Statements by President Bush and Republican leaders predicting victory in the upcoming midterm elections have sparked speculation among pollsters and experts.
The president, Vice President Dick Cheney and GOP strategist Karl Rove have all predicted the Republican party will retain control of both houses of Congress in the Nov. 7 elections, despite opposing predictions from pollsters, the Christian Science Monitor reported Thursday.
"No matter what the polls say or the mood of the country, no president rolls over and plays dead in midterm elections and lays himself open to the charge of surrender to the opposition," says John Gizzi, political editor of the conservative weekly Human Events.
While most independent pollsters have predicted that Democrats will retake control of the House of Representatives for the first time in 12 years, Rove has said private polls from the individual races point "strongly" at the Republicans retaining control.
"Rove is relying on the Rove mystique," says John Pitney, a political scientist at Claremont-McKenna College in Claremont, Calif. "A lot of Democrats are paranoid about it. ... Conversely, Republicans also have the same belief, and that's what gives them hope and confidence and keeps them working. If they thought they were surely going to lose, they wouldn't work as hard."