The Democrats’ attempt to focus on national issues during the 2006 midterm elections won’t work, said Ed Patru, spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee. Patru just visited Blog Row to brief bloggers on November’s elections.
Patru said because only about 28 seats are in competitive districts, trying to campaign nationwide on the issues of ethics and the war on terror won’t work.
But as is expected, Patru delivered a message that was upbeat about for GOP congressional candidates. However, it was refreshing to hear the spokesman admit two important factors facing Republicans:
1) An incumbent president’s party almost always suffers during the sixth year of his presidency (as is the case with President Bush).
2) Bush’s low popularity in some districts may keep him home instead of on the road for a contested seat. ("The administration will be helpful," Patru said. "I have no reason to believe this will be any different.")
These are two factors that Republicans didn’t have to worry about in 2002 or 2004. In fact, Bush was largely credited for the GOP’s retention (and gains) during those elections.