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The Barron’s Crytsal Ball and Barney Frank’s Portrait

Saturday, October 21, 2006  |  posted by Hugh Hewitt

The magazine sees the GOP holding on to both houses:

Our analysis — based on a race-by-race examination of campaign-finance data — suggests that the GOP will hang on to both chambers, at least nominally. We expect the Republican majority in the House to fall by eight seats, to 224 of the chamber’s 435. At the very worst, our analysis suggests, the party’s loss could be as large as 14 seats, leaving a one-seat majority. But that is still a far cry from the 20-seat loss some are predicting. In the Senate, with 100 seats, we see the GOP winding up with 52, down three.

In other news, Democrats have already uncorked the bottles and are measuring the furniture:

“I’ve moved from optimistic to giddy,” said Gordon R. Fischer, a former chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party. “I really have.”

Representative Barney Frank, Democrat of Massachusetts, who is in line to become chairman of the Financial Services Committee in a Democratic House, offered wry evidence of the changing perception of the race. His office, Mr. Frank said, has been contacted by a portrait-painting firm offering to talk about possibilities for the traditional committee chairman’s painting, one of those perks of power long absent from the lives of House Democrats.

“I’ve acquired a lot of new friends this year,” Mr. Frank said. “And I haven’t gotten any nicer.”

Chairman Frank’s portrait may or may not be painted.  But I do believe there are many, many voters who may look askance at such preening before the polls open, much less before they close.

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