The Washington Times says the Iraq war "is sapping Republican voter enthusiasm and undermining the party's candidates in races once thought safe." But prominent conservative Paul Weyrich says the war isn't "the only discouragement for some Republican voters... 'The same things said of the war could be said of profligate spending... Some of these senators and House members might withstand one or two big issues, but the when it gets to be several in addition to the war -- that is, corruption, immigration and spending -- then only the very safe members will be re-elected.'"
The Boston Globe looks at how the war is causing many conservative voters in the South to rethink their support for the GOP. "A scholar who studies the voting patterns of religious constituencies says that a combination of the war and a perceived lack of progress on social issues has led to a decline in evangelical support for the Republican Party, but that that support could be affected by last-minute get-out-the-vote campaigns."
The Los Angeles Times looks at "the dual mood of Republicans in the final week before election day: Though there is pervasive fear that the party will lose control of Congress, a cadre of die-hard optimists is refusing to wave the white flag."
The Wall Street Journal covers some GOP House members who were elected in 1994 and who now face tough races because of the "widespread sense that Republicans in Congress have lost their way, drifting into the same abuses they had pledged to end... For many congressional Republicans, the shift from reform to self-preservation was most evident at the start of the current Congress last year," when "Tom DeLay, anticipating his indictment on corruption charges, pushed a change in House rules so he could remain as leader... Of the Republicans who entered the House after 1994, just under half remain."
The Washington Post looks at the battle between prominent conservatives James Dobson and former Rep. Dick Armey after Armey accused Dobson of helping to pry the GOP loose from its traditional conservative moorings and dividing the party between evangelicals and those who favor limited government and less spending.
Not pegged to the Haggard story, the Financial Times examines rifts within the evangelical coalition as some leaders try to appeal to a broader range of voters.