Schieffer Claims Money's The Only Bright Spot For GOP, Predicts Massive Election Losses

October 18th, 2006 3:57 PM

It is Wednesday, which means it was time for another installment of "Capitol Bob," Bob Schieffer; on CBS’ "Early Show." Today’s segment dealt with the midterm elections and Schieffer’s predictions. Schieffer still believes the Democrats will win control of the House, but cautioned Democrats not to get too over confident, as there are three weeks to go and the Republicans have a tremendous fund-raising edge. And in fact, the cash advantage was the only positive sign Schieffer could see for Republicans. Co-host Rene Syler, however, highlighted that with the Mark Foley coverage subsiding, experts were a little more skeptical of the Democrats chances. Syler introduced the segment:

"For weeks now, negative news from Washington left the Republican party sagging. But, now that it's gotten quieter, the GOP is ready to fight for control of the next Congress. And of course, for the inside scoop from Washington we turn to 'Capitol Bob,' CBS News Chief Washington correspondent and host of 'Face the Nation,' Bob Schieffer. Bob, good morning."

Ms. Syler then led with the following question:

"Some experts say that if the midterms had been held just a couple of weeks ago in the wake of the Foley scandal that perhaps Democrats would have been able to take control of the House fairly easily but now, perhaps, not so sure. What's your take on that Bob?"

Schieffer cautioned Democrats not to be to over confident, that they are at a monetary disadvantage, but that the polls, which he doesn't doubt, show they will pick up a lot of seats:

"Well, I think if the election were held today the Democrats would probably take control of the Congress. But this is where we have to whistle the warning whistle. The election is not being held today. It's being held about three weeks from now. And here is the problem that Democrats have. According to the latest filings, the Republicans have $27 million more in the bank to spend on these races and in the close races they apparently have about a 2-to-1 majority in money to be spent on the races. So, it's not over, yet. The polls, if the polls are right, the Democrats are going to pick up a lot of seats in the coming Congress. And, I tend to believe that these polls are right because so many of them are pointing in the same direction, but you can never discount the impact of money and Republicans going into these races now, just have a lot more money than the Democrats have."

The remainder of the discussion centered around Ohio, where polls show Republicans Mike DeWine and Ken Blackwell trailing in their respective races. Following Schieffer’s bleak assessment, Syler was curious if there was anything positive the Republicans could look to:

"A lot can happen in three weeks. Bob, just 20 seconds left, is there any bright spots for the Republicans going into the midterms?"

All Schieffer could think of was:

"Yeah, they've got more money than the Democrats."

The response invoked laughter from Ms. Syler, but with three weeks to go North Korea and national security will be dominating the news. Issues, that at least on paper, would seem to benefit Republican candidates. That is not to say that Republicans will be celebrating great victories on November 7, but it is an issue they can use their cash advantage to highlight.