Washington, Oct.16 : A fast-growing anti-Republican wave threatens to significantly shrink the party's ranks in Congress.
According to the Washington Times, nearly a dozen Senate Republicans are locked in tight races with Democrats.
Analysts and operatives agree that such a change could put Democrats within reach of a filibuster-proof, 60-vote majority.
Democrats also are poised to make significant gains in the House, where they now have a 36-seat majority in the 435-member chamber.
Analysts are predicting that Republicans could lose as many as 30 additional seats, which are nearly double recent expectations for net losses.
The faltering economy is the primary reason for this switch in political forecast.
"Republicans don't have a lot of credibility on the economy anymore. We know the party's brand is damaged," said veteran campaign analyst Jennifer E. Duffy, who tracks Senate races at the Cook Political Report.
"The economy is an issue where Republicans had the advantage, but they lost that franchise," she added.
A CBS News/New York Times survey taken between October 10 and 13 showed 89 percent of Americans said the country had "pretty seriously gotten off on the wrong track."
That number was up eight percentage points from mid-September and 14 percentage points from January.
In addition to the economy's troubles, Republican candidates have been hurt by President Bush's dismal job approval ratings - now the lowest in modern U.S. history.
The latest USA Today/Gallup Poll showed Mr. Bush's job approval score sinking to 25 percent, with 71 percent of Americans disapproving of his performance in office - up from 64 percent in early September.
The Democrats presently hold a narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate, with two independents voting with them to keep them in control of the chamber. The House has 235 Democrats and 199 Republicans, along with one vacancy.