Republicans are on the brink of pulling off a landslide "of potentially epic proportions" that would bring them control of both Houses of Congress and a majority of governorships, Democratic pollster and Fox News commentator Douglas Schoen says.
In an exclusive Newsmax interview, Schoen says he now sees several indications that matters are going from bad to worse for Democrats in this election cycle.
He points to a RealClearPolitics.com analysis that now shows Republicans picking up a net gain of nine seats in the Senate, which would deadlock the upper chamber 50 to 50. And polls show several other GOP candidates, including Carly Fiorina in California and Dino Rossi in Washington state, remain within striking distance, he says.
Schoen, a pollster for former President Bill Clinton, is co-author of the new book "Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System."
"We're moving in the direction of the Republicans potentially picking up 10 or 11 seats," Schoen says. "More likely it will be nine to 10, which is enough to either deadlock the Senate or give them control.
"You tie that in with a House that most people, myself included, concede is going to be 45 to 50 seats at the very least, if not more, and a generic vote that is now plus 7 or 8 percent for Republicans, combined with the Gallup turnout model predicting anywhere from 13 to 18 percent for the Republicans, you're looking at the potential for the Republicans to win both houses of Congress and holding 30 or more governors' seats. We're looking at a landslide of potentially epic proportions," Schoen says.
Asked if he believes the GOP wave will surpass that of 1994, when Republicans scored a net gain of 54 seats in the House and eight in the Senate, Schoen replied: "We're looking at gains that are comparable to, and possibly in excess of, what we saw in '94."
As a Democrat, Schoen hastens to add that he's not at all happy about the impending political tsunami that he predicts.
"I'd rather the Democrats win than lose, but you know what, these are the facts," he tells Newsmax. "This is not bashing the Democratic Party, this is just owning up to reality."
Schoen says President Obama's continued insistence that the economy is on the mend isn't helping Democrats either.
"With unemployment staying at 9.6 percent, and the economy shedding 95,000 jobs, and Gallup's own projection Thursday night being higher at 10.1 percent unemployment, the president is saying the trend line in private sector jobs is moving in the right direction," says Schoen. "I think that just about sums it up."
Schoen says voters now appear to be as angry as he has ever seen them.
"There's a sense the country is heading in the wrong direction," says the Democratic pollster. "Voters are deeply worried about the economy and how President Obama has handled it. He continues to be far more optimistic than by all rights he should be."
Schoen's book, "Mad as Hell: How the Tea Party Movement is Fundamentally Remaking Our Two-Party System,"
reveals how the energy that grass-roots conservatives are bringing into the political arena is altering the political ground rules.
"The enthusiasm is with the tea parties, it's not with the mainstream Democratic or Republican organizations," he says. "That to me is the bottom line."
He adds: "I say this as a mainstream, moderate, middle-of-the road Democrat. But as you look at this election, you would not have anywhere near the swing toward the Republicans, and away from the Democrats, if it were not for grassroots conservatives and the tea party movement. That's a statistical fact that, in my judgment, is clear and unambiguous."
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