The House, most pollsters agree at this point, will flip to Democratic majority control. Panicked Republicans realize that they have tied themselves to the mast of a sinking ship. Amy Walter of the Cook Political Report writes:
"Every midterm is about the sitting president, even ones who are more traditional and less unorthodox than the one currently sitting at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. The better a president's approval ratings, the better his party does in the midterms. The weaker his ratings, the more losses his party suffers.
"This president has always wanted the election to be about him. And, in these final hours he's made sure to put the focus back on himself. He's ramped up the rhetoric on illegal immigration, ordered the military to the southern border and floated the idea about doing away with birthright citizenship with an executive order."
On a daily basis, President Donald Trump is infuriating all but his narrow base, descending into the depths of racism and reminding voters why it would not be a good idea to give him a free hand. He has once more focused all attention on himself.
"What is worrying Republicans today, is that in this last week before the election the spotlight has moved from Trump's strengths (he fulfilled his promises and got another conservative on the Supreme Court), to his biggest weaknesses (his temperament, his over-heated rhetoric and undisciplined tweeting)," Walter says. "GOP strategists have told us that they are seeing slippage in Trump's approval rating similar to the drop we saw this week in Gallup's tracker (Trump dropped from 44 percent to 40 percent). This is why many of them are more worried about big losses in the House than they were just a week or ten days ago."
It sure doesn't help when Trump is publicly scolding House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., for popping his unconstitutional trial balloon to repeal birthright citizenship by executive order, nor does it help when the House Republican campaign committee is denouncing Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, as Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, gives him a pep talk over the phone.
Meanwhile, Democratic enthusiasm is sky-high. Gallup reports:
"In a departure from Republicans' usual lead on midterm turnout indicators, Democrats appear to be on par with or possibly ahead of Republicans in eagerness and intent to vote this year. Three-quarters of both party groups, 74%, say they are 'absolutely certain' they will vote on or before Election Day. Republicans and Democrats are also about equally likely to report feeling "more enthusiastic than usual" about voting. At the same time, Democrats are more likely than Republicans to say they have given 'quite a lot of thought' to the election."
If "quite a lot of thought" means time fuming about how to put a stop to the descent into pure nativism, that sounds about right.
For all these reasons, as well as a big advantage in money and strong candidate recruitment, Walter's colleague Dave Wasserman tweeted Wednsday:
"New: based on the past week's evidence, we're revising our House outlook to a Dem gain of 30-40 seats (was 25-35 last month) at @CookPolitical. This could change again before Tuesday."
Democrats must still turn out in strong numbers on Election Day, but barring an unforeseen turn of events, Democrats look set to win the House majority — and with it control of committees and subpoena power. No wonder Trump sounds more hysterical than usual these days.
Jennifer Rubin writes reported opinion from a center-right perspective for The Washington Post. @JRubinBlogger