Fundraising for Republican campaign organizations lags. That is strikingly so in the House, where the party committee spent more than it raised in each of the past two months, reported only $1.6 million in the bank at the end of August and a debt of nearly $4 million.
Democrats reported $22.1 million in the bank and a debt of slightly more than $3 million.
Candidate recruitment has been uneven, particularly in the Senate, where Republicans must defend 22 of the 34 seats on the ballot next year. Democrats boast top-tier challengers for GOP-held seats in Colorado, Virginia, New Hampshire, Maine, Minnesota and Oregon.
Republicans have yet to put forward a prominent challenger for any Democratic-held seat, although an announcement is expected soon in Louisiana.
Additionally, nine Republicans in the House and three in the Senate have announced plans to retire. Some of those leaving are in midcareer, when a departure often signals pessimism about the prospects for regaining the majority. Democratic retirements total two to date - both are House members who are running for the Senate.
"The Democrats will continue to be the majority party in the House and Senate and Hillary Clinton will make history by being the first woman president" in 2008, predicts Rep. Ray LaHood, one of three Illinois Republicans to announce his retirement so far.
What makes LaHood's prediction stand out is his willingness to say it publicly.
Numerous other Republican lawmakers, aides and strategists said Democrats appear headed for two more years in power in Congress, but they declined to say so on the record.
LSB: I only post this as a warning. Dems thought they had the White House in 2004 and all the polls indicated that was true. But on election night, whether through election fraud in FL and OH or inaccurate polling, Bush resumed his perch atop the Iraq fiasco. Time and time again Dems have snatched defeat from the mouth of victory, so I take nothing for granted and accept none of these dire predictions about Republican defeats - especially not from a Republican spinner like Ray LaHood, and not for an election that is more than a year away and for which we have not yet even determined the candidates.