With a week to go to E-Day, Republicans are trying hard to encourage their troops. Here are some reasons for optimism offered by the White House, according to the Allen Report at Time Online.
1) No Republican is being taken by surprise, unlike many Democrats in 1994.
2) Absentee ballot requests and returns, closely tracked by the party, are meeting or exceeding past levels for Republicans in key states and districts.
3) When the national parties, national campaign committees, state "victory" committee accounts and competitive campaigns are added up, Republicans maintained a substantial financial advantage over Democrats at the last filing period.
4) Republicans say the district-by-district playing field favors them in several structural ways not reflected in national polls.
5) The get-out-the-vote machine designed by Rove and now-Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman in 2001 was dubbed the "72-hour" program, but officials say that's quite a misnomer and that it's really a 17-week or even two-year program.
Now all of these are real, I suspect, and they will make a difference. But I don't think they are likely to make the difference, this time round. There are too many Republicans behind in too many places for all these marginal advantages to work their usual magic. At best they will prevent the Democrats from winning in a blow out.
I am guessing that the Republicans lose control of the House by a few seats, and hold onto the Senate by a seat. That's hardly a daring prediction. Right now it's the point spread.