This is just a thought. Probably not a particularly good one. But tell me what you think.
Reid Wilson, writing at RCP did a write up of generic congressional ballot tests yesterday. He said:
Earlier this summer, Democrats held leads approaching 20%. But Republicans have long maintained that Congress’ low approval rating — sitting at just under 18% in the latest RCP Congressional Average — would cost Democrats in November. […]
But National Republican Congressional Committee chairman Tom Cole made a good point in an interview with The Scorecard this week in St. Paul, hinting that internal polling showed more voters than average know which party is in charge of Congress. That reflects poorly on Democrats, who have so far taken shelter behind an unpopular president, and it could cost them marginal seats in November.
Republicans still face a harsh electoral climate as they trail the generic ballot matchups. But perhaps it’s not as bad as it was even earlier this summer.
But I have another thought. Has the GOP gotten beyond George W. Bush in some sense? Is George Bush yesterday’s GOP? I mean …. John McCain is not Bush. The Dems tried that messaging and it didn’t work. It seems to me to be even more unlikely to work now. Sarah Palin is not Bush.
McCain and, to a lesser extent, Palin have launched attacks on Washington and the GOP in a way that Barack Obama is not doing and is probablty not capable of doing against his own party.
Furthermore, there is a high-powered media event that provides this pivot: the GOP Covention. Bush wasn’t at the covnention, which turned out to be an even bigger media event than the Democratic convention. Bush’s name wasn’t even used. And Bush is doing his best to lay low.
Is Bush drifting off into the sunset? If he is, McCain and Palin might just be able to ride right in.