"Senior Republican Party officials say the prospect of at least two more weeks of Congressional debate on Iraq is allowing their party to run out the clock on the fall election, blocking Democrats as they try to seize on the faltering economy and other domestic concerns as campaign issues. ... The emerging dynamic has produced growing if quiet optimism among Republicans that they will be able to turn back the Democratic drive to take control of the House. ... Scott Reed, a Republican consultant, said: 'The secret to the election now is to beat the clock. Every week, you can hear the ripping noise of another page of the calendar coming off the wall. Another week has gone by. And there's only six more to go.' " The article notes that most Democrats now want to vote for the President's war as quickly as possible. The article does not raise an obvious additional image problem for the Democrats: how will pro-war Democrats distinguish themselves from pro-war Republicans when both parties have made supporting the President's war on Iraq the major issue of the day?
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