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It's the economy...


The AP on Bush's economic push: "White House advisers, who think the president should get more credit for recent positive economic news, insist that Mr. Bush isn't trying to change the subject away from the unpopular war.  The president will continue to talk about Iraq and the war on terrorism...  White House political director Sara Taylor said that the economy is a key issue in about two dozen House races, including campaigns in Pennsylvania, Minnesota, Ohio and Washington state." 

Channeling First Read, the New York Times observes that Republican candidates don't seem to be getting any traction from an economy that by many measures is performing well.  "The economy is virtually nowhere to be found among the campaign ads of embattled Republican incumbents fighting to hold onto their House or Senate seats.  Nor is it showing up as a strong weapon in the arsenal of Republican governors defending their jobs from Democrats." 

Still, "Republican strategists are confident that there is enough time remaining in the mid-term campaign to refocus voter attention on the strength of the economy," says the Financial Times

House Republicans are pressing ahead with their argument that a "Pelosi majority," a/k/a a "San Francisco majority," would result in higher gas prices because, they charge, of Pelosi's past support for gas taxes.  Bush and Vice President Cheney keep talking about higher taxes generally with a Democratic majority.  But Bloomberg says the markets aren't biting.  "The Dow Jones Industrial Average reached a record last week even as polls showed that Democrats are increasingly likely to take over at least one house of Congress.  Investors are banking that a Democratic victory will mean political stalemate with [Bush] rather than passage of an anti-business agenda."  Also, despite GOP warnings that Democrats will roll back the Bush tax cuts, most of them, "including reduced rates on capital gains and dividends, don't expire until 2011.  To roll them back before then, Democrats would have to overcome a certain veto by the president, which requires a two-thirds vote of each chamber to overturn."