A hopeful sign:

Analysts at the Republican National Committee have sent this warning to the House of Representatives: The party is in danger of losing 25 seats in the 2006 election and, therefore, of losing control of the House for the first time since the 1994 election. Although some Republicans on Capitol Hill believe the RNC is just trying to frighten them, concern about keeping the present 232-202 edge pervades GOP ranks. The second midterm election of an eight-year presidency often produces heavy congressional losses for the party in power. A footnote: Rep. Christopher Shays, re-elected from his Connecticut district last year with 52 percent, is considered by colleagues as the most vulnerable Republican incumbent. Other especially shaky GOP House members include Jim Gerlach of Pennsylvania and Rob Simmons of Connecticut.

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