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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Bush populairty a liability to Connecticut Congressmen

The Hartford Courant ran a piece on Monday which outlined the Republicans problems going into the 2006 election. Lets just say that Chris Shays, Nancy Johnson, and Rob Simmons won't be inviting President Bush on the campaign trail.
In recent mid-terms, incumbents usually coasted - 98 percent of House members were re-elected in 1998, and 96 percent won in 2002.

This year, though, Democrats see the rare chance to make the election a nationwide referendum on Bush, the Republican-led Congress and the war, and they have been relentless in pushing that agenda.

In recent mid-terms, incumbents usually coasted - 98 percent of House members were re-elected in 1998, and 96 percent won in 2002.

This year, though, Democrats see the rare chance to make the election a nationwide referendum on Bush, the Republican-led Congress and the war, and they have been relentless in pushing that agenda.

He pointed out that Connecticut's three Republican House members were re-elected in 2004, when Bush lost the state by 10 percentage points to Democratic nominee John F. Kerry and when Democratic Sen. Christopher J. Dodd got 66 percent of the vote.

"Is Bush's popularity going to get that much worse in Connecticut this year? I doubt it," Forti said.

But Rep. Christopher Shays, R-4th District, considered one of the country's most vulnerable Republicans, was less confident that Bush would not be a drag on GOP candidates.

"If things go badly, particularly in Iraq, you're going to have a very unhappy constituency," he said, "and I'm afraid Republicans will pay a penalty."

"The president's popularity is the issue," congressional political analyst Amy Walter said as she looked around the nation at the more volatile House and Senate races.

[...]

That's not necessarily encouraging news for GOP senators and congressmen in places where Democrats and independents are eager to register a protest of the president's policies.

Republicans this year are up against two historic trends: In presidential election years, the winner's party members usually get a boost because more of his supporters turn out. They are often less motivated in off-years, when turnout drops.

Also hovering over the election is the sixth-year curse: The middle of a president's second term usually means huge House and Senate losses for his party.


Between the Terri Shiavo mess, the blunders in Iraq, the attempt to destroy Social Security, the failure to protect the citizens of New Orleans, the outing of a CIA official, the eavesdropping on American citizens without a court order and the hubris of corrupt congressmen like Tom Delay and Duke Cunningham, the Republican party have reason for concern as they don't look like the same party that brought us the Contract with America back in 1994.

Simply put, voters are now realizing that the Republicans led by Karl Rove and Dick Cheney lied to the people to the pleasure of the radical wingnuts and neocons (a.k.a their political base). People want to know why over 200 billions dollars was spent on this needless war (why people who did everything possible to avoid military service when it was their time, can turn around and call anyone who questions the Iraq war "anti-American"); they want to know why low income people and students are being screwed with cuts to benefits such as student aid and Medicare while taxpayers are enjoying another tax break; they want to know how could FEMA screw the people of New Orleans when we were told they we were more prepared for a national disaster.

The list goes on and on.

Serious questions are now being asked the Republicans in office know that voters are pissed off and their having a hard time defending themselves. Voters in Connecticut are angry...very, very angry and Simmons, Shays, and Johnson are in for the fight of their lives. President Bush's popularity will not improve over this year and the CIA and NSA scandals might bring this President to the point of impeachment.

In order for the incumbent congressmen to have any chance, they need to distance themselves from Bush's record, as his popularity is very low in Connecticut. The Republicans will have a hard distancing themselves from Bush because the Democratic challengers are going to do everything in their power to link President Bush to their record.

This election season will go down as one of the ugliest ones on record as the Democrats smell blood in the water and will spend millions of dollars on advertising and will be throwing mud at the Republicans from now till November. If Lowell Weicker challenges Joe Lieberman, all hell is going to break loose as Weicker will attack Lieberman's pro-Bush relationship and rally up the anti-war liberals and angry Democrats which will could mean even more trouble for the Republicans as people tend to not vote during off year elections.

As the fight for control of Congress heats up, keep your eye on things in Connecticut. Just as Florida and Ohio determined who would be President, Control of Congress can be determined with the races in the 2nd, 4th, and 5th districts in Connecticut and you can be sure that the Democrats and Republicans are very aware of the Connecticut factor.