Robert Novak thinks the Dems will take the House, at least, in November:
The conventional wisdom about the 2006 elections among both Republicans and Democrats now is that the Democrats will take control of the House and could also win the Senate. One House Republican committee chairman, who publicly exudes optimism, privately predicts — and has predicted for six months — a loss of 30 House seats.
The Republicans’ efforts to stave off such a result seem feeble:
Republicans continue to press for popular legislation that will help them politically, especially considering that some of it is very likely to pass at a time when Democrats can only lose by trying to obstruct. The clearest case of this is a bill regulating the transport of minors across state lines for the purpose of getting an abortion. It easily passed the Senate with 65 votes. Also key to Republican success this year is a bill that would allow states to share in royalties from coastal oil-drilling, which would create incentives to exploit domestic resources.
I’ve predicted that the Republicans will hold both houses. If that prediction turns out to be right, it will not be due to perspicacity on the part of the party’s leadership.
For what it’s worth, President Bush doesn’t seem to have much fear of a Democrat majority. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have vetoed the almost entirely symbolic, but popular, expansion of funding for embryonic stem cell research.
PAUL adds: My early line is that the Dems will recapture the House and pick up five seats in the Senate, leaving Republicans nominally in control of that body with 50 seats plus the vice president’s vote.
JOHN adds: Don’t look now, but President Bush’s approval rating has taken a sudden nose-dive in Rasmussen Reports. Why? Fighting in Lebanon? Beats me. Maybe a lot of people have been hanging out in airports, listening to CNN bang away at the President all day long. Thank goodness I’m about to board!