A final push by Democrats to woo the undecided voters fizzled, putting dozens of Congressional races beyond their reach and destroying Democrats chances in at least four toss-up Senate seats. That is, at least, according to Democratic strategists and party officials. Personally, I think they are worse off than that.
Independents, a crucial swing bloc, hell this year they are The swing bloc, are breaking sharply for Republicans in the final days of the campaign. New polls released this morning show swings of as much as 14 points in the last week.
Stuart Rothenberg, a nonpartisan pollster, said Friday he thought the Republicans could pick up as many as 70 House seats. This, my fellow patriotic Americans, is a beat down which has not been accomplished since 1948.
Republicans must pick up 39 seats to seize control of the House of Representatives. This outcome, I guaranty, is now a forgone conclusion. By this time tomorrow, Republicans will be contemplating who among them will be the next Speaker of the House.
The eleventh hour free fall in Democratic support among independents is also keeping alive the GOP's longer-shot hopes of taking the Senate.
Obama has been campaigning strong, in the style which is uniquely his. The deep baritone chant which blames Bush, blames Republicans and claims that Republicans are undermining the voting process by trying to buy the vote. He has really beaten this drum for weeks. The problem for Obama, is that, like the fabled emperor, he has no clothes. In short, American voters now see him as the liar he is.
On Obama's claim that Republicans are trying to buy the vote, the truth is that Democrats have outspent Republicans in this election cycle by more than $400,000,000. The President, as is his custom, is lying.
Democratic strategists acknowledge their biggest problem is the frustration being expressed by swing voters with Obama. They are - privately - very concerned with voter disenchantment on the 2012 elections, especially since Obama is the source of this disenchantment.
Independents are voting against Democrats because of Obama and the more he campaigns for Democratic candidates, the more he seals their fate. Democrats are being called 'Obama liberals,' and the strategy is proving very effective.
Nationally, independent voters, who backed Democrats in 2006 and 2008, have swung to the GOP. In the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, 52% said they would vote Republican this time. Obama, who won 52% of independents in 2008, now enjoys just 40% support among that group.
With enthusiasm rising on the right, and free falling on the left, no Democrat is completely safe.
ebbing on the left, Democratic candidates needed this year to win over even more independent voters than Mr. Obama did in 2008, strategists said. Candidates who have been banking on making up this ground in the closing days have instead seen independent voters flocking to the GOP.
For example, Rick Boucher of Virginia, who has comfortably held his seat for 14 terms, has suffered a sharp drop in support among independents. Just a month ago, polls showed him up by more than 12 points over his opponent. That race is now too close to call. The reason: Boucher's ties to Obama.
Another Democrat, this one from Rhode Island, told Obama to "Shove it" the other day. I prognosticated this very phenomenon some months ago, saying that Democrats would cannibalize themselves while trying to keep their jobs in my article Political Cannibalism: Democrats Rush To Eat Each Other As They Run From The Tea Party.
In Pennsylvania, where Obama won independents by 19 points, Republican Senate Pat Toomey has a 13 point lead over Democrat Joe Sestak among independents. Democrats say the trouble for Sestak among independents could pose less of a challenge than in other Senate races, as Democrats hold a 1.2 million-voter edge in party registration in Pennsylvania, while only about one in 10 voters there is unaligned with the major parties. Blah, blah, blah. The talking heads can explain it away how they will, but the fact remains: the Pennsylvania Senate race is going Republican.
In Mr. Obama's home state of Illinois, Republican Senate candidate Mark Kirk has moved in the polls from winning 38% of independents to now winning half of them. Kirk is in a dead heat with Obama's man, Democrat Alexi Giannoulias. Apparently, even Illinois can get worn out by crooks.
Tad Devine, a Democratic consultant who served as a senior adviser to the presidential campaigns of Al Gore and John Kerry, said the trend was striking this year. "They are behaving like Republicans," Mr. Devine said of independent voters.
No, Mr. Devine, they are behaving like Americans.