10.06.2010 1

Republican House Majority Now Uncertain NYT Declares in Speculative Report

By Kevin Mooney — To be sure, the Democratic Party is back on its heels and Republicans stand a good chance of taking back the House and perhaps capturing the Senate.  This much is acknowledged at the outset of a New York Time front page spread that is replete with the word “but” and other qualifiers that are designed to reinvigorate a depressed liberal base.

In reality, most political analysts on both sides of the ideological spectrum see strong indications that the GOP could achieve gains that are well above the historical average for mid-term elections. Their analysis goes missing here as it does not fit in with the pro-Democratic spin that is passed off as straight reporting.

“The chances of a Republican takeover in the House remain far greater than in the Senate, according to a race-by-race analysis by The New York Times,” the report says. “But enough contests remain in flux that both parties head into the final four weeks of the campaign with the ability to change the dynamic before Election Day.”

Yes, there is a certain tendency for races to tighten in the final weeks of a campaign, which is not unprecedented, the NYT concedes. But the Democrats have already recovered from their summer slump and are now poised to hold both chambers, readers are told.

“Yet even as spending from outside groups is threatening to swamp many Democratic candidates, Republican strategists estimated that only half of the 39 seats they need to win control of the House were definitively in hand,” the report continues.

“Many Democratic incumbents remain vulnerable, but their positions have stabilized in the last month as they have begun running negative advertisements to raise questions about their Republican challengers and shift the focus of voters away from contentious national issues like health care, bailouts and President Obama’s performance.”

Beware of sentences that include “yet” and “but” as they typically serve as antecedents for liberal editors who are out to revise and deny political trends that point to a potential election day blow out against the current majority.

The only hard evidence offered up that points to signs of life for Democratic candidates relates back to California where incumbent Sen. Barbara Boxer is facing a stiff challenge. She has pulled ahead in the race over former business executive Carly Fiorina, but the lead is in single digits.

“Democrats pointed to positive signs in recent weeks, including that Senator Barbara Boxer, a third-term Democrat, appears to be running ahead of her Republican challenger, Carly Fiorina, in California. Mrs. Boxer’s seat is among those Republicans have been working to capture.

But the fact that Democrats have to spend time and resources on a U.S. Senate race that is normally a slam dunk means that they are drawing financial support away from other candidates in close, competitive races.

And finally, the headline used here “House Majority Still Uncertain, Republicans Say” greatly overstates any qualifying statements from party officials. Rep. John Boehner (R-Ohio), the House Republican leader tells the reporter “We have a lot of work to do.” That can hardly been interpreted to mean the GOP is suddenly glum about its prospects. Moreover, most of the quotes are from Democratic operatives who will of course tell the liberal news media what it wants to hear.

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