The president and his advisors are so confident that Republicans will hold on to the House in November that they haven't made any plans for what to do in case they don't, Kenneth Walsh reports for U.S. News and World Report.
"They aren't even planning for if they lose," one "GOP insider" tells Walsh. Another "Bush ally" warns that as much as the Bush administration might have to fear from a Democratic-controlled Congress, it could be in for even harsher treatment from post-election Republicans who find themselves in the minority and looking for someone to blame. "The Bush White House has had no relationship with Congress," the source tells Walsh. "Beyond the Democrats, wait till they see how the Republicans -- the ones that survive -- treat them if they lose next month."
The good news for Bush? If things keep going the way they're going, there may not be too many Republicans left in the House to punish him. As the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza writes today, it's becoming "increasingly clear that a handful of Republican incumbents may well be beyond saving." Among them: Indiana Rep. John Hostettler, Pennsylvania Rep. Don Sherwood and Ohio Rep. Deborah Pryce. Overall, Cillizza includes 15 Republican incumbents but just two Democratic incumbents in his list of 25 seats most likely to see a change in party control next month.
The two Democrats are near the bottom of Cilizza's list, meaning he thinks they're less likely to lose their seats than most of the other incumbents on the list. Which congressional district is at the top of Cillizza's list? Arizona's District 8, where the GOP abandoned candidate Randy Graf even before news broke that federal prosecutors are looking into allegations that retiring Republican incumbent Jim Kolbe engaged in inappropriate activity during a 1996 rafting trip with a couple of 17-year-old former pages.