- The Washington Times - Friday, October 7, 2005

THE WASHINGTON TIMES

House Republicans have taken some hits but should still be able to win a majority in 2006 because there just aren’t enough opportunities for Democrats, Rep. Thomas M. Reynolds, the man charged with House Republicans’ campaign operation, said yesterday.

“Our game plan worked in 2002 and it worked in 2004, and I intend to do the same plan in 2006, which is build our races from the ground up,” said Mr. Reynolds, New York Republican.

Mr. Reynolds dismissed polls that show poor ratings for the Republican-controlled Congress, saying while overall impressions are bad, voters still like their own local representative.

Democrats said their own polling finds different results. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) said polls showing high dissatisfaction with Republicans in general have translated into a lack of support for individual members of Congress.

“Those cold Buffalo winters must be really getting to Congressman Reynolds when he starts thinking that the culture of corruption the Republican Party controls is going to help him in the 2006 elections,” DCCC spokesman Bill Burton said. “I’m no political scientist, but I know that America thinks we can do better.”

Democrats would have to win 15 seats to gain control.

Politicians and observers are wondering whether 2006 could be a repeat of 1994, when Republicans captured a majority for the first time in four decades. But Mr. Reynolds said there aren’t enough races to do that.

He said in 1994 there were 106 races that were considered competitive by pundits. This year, political race-watcher Charlie Cook says there are just 27, and race-watcher Stuart Rothenberg says there are 37.

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