Focus Point - Why Liberals Can't Win The Senate

Commentary by Pete du Pont

I'm Pete du Pont with the National Center for Policy Analysis. Liberals couldn't have taken much heart from Jon Margolis's article in the July 17th issue of the American Prospect. Margolis examined Democrats' hopes of regaining the Senate. To give you an idea of how he handicapped their chances, the article was entitled "Chamber of Horrors."

Theoretically, Democrats should have a better chance; there are more Republican than Democratic seats up for grabs. Margolis further argues -- though I'd dispute him on this -- that the Democrats have the issues people are behind.

But they continue to stumble: where they have candidates, they have no issues. Where they have issues, what he calls their circular firing squad technique of picking candidates gives Republicans too much of a lead. Winning six more seats than the republicans would be a tall order in any year, but as Margolis lays it out, they'll be lucky to get three.

I think it could be even worse. As Gore continues to slide in the polls, the chances for George W's coat tails to lengthen gets better. So the 2001 senate will look about like the current one.

Those are my ideas, and at the NCPA we know ideas can change the world. I'm Pete du Pont. Next time, sticking to principles.