Will Voters Buy the "Culture of Corruption" Argument?
USA Today has a historical look at how the party in power has traditionally fared in Congressional elections surrounded by allegations of corruption and scandal. This cursory examination should provide some measure of hope for Republicans who are worried that even the appearance of impropriety might lead to a reversal of fortune at the ballot box this November.
That said, my comments below remain true. It is not just the congressional scandals, but also frustration with the White House, its agenda, and its conduct of the War on Terror that will be determinative this fall. Voters know that they won't have any more chances to vote for President Bush specifically, but this years Congressional elections can absolutely be seen as a referendum on the President (unlike last year's elections which had very little to do with the President).
While claims of corruption may not be enough in and of themselves to oust the GOP from power, the "tin ear" effect that seems to be pervading Republican leadership may very well prove devastating come November. But there is still time to reverse it.