The Post reported that the Republicans' run of bad news began with the loss of the congressional seat held for two decades by former House speaker J. Dennis Hastert, R-Ill. Then the GOP lost what were seen as formidable challengers to sitting Democratic senators, and failed to field anyone to oppose the re-election bid of Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark.
Then there was the news that the former treasurer of the National Republican Congressional Committee had allegedly embezzled as much as $1 million from the already cash-strapped organization.
Political observers said when a Democrat won Hastert's former seat it was a sign of worse things to come.
"It's no mystery," said Rep. Thomas M. Davis III, R-Va. "You have a very unhappy electorate, which is no surprise, with oil at $108 a barrel, stocks down a few thousand points, a war in Iraq with no end in sight and a president who is still very, very unpopular. He's just killed the Republican brand."
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