IT’S OPPO TIME!….The Washington Post reports today that Republicans plan to spend the vast bulk of their campaign money this year on negative ads focused on “personal issues and local controversies.” Matt Yglesias comments:

I also feel like this directly contradicts reporting that was in major papers just last week. Persona issues and local controversies are, of course, always good campaign fodder. Spending the “vast majority” of one’s war chest on that, however, does seem like a bit of a desperation move.

Actually, this sounds like exactly what we’ve been reading for a while, doesn’t it? Namely that Democrats want to try to nationalize the campaign and Republicans want to prevent that from happening. After all, national issues (Iraq, Bush, K Street corruption, Medicare donut holes, etc.) aren’t exactly working in the GOP’s favor at the moment.

It also seems like a pretty smart move to me. There are only about 40 Republican seats in the House that are realistically in danger, and a good part of that danger seems to be based on little more than a vague sense that things aren’t going that well at the moment. It’s hard to reverse a vague sense like that among inattentive independents, but it’s not that hard to pick up five percentage points in a single district by accusing your opponent of mopery and dopery of some sort. And five points is all they need in a lot of these districts.

Desperate? Maybe, but it seems pretty smart to me. If the Republican Party can pull this off ? and we all know it’s something they’re very, very good at ? I suspect Democrats are going to have a harder time this fall than pundits are predicting.