Republicans across the country are warning that increasing public discontent toward President Bush, the Iraq war and the GOP brand in general threatens to send the party's 2008 campaign planning into a tailspin.
Already, the problems are having tangible effects. Some of the
party's top recruits in key races from Colorado to Florida are refusing to run for Congress. Business executives -- the financial backbone of the GOP -- are sending more and more money to Democrats. Overall Republican fundraising is down
sharply from the same time frame during the past two presidential elections.
Then there are the voters.
Polling data released this month confirm what GOP officials are picking up anecdotally: Swing voters are swinging away from Republicans at high velocity. Most alarming to GOP strategists is a new survey by the nonpartisan Pew Research Center that found 50 percent of those interviewed consider themselves a Democrat or leaning that way; only 35 percent tilt Republican.
A political tidal wave is forming out of Bush's manifest and manifold failures, as the country begins to read the narrative of those failures more clearly.