GOP Ready to Ride Midterm Election Wave

The Hill newspaper and CBS News have both released new polls that suggest Republicans are well positioned take to control of the House.

On Wednesday's Washington Unplugged, The Hill's Managing Editor Bob Cusack told CBS News senior White House correspondent Bill Plante that Democrats are pushing an agenda that even there supporters aren't fully behind.

"The two big triumphs of the Obama administration [are] the stimulus, but the unemployment rate is at 9.6 percent. Healthcare reform, one in four Democrats favor repealing the healthcare law. Democrats have a tough message."

The Hill is suggesting there may be an "election wave" coming, but it's a role reversal from elections past, since Democrats benefited in 2006 and 2008.

"This will be the third wave in a row but this time for the Republicans," Cusack said. "Unemployment, the economy is raging, voters are very upset about that and also the healthcare reform laws."

November 2nd is looming like a black cloud for Democrats, with even candidates like Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) starting to sweat.

"He's a favorite to win, but he's got to raise a lot of money," Cusack told Plante of Frank. "He just loaned his campaign $200,000. And he raises so much money because he's a chairman, but yet he feels the heat that's coming."

The bottom line from Cusack is that the picture isn't good for Democrats.

"It's going to be very difficult for Democrats to retain the House," he said. "It just looks grimmer and grimmer for them."

CBSNews.com's Brian Montopoli discussed CBS News' poll which has Obama backers in 2008 relatively unenthusiastic when it comes to this year's midterms.

"This is the problem that Democrats have across the board. You've got, with these Obama voters, two in three say they're less enthusiastic to vote this year than they were in 2008, and that means people staying home," he said.

The President has spent much of the month of October trying to reenergize the voters that helped him two years ago.

"If you look at what they president's been doing, he's been going to try to get the people who came out for him in 2008 to come out," Montopoli told Plante. "We're talking about Hispanics, a lot of the independents who supported him, first time voters -- and a lot of them are young voters. He's been going to college campuses. He'll be appearing on the Daily Show next week."

The discussion soon turned to whether the president's appearance on the Daily Show next Wednesday will make a difference in the midterms.

I think it will help," Cusack said. "Obviously, he's doing it right before the elections. He needs to fire up the voters. There's no way he's going to get the amount of young voters that came out for President Obama in 2008, but he needs to get enough of them so he can at least retain one chamber of Congress."

Watch Wednesday's Washington Unplugged above, also featuring Nobel Prize laureate Joseph Stiglitz discussing his book Freefall: America, Free Markets, and the Sinking of the World Economy and former Marine SSgt. Rob Kugler with an inspiring story that began with a letter from the brother he lost in Iraq.

"Washington Unplugged," CBSNews.com's exclusive daily politics Webshow, appears live on CBSNews.com each weekday at 12:30 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.


Lauren Seifert
Lauren Seifert is an associate producer for CBSNews.com. You can read more of her posts here. For more Washington Unplugged, follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

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