MORRIS HIGH ON GOP CHANCES - AT 7:14 P.M. ET: Analyst Dick Morris goes out on a limb about 2010, analyzing the data and making a startling prediction:
Voters are increasingly complaining that Obama is weak, vacillates, does not keep his promises, spends too much time on other priorities than jobs, and seems egotistical.
All polls have Obama below 50 percent and some, like Harris, have him all the way down to 43 percent in job approval. These surveys mean that Obama, who won 52 percent of the vote, is now losing between one in ten and one in five of his voters.
This erosion of support makes the elections of 2010 look more and more like a rerun of 1994. It is now reasonable to predict -- and I do -- that the GOP will take both houses of Congress.
We're not too high on predictions here, and Morris's track record is mixed, but he does present a case worth considering, as long as we label it as informed speculation:
In the Senate, the Republicans are likely to hold all their vacant seats with the possible exception of New Hampshire. Incumbent Democrats Dodd (Ct), Specter (Pa), Lincoln (Ark), Reid (Nev), and Bennett (Col) are the low hanging fruit. Among the open seats, Delaware seems ripe for the Republicans. Add to these six seats, two more if Rudy Giuliani challenges Kristin Gillibrand in New York and if North Dakota governor Hoeven takes on Dorgan. Mark Kirk could be the ninth pickup in Illinois. And, in a Republican sweep, you have to respect GOP chances in California and New Jersey.
A deluge swamps all boats.
That assumes that the sun shines fully on the Republicans. But don't dismiss the White House political operation, the impact of a liberal press, and possible improvement in the economy. A week is a lifetime in politics.
On Capitol Hill, the Democrats seem to have almost abandoned the message war on health care. They are hunkering down and focused on keeping their troops in line. The appeals to party discipline are so strong that one senses that they are prepared to march, in lock-step, over the cliff together.
When one considers where Obama was only a year ago and where he is today, the fall is simply stunning. That he clings to the staff that helped him take it is amazing. This has to be the least successful White House since, well, Clinton's 1993-94 crowd. In fact, it's many of the same people!
COMMENT: I have myself noticed that many of the Obama boosters I know are noticeably quieter this year than last. And, by the way, not all of them are on the left. Some are moderates who simply became enamored of The One, and now see that they were rolled.
We can be optimistic. We also have to work hard.
December 1, 2009