The 20-Day Stretch
Can the GOP Win?

With about 20 days to go, is there any way Republicans can save themselves from a wipeout? Would you bet money on any of it? National Review Online organzied a symposium with election experts to discuss prospects for the 2006 midterms.

Visiting Scholar Gerard Alexander
Visiting Scholar Gerard Alexander
The problem at this stage is that we don’t know how well campaign advertising really works or how good each side’s get-out-the-vote will be.

But I do know that if I could turn the clock back a few months, I’d trade those “technical” things for getting on the right side of the best issues and making sure that those issues are front and center in voters’ minds. It’s too late, though, for the Republicans to become more fiscally responsible, put more good judges up for votes, and deal decisively with illegal immigration. So the next best option is to use the remaining weeks and days to make this a choice between the parties and not a referendum on the GOP alone--to focus voters on the Democrats’ weaknesses on national security, judges, and the economy. The best things the GOP has going for it is that despite all its disappointments, the Democrats actually pull off being worse. That has to be conversation topic number 1, 2, and 3 every day left. I’d bet money on some candidates doing that, but none on the media covering it aggressively.

Gerard Alexander is a visting scholar at AEI.
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