This week, Newt Gingrich asserted with some fanfare that the Democrats were 80-20 favorites for winning the presidency in 2008. His prediction existed in the midst of a wave of analyses with similarly gloomy prognostications.

Welcome to the party. With all humility, I can say that I postulated that scenario on my very first week online (March 2006)--and I have consistently warned my fellow Republicans that this presidential election cycle presents a battery of difficult obstacles, which we are unlikely to fully overcome.

Republicans, previously comforted by the image of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee, are now realizing that only about 30-35 percent of the electorate view her as a hideous monster so evil that she is automatically disqualified for the presidency. While the high negatives make for a promising start, the next 15.1 to 20.1 percent required to win remains a very tough nut to crack.

For a number of reasons stated previously ad nauseam, this is a Democratic year.

However, if we had any doubts before Appalachian State, we understand fully now: on any give Saturday (or Tuesday) any kid with a slingshot can take down a prohibitive favorite. So strap on your pads boys and girls, and let's go out there and win one for the Gipper.

What can we do to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat?

1. Hang tough in Iraq. In addition to a cataclysmic mistake in terms of American foreign policy, surrendering Iraq is bad politics. If we break ranks now and allow the "defeat America caucus" to win, we will also flee the political battlefield in complete disarray, and our opponents will turn retreat into rout. We may find ourselves unable to regroup for a generation.

On the other hand, standing firm is thoroughly American, manly, and appealing. Will things get better in Iraq if we stay? There are no guarantees, although it is hard to imagine things getting much worse. But, even if they do deteriorate, we have lost nothing politically.

For all the GOP congressman and senators facing close races for re-election, I have this advice: you cannot change the course of your next canvass by changing your stance on the war at this late date. If you are a Republican who has supported the war thus far, you are committed to the war and your fortunes are pinned to the war. Recanting will only expose you as spineless and shamelessly unprincipled. You have one option: do everything in your power to help us win in Iraq. Everything looks completely different in November of 2008, if we can point to real gains on the war front. Trust me. This is your only chance.

Most important, we must make a decision to do all we can to save Iraq--and let the political chips fall where they may. Eventually winning in Iraq is much more important than winning in 2008.

2. Repent and Remind America we are them. We screwed up once. Give us another chance. The repudiation in 2006 was more about corruption, arrogance, and incompetence than it was about Iraq.

Red-state America trusted us, and we let them down. They voted for us believing that we shared their values. We dishonored them and exposed them to ridicule. We created a scenario in which the axis of American liberalism (Hollywood, academia and the mainstream media) can gleefully assert that fast-talking GOP hucksters flimflammed "fly-over country" like they were so many dopey rubes at the County Fair.

We need to admit our mistakes and go to back our constituency on our knees and ask forgiveness. Can we please have one more chance? We will do better next time, and we will never make the same mistakes again. And here is our plan...

And we should mean it. Groveling is the very least we owe our former loyalists.

3. Be Republicans. Be the party with whom America fell in love. Be strong, certain, patriotic, God-fearing and common-sense oriented. Pick the most Republican candidate available.

I love Rudy (seriously--I would vote for him in a New York-minute), but his pro-choice position and apostate Catholicism does too much damage to the Republican coalition. I am warming to Mitt Romney, but his erstwhile Massachusetts-style Rockefeller Republicanism makes him a problematic standard bearer. I have advocated for John McCain for two years, but his inability to win over core conservatives continues to plague his candidacy.

Fred Thompson? Perhaps Fred will work. He has some baggage--but it is of the more regular variety.

Mike Huckabee? Who? Huckabee is actually the candidate best-suited to beat Hillary Clinton next November. He is solidly conservative, quick-witted, telegenic, and most likely to make heartland voters feel comfortable about giving Republicans another chance. Regardless, the former governor of Arkansas remains a long shot. If he cannot work his way into the top tier on guts and logic by January, he is irrelevant.

Newt? Mr. Republican. If the GOP decided to throw caution to the wind, put forward an intrepid champion, and fight out the Election of 2008 purely on the strength of ideas—then clearly Newt Gingrich would be the best choice. Pundits have already wondered if losing with Newt might sow the seeds of a more permanent victory a la the 1964 Goldwater campaign. This possibility keeps emerging as an intriguing option. Moreover, I am not certain that Newt is an automatic loser. Anybody remember the 1972 Robert Redford movie, The Candidate ? Perhaps fearless sincerity might work.

The bottom line: Let us win or lose being genuine Republicans.