Famed political guru Charlie Cook makes an early Election 2012 prognostication: Republicans will hold the House, and will likely control the Senate. Cook also asserts that Romney will be the eventual GOP presidential nominee and that 2012 will be a very tight battle for the White House. Tierney Sneed at U.S. News has more:
Sure that the former Gov. Mitt Romney will clinch the GOP nomination, Cook says President Obama faces an uphill battle to be re-elected, and the election will be a referendum on his presidency and the dire economicÂ situation he now “owns.”
Even if Obama did manage to hold on to the presidency, he will face a Republican-controlled legislature that will likely shut down his agenda entirely.
Cook sees House Republicans losing some of their majority, perhaps five to 10 of the seats he calls “exotic and problematic” that rode the wave in 2010 midterm elections. But he believes that Democrats stand no chance of winning enough seats to gain control.
For similar reasons in the Senate, he sees Democrats losing some of the seats that they gained in their own wave in 2006. “Best-case scenario” for the Democrats, says Cook, is that they lose only three of their 23 seats that are up for grabs. More likely however, they will lose at least six of the 10 most at risk, tipping the Republicans into a slight majority.
As for the Republican nomination, there is no doubt in Cook’s mind that it will be Romney. Herman Cain might have passion, Newt Gingrich intellect, and Texas Gov. Rick Perry money, but, “Romney is the only guy with the whole package.”