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On the Upswing

July 18, 2006 Three national polls in a row indicate that President Bush's job-approval rating has climbed back to 40 percent or slightly higher. That's still dangerous territory for his party in a midterm election year, but not as treacherous as the low-to-mid-30s, where Bush was in early and mid-May. In late June, ...

Shifting Picture

July 11, 2006 The fight for control of the House is getting more ink than the battle for control of the Senate, but several recent shifts in individual Senate races merit attention. All year, talk about the Democrats' chances of taking the Senate has focused on the five most endangered Republican incumbents. They ...

Measuring Against 1994

June 27, 2006 Now that President Bush's job-approval ratings have edged up to the high 30s and certain other indicators have also improved a bit for the GOP, are House Republicans in better shape than Democrats were at this point in 1994? One way to answer is to look at the results of ...

Rays of Hope

June 20, 2006 Given the fickleness of public opinion, it's probably risky to say this, but it looks like President Bush's free fall has bottomed out, as have other key indicators that were trending against Republicans. Combined with last week's Republican victory in the special election in California's 50th Congressional District (an almost ...

Presidential Prospects

June 13, 2006 As fascinating as the 2006 midterm elections are for political aficionados, there is nothing like the 2008 presidential election to get their juices flowing. With strong personalities such as Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton and John McCain starting off as front-runners for their parties' nominations, there is little chance of apathy ...

Unwise Outrage

June 6, 2006 You might think that I would sympathize with House Speaker Dennis Hastert and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's bipartisan anger over the FBI search of the office of Rep. William Jefferson and their demands that the documents seized from the Rayburn House Office Building be returned to the Louisiana Democrat. ...

Dimming Prospects

May 30, 2006 The mood among House Republicans has grown increasingly somber. They've seen more and more poll results showing GOP incumbents' leads narrowing or disappearing. Democratic lawmakers, meanwhile, are optimistic and hopeful, though they're also cautious, because they recall that in early October 2000 all signs seemed to point toward their retaking ...

Comfort Aside

May 23, 2006 Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of President Bush's address last week on immigration was that, for once, he was talking politically about a topic that actually matters to him. Bush's modus operandi has been to be political on issues that he doesn't care much about but to treat anything that ...

Cautionary Tales

May 16, 2006 Every few years, Capitol Hill weathers a blizzard of scandals that leaves all who work in Congress or who watch it shaking their heads in dismay. Not that long ago, scandalous revelations rocked the House Bank, the House Post Office, the Keating Five, then-Sen. David Durenberger, then-House Speaker Jim Wright, ...

Pumped Up?

May 9, 2006 Few would dispute that if gasoline prices go substantially higher and remain there for a sustained period, they will hurt President Bush and damage his party in the midterm elections. But how much have near-record gasoline prices hurt the Republicans so far? A clue might be found in the results ...