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How many seats will GOP win this fall? It's up to voters, not RNC's Michael Steele.

Washington's 'political-industrial complex' obsesses over the performance of Republican and Democratic party leaders, but GOP gains will depend on conditions and candidates, not campaign turmoil and media narrative.

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The two national political party committees are dinosaurs, and as with the dinosaurs before them, their time has come and gone.

I offer this critique from the vantage point of a rare animal. I am one of the few – if not only – persons to have worked for both the Democratic National Committee (DNC), in the late 1980s and early 1990s, and the Republican National Committee (RNC), in the early years of the Bush presidency.

I began thinking about the relevance of the national parties after reading story after story about their current health.

As you are probably aware, there has been a wave of news about the RNC’s disorganization and dysfunction under chairman’s Michael Steele’s leadership.

On the other hand, reports on the DNC have largely been glowing – under chairman Tim Kaine, the DNC is well-organized, on message, and raising money. Based solely on these contrasting storylines, one might expect (and some have asserted) that Republican efforts this fall will be greatly hindered.

So why is it that nearly all independent analysts are forecasting that the Republicans will pick up at least 25 House seats and five Senate seats and make gains in state offices across the country? The short answer is that the fault lines and tides of the political environment matter profoundly more than the activity of the national committees – and, for that matter, the specific tactics of any campaign.

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