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Monday, July 07, 2008

Bad Moon Rising

...for the GOP, that is. This morning, Stuart Rothenberg writes in Roll Call (by way of RealClearPolitics, since Roll Call's subscription only) of the current state of the White House race. Rothenberg is quick to point out (in fact, starts outby doing so) that predictions aren't worth much at all, and that what he offers is not such, but rather an assessment of the current state of the race.

And, folks, it sure ain't pretty for the GOP's chances:
For months, even for years, the national news has been bad, so it's not surprising that voters want change. All of the numbers strongly suggest that Americans see the Democratic Party as the better vehicle for bringing about change than the Republican Party.

In spite of some better news from Iraq, most Americans think the war was a mistake and the administration's performance inept. Perhaps it's a sign of Republicans' problems that most GOP officeholders and strategists would rather talk about the war than about domestic issues.

The economy has sputtered along for a while, but the most recent news has been much worse. Increased unemployment, continuing problems in the nation's financial sector and much higher fuel costs and commodity prices (and therefore inflationary pressures) have further eroded consumer confidence and pulled the rug out from under stocks.

There is simply no reason to believe that the news will improve measurably between now and late October, which means that there is no reason to believe that the American public's underlying mood will turn up dramatically.

Financially, Democrats are awash in cash, while Republicans will have far fewer resources. This is true at the presidential level now that Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) has opted out of public funding, but also at the House and Senate campaign levels.

Enthusiasm is greater among Democrats than Republicans, and Democrats have gained in registration in many states and Congressional districts.

Given all of this evidence, Obama has a far easier road to the White House than Republican Sen. John McCain (Ariz.). The Illinois Senator merely has to take advantage of the political current, while McCain must swim against it, persuading voters to support him in spite of his party and Bush's performance.

Finally, Obama is a great orator, while McCain is not. The Arizonan has a wonderful story to tell and is a true American hero, but he is not nearly as charismatic as Obama. And he is 71 years old, which does not present an ideal visual contrast with the Democrat.

This isn't a tough climb for McCain -- it's a veritable Mount Everest.

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