Cole’s outreach in recent weeks has led members and staff to believe he might be angling for a second two-year term as chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. Or maybe he’s just fulfilling the promises he made when he ran the first time.
A longtime campaign operative, Cole circulated the first in a series of polling memos to his Republican colleagues last month that shows John McCain has gained ground over Barack Obama in a number of key states, citing publicly available polls. And he included public polling for 15 contested House seats, most showing the Republican candidate with a narrow or pronounced lead.
On its own, the memo isn’t much, particularly since Cole promised members during his campaign for the chairmanship that he would keep them regularly informed about the campaign landscape. But it provoked speculation from a number of Republicans, on and off Capitol Hill.
"By any objective standard, the political environment for Republicans over the past 24 months has been nothing short of toxic," Cole wrote his colleagues in the memo.
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