Coat tails: I won’t play pretend pundit today. Oh, what the heck, I will. I believe there were two pivotal factors during the past two weeks which provided the slight edge necessary to make possible the Republican rout. One, the Paul Wellstone memorial service. Rather than rally the faithful, it enraged Republicans nationwide. More importantly, it destroyed any sympathy votes found in the middle of the political spectrum and probably cost the Democrats the Senate race in Minnesota and maybe even in other close states, most notably Missouri. The second factor was the strategy of Karl Rove and executed brilliantly by George Bush. They positioned the race as a referendum on Bush and wisely spent the political capital found in historically high popularity.