It’s races like Ryun getting closer that is driving the “wave theory” among the prognosticators. They figure if he’s vulnerable, Republicans are in big trouble. But I was talking to a GOP type about this and he says it’s kind of funny–races like that are coming into play, but they haven’t seen a corresponding deterioration in other races that have been toss-ups all along. In other words, you figure if a formerly safe GOP seat is coming into play, all the former toss-ups would be titling Democratic. Republicans say they aren’t seeing that. Also, they think some of the Republicans you would write off this year in tough areas–Shays, Johnson, etc.–are doing better than expected because they already have built in a certain independence from the GOP. So, if you’re mad at Bush, you might not take it out on them. They hope this is true in places like CT, NY, and PA.
My general take on all of this is that it is an extremely close election, in this sense. How this thing tips in the end–toward the Dems or the GOP–will make the difference between a big Democratic win and a result that is a very narrow Democratic or Republican victory. There’s a big difference between those outcomes, and which of them comes about depends on these closing days. Here again, FYI, is our editorial about “The Choice.”