GOP Senate massacre of ’08

While Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainManchin, Donnelly back Pompeo This week: Senate barrels toward showdown over Pompeo Romney forced into GOP primary for Utah Senate nomination MORE (R-Ariz.) hangs in there, locked in a tough race with Sen. Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaAfter Dems stood against Pompeo, Senate’s confirmation process needs a revamp ‘Morning Joe’ host: Trump tweeting during Barbara Bush funeral ‘insulting’ to US Trump and Macron: Two loud presidents, in different ways MORE (D-Ill.), the Republican undercard is facing obliteration in the 2008 general elections for the Senate. Polling suggests that a massacre may be in the offing — and one that’s possibly even greater than the worst of previous GOP years: 1958, 1964, 1974, 1986 and 2006.

Scott Rasmussen, whose site, www.rasmussenreports.com , follows these races closely, is producing truly hair-raising polling data.

Of the open Republican Senate seats in contention, Democratic victory seems very likely in Virginia (Democratic former Gov. Mark WarnerMark Robert WarnerRand's reversal advances Pompeo Pompeo headed for confirmation after surprise panel vote Overnight Finance: Treasury mulls sanctions relief for Russian aluminum firm | Trump floats tying NAFTA talks to border security | 14 states hit record-low unemployment MORE now has 55 percent, while fellow former Republican Gov. Jim Gilmore stands at 37) and New Mexico (where Democratic Rep. Tom UdallThomas (Tom) Stewart UdallDem senators demand Trump explain ties to Koch brothers Dem senators unveil expanded public option for health insurance Overnight Energy: Watchdogs unveil findings on EPA, Interior controversies | GAO says EPA violated law with soundproof booth | IG says Zinke could have avoided charter flight | GOP chair probes Pruitt's four email addresses MORE takes 53 percent to GOP Rep. Steve Pearce’s 37 and 57 percent to Republican Rep. Heather Wilson’s 36). In Colorado, Democratic Rep. Mark UdallMark Emery UdallSenate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Democratic primary could upend bid for Colorado seat Picking 2018 candidates pits McConnell vs. GOP groups MORE has a narrow lead over Republican Bob Schaffer (45-42). Nebraska would seem safely Republican, but a humongous black turnout in Mississippi could elect former Democratic Gov. Ronnie Musgrove, just as it led to a Democratic congressional victory in a bi-election this month. Score them: two Democrat, one leaning Democrat, one leaning Republican, and one Republican. A net loss of two or three seats.

And then there are the endangered incumbents. Three GOP senators are actually behind their Democratic challengers. Alaska’s Ted Stevens is behind Mark BegichMark Peter BegichPerez creates advisory team for DNC transition The future of the Arctic 2016’s battle for the Senate: A shifting map MORE by 47-45. Elizabeth Dole trails Kay HaganKay Ruthven Hagan2020 Dems compete for top campaign operatives Senate GOP rejects Trump’s call to go big on gun legislation Politics is purple in North Carolina MORE in North Carolina by 48-47. And Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenSenators pledge to pursue sanctions against Turkey over imprisoned American pastor Dems walk tightrope on Pompeo nomination Menendez rips characterization of Pompeo as 'nation's top diplomat' MORE is well ahead of John Sununu in New Hampshire, 51-43. Stevens’s legal problems and the likely huge black turnout in North Carolina make all three states lean Democratic at this point.

Even when GOP incumbents lead, they are perilously under 50 percent. In Oregon, as of this writing, Gordon Smith leads Jeff MerkleyJeffrey (Jeff) Alan MerkleyOvernight Energy: Senate confirms Bridenstine as NASA chief | Watchdog probes Pruitt’s use of security detail | Emails shine light on EPA science policy changes 32 male senators back Senate women's calls to change harassment rules Duckworth brings her baby to Senate vote, drawing a crowd MORE by only 45-42 and Steve Novick by 47-41. And in Texas, John CornynJohn CornynRand's reversal advances Pompeo Joe Scarborough predicts Trump won't run in 2020 Republicans divided over legislation protecting Mueller MORE leads Rick Noriega by only 47-43. In addition, Norm Coleman in Minnesota is hanging on by his teeth against Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenFranken to make first public appearance since resignation Overnight Cybersecurity: Fallout from Comey memos | IG reportedly investigating memos over classified info | DNC sues Russia, Trump campaign | GOP chair blasts FDIC over data security Why Smokin' Joe leads the pack of 2020 Democratic hopefuls MORE, 50-43; Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsOvernight Energy: Dems raise new questions about Pruitt's security | EPA rules burning wood is carbon neutral | Fourth GOP lawmaker calls for Pruitt's ouster | Court blocks delay to car efficiency fines How much does the FDA really do to promote public health? Trump aide: Mueller probe 'has gone well beyond' initial scope MORE is only narrowly ahead of Rep. Tom Allen in Maine, 52-42; and in Kansas, Pat RobertsCharles (Pat) Patrick RobertsGOP senators raise concerns about babies on Senate floor Senate passes resolution allowing Duckworth to bring baby on floor Kill off anti-environmental excesses in the farm bill MORE holds only a 52-40 lead over Jim Slattery. Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellRand's reversal advances Pompeo After Dems stood against Pompeo, Senate’s confirmation process needs a revamp Overnight Cybersecurity: Senators eye path forward on election security bill | Facebook isn't winning over privacy advocates | New hacks target health care MORE in Kentucky may also be in trouble.

So, among incumbents, score it three leaning Democratic, two tossups, and three leaning Republican.

Overall, that’s a likely Democratic pickup of five seats, with an eight-seat gain possible, and, in a partisan wipeout, a 12-seat shift.

Mon dieu!

In all likelihood, the filibuster will still remain a theoretical Republican option, but, in practical terms, may be beyond reach, especially if Obama wins the White House.

Driving the GOP’s imperiled Senate situation, or course, is a massive shift in party identification. While the two parties are normally about tied in party ID, the Democrats now enjoy a 44-30 advantage in the latest Fox News poll of April 29.A combination of the Iraq war, gas prices, the credit crisis and a looming recession are dragging down the Republican Party, big time.

So is a president with a 28 percent approval rating. Bush needs to go out and tell America that things are bad, but not that bad. There are solid signs that the economy may not be tanking after all. Unemployment, while rising, is still at historic lows. The credit crisis has not led to a wholesale collapse of the financial industry and the instability appears to be easing. And, in Iraq, we are approaching a more stable situation with lower combat deaths. Bush, who has largely been hunkered down in the White House, needs to hit the trail and move his ratings up into the mid- or high 30s, not an insurmountable challenge.

Will the endangered Republicans recover? Most have prevailed, in the past, by lifting their personal ratings out of possible danger early in the race. But when long-term incumbents find themselves mired in the high 40s or low 50s in vote share, it indicates a massive voter desire for change that is not likely to abate.

In the House, the incredible three Democratic bi-election victories, combined with the retirements of so many Republican incumbents, indicates that the GOP may be facing disaster there as well.

This is not a good year to be a Republican.

Morris, a former adviser to Sen. Trent Lott (R-Miss.) and President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonFeehery: The problem with the Dem wave theory After Dems stood against Pompeo, Senate’s confirmation process needs a revamp Support for Trump reelection mirrors Obama, Clinton in first terms: Gallup MORE, is the author of Outrage. To get all of Dick Morris’s and Eileen McGann’s columns for free by email, go to www.dickmorris.com .