Swing State Project, a blog focused on congressional races from the 2004 swing states, started the "Tom Cole Deathwatch" in March, after Democrat Bill Foster won former House Speaker Dennis Hastert's (R-Ill.) old seat in a special election. The blog updated the "deathwatch" last week, asking readers to guess how long it would be before Cole was ousted.
The optimism among liberal blogs over this year's congressional races is in stark contrast to the mood of conservatives.
"Unless congressional Republicans plan on making a dramatic course correction on Iraq withdrawal, SCHIP [the State Children's Health Insurance Program], healthcare reform and fair trade, they're in for a world of hurt in November," said James Lambert, one of Swing State Project's editors.
The premise for the article, though, is that rightwing bloggers are furious with Cole and want to see him get booted. Given how utterly impotent the conserative blogosphere is, this probably means that Cole is actually more likely to stay on.
In fact, a separate Hill piece about the Republicans who (well, sorta) matter - ie, the House Republican caucus - suggests that Cole (and John Boehner) are safe. That's why I love this deathwatch - we win whether Cole stays or goes.