Rove is giving a virtuoso performance designed to prevent the Democrats from taking control of the House and Senate or, if that is no longer possible, to hold down the size of the Democratic victory to make it easier for the GOP to come back in 2008. His plan is three-pronged: to reenergize any conservatives who may be flagging; to make sure the GOP's carefully constructed campaign apparatus is functioning at peak efficiency; and to put the resources of the federal government to use for political gain. . . .
In 2002, Rove's system outperformed the Democrats' in mobilizing voters and is credited with giving GOP candidates the narrow edge that secured victories for the party in 2002 and 2004.
For 2006, Rove and Mehlman hope a turnout advantage could help them eke out victories in tight House and Senate races that they believe will determine control of both chambers.