Rep. Tom Cole, who represents Oklahoma's 4th Congressional District, must be gritting his teeth these days. Cole is the chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee, the GOP organization that supposed to manage the party's 435 congressional elections.
It's Cole's bad fortune that he has to work in a highly anti-Republican atmosphere, a time when most voters are fed up with the Bush Administration. Cole, a conservative whose district includes Fort Sill and other parts of south-central Oklahoma, is swimming upstream.
With only days to go before the election, Cole and his party stand to lose big in the House. Karl Rove's dream of a "permanent Republican majority" won't happen on Cole's watch.
Cole, who has an Ivy League education (Yale, no less) and a Ph.D. from OU, was optimistic about the GOP's chances back in March. He told the New York Times then that the U.S. "is still a center-right country, and I think this election will show that."
But the election map and powerful anti-Bush mood of the voters don't bode well for Cole and his team. By Tuesday night, Cole may be re-thinking his prediction.