Texas Sen. John Cornyn tells The Hill:
“I think this election could well be like 1980, when Jimmy Carter was unpopular because of the economy,” Cornyn said.
“But Ronald Reagan hadn’t yet presented himself as a credible alternative. Once he did, then the numbers really started moving.”
Read the rest of the very good report, which has hosts of Republican lawmakers talking up Mitt Romney's chances.
Of course, Republicans have been saying this, on the record, for quite some time, but here's a crucial distinction between then and now that indicates this isn't just obligatory cheering and applause.
GOP confidence in Romney is reflected in their recent strategy on taxes and spending, which hinges on a Romney presidency.
Before leaving for a five-week August recess, Republicans approved a six-month stopgap government funding measure that kicks a fight over federal spending into 2013 — when Republicans hope Romney will take over the Oval Office.
And on Thursday the House passed legislation that sets up an expedited process for comprehensive tax reform — but again, in 2013, when the GOP hopes a Republican president will lead that effort.