More bad polls. More bad fundraising numbers. More dreary talk on the Sunday shows.
It added up to a brutal weekend for Democrats, as the consensus among election analysts, already bearish on the party’s prospects, took a turn for the worse over the past 48 hours.
In the eyes of the experts, the House Democratic majority most likely won’t survive Nov. 2, with political handicappers expanding their predictions to envision the possibility of a Democratic wipeout.
Analyst Stu Rothenberg pegs the number of competitive seats at 100. Charlie Cook says it's 97. Virtually all of those seats are held by Democrats.
Rothenberg is predicting a likely Republican gain of 40 to 50 seats, with 60 seats possible. Republicans need a net pickup of 39 seats to take the House.
One House Democrat, reflecting widespread conversations with his colleagues, guessed Sunday that his party will lose 50 seats. Many, he said, are calling with urgent pleas for more contributions.
The Senate may stay in Democratic hands — but only by the narrowest of margins, so slim that it will make a handful of moderates from both parties the only people who will decide whether anything gets done.
Key races in blue states slipped further from the Republicans’ grasp, and Senate Republicans’ campaign chief, John Cornyn, declined to predict on "Fox News Sunday" that his party will win the upper chamber.
That’s what passed for good news for Democrats, on a weekend when the money followed the GOP momentum at full gallop. In the House, at least 40 House Democrats were outraised by GOP opponents. In the Senate, the Republican candidate had the third-quarter fundraising edge in all but two of the top 20 races, according to a POLITICO review of campaign finance data.
Republicans in these marquee races also are sitting on stockpiles of cash for the stretch run — $50 million in all, a $16 million edge over their Democratic Senate rivals.
Entering the final two weeks, it seemed that no serious Republican hopeful would go wanting for cash — between their own fundraising, party committees and the independent conservative groups like American Crossroads, which pledged to join with other GOP groups to spend $50 million on TV ads slamming House Democrats.
Some of these groups have turned their attention to even second- and third-tier GOP candidates hoping to catch some Democrats by surprise — or at least lure some Democratic dollars away from more winnable races.
National Republican Congressional Committee Communications Director Ken Spain said Sunday that his committee is in the process of spending $50 million on TV ads in 70 districts. He says the NRCC has outspent the DCCC during each of the past seven weeks.
Remaining defiant, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs predicted flatly on NBC’s “Meet the Press” that Democrats would retain the House and Senate because voters are becoming more engaged in the final weeks. He pointed to the tens of thousands who have attended rallies in Massachusetts on Saturday and Ohio on Sunday.
Gibbs backtracked from his comments when he appeared on the show in July and said Democrats could lose the House. (Continues here at POLITICO)