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  Republicans predict victory despite polls
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Last EditedRP  Jul 12, 2006 06:22pm
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MediaNewspaper - Washington Post
News DateThursday, July 13, 2006 12:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionA top Republican lawmaker brushed off bad poll numbers on Wednesday and said his party would surprise analysts and Democrats by strengthening its grip on the U.S. House of Representatives in November elections.

"We have a good story to tell," House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois told reporters as he emerged from a closed-door meeting with fellow Republicans, many of whom are worried about their own chances for political survival.

Hastert's prediction of election victory heartened many Republicans, caught others off guard and drew some ridicule.

"Either he is out of touch or has contempt for his audience," said Stu Rothenberg of the nonpartisan Rothenberg Political Report that tracks congressional races.

"We are winning in Iraq," said Hastert, who also declared that the economy is strong and that House Republicans will "increase our majority in November."
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