The Washington Post/ABC News poll out today brings unhappy news for a Republican Party worried about retaining control of both houses of Congress. It seems, according to this survey, that the GOP is losing the voters both sides covet the mostindependents. And they're not losing them on the economy. They're losing them on a single issueIraqthat is clearly becoming the dominant theme in this campaign. And that's not good for Republicans.
The war is unpopular, and so is the presidentand the American people believe that it's time to change direction in Iraq. Those most worried are, of course, Democratsand this poll shows that 95 percent of them are committed to sticking with their own party. So are Republicansat least 88 percent of them. But here's the rub: Self-identified independent voters said that they were going to vote Democratic by a whopping 2-to-1 margin. That's not good news for the GOP, and here's more bad news: Only 23 percent of independent voters believe the country is headed in the right direction, and only a third say the Iraq war is worth fighting.
The Republicans, of course, will have to counter this dropoff by making sure their base voters get out there and vote. And while they do have a terrific get-out-the-vote operation, it can only be so good: In a race with a 10-point difference, the best turnout operation in the world isn't going to help you.