portion of the legislative branch of government.
Not exactly what Democrats had hoped for.
On another front, Democrats are trying desperately to appear strong on defense, since they perceive this as the President’s weakness given the present discontent with the war in Iraq. But they miscalculate if they count on this discontent to translate into a sudden shift in priorities for the American electorate, who more than likely do not see this present frustration as sufficient enough reason to allow the devil they don’t know to take the reins of both houses of Congress during wartime.
In the end Democrats will not be able to take Congress, primarily because they have not been able to convey the image of invincibility.