Consensus seems to be election day next week will bring fairly significant losses for the majority, which is the president’s party, both of which American’s are revolting against, according to prevailing wisdom.
There are many ways to forecast the elections. Here’s WaPo’s:
The question around Washington today is not whether Nov. 2 will be a difficult day for the Democrats who control Congress, but rather how bad it will be.
Increasingly, it looks like the answer depends on which chamber of Congress you’re following.
The nonpartisan Cook Political Report now estimates that more than 90 Democratic House seats are potentially in play; on the Republican side of the aisle, it estimates that only nine appear in jeopardy. As a result, most leading forecasters say it is more likely that Republicans will win the 39 House seats they need to take control.
On the Senate side, however, the battle has narrowed to a handful of true nail-biters in Nevada, Pennsylvania, Illinois and Colorado – all of which are likely to stay close to the end.
It would take a sweep of nearly all of them, improbable but not impossible, for the Republicans to pick up the 10 seats they need to gain control of the chamber. At this point, it’s possible that Democrats will end up losing only three or four seats, and they will count that as a good night.
If these trends hold – if the Republicans do gain the House without also taking control of the Senate – that would represent a historic anomaly: Not since the election of 1930 has the House changed hands without the Senate following suit.
Many Americans feel like they’ve been living through an historic anomaly for about two years now in the nation’s governance. It’s actually refreshing to hear the term ‘anomaly’ again since the pop culture tends to call things like that “the new normal.”
The point of the historic grassroots activism that sprang from resistance to new social and political realities is that America is being transformed radically away from its tradition and foundational values.
Tens of millions of ordinary people have been roused to fight for rights they assumed they had. From health-care mandates to rising federal debt to confiscatory taxes to suffocating speech codes, they have correctly concluded their liberty is under assault.
To be sure, dissenters do not have a monopoly on wisdom or common sense. A partisan label is never a guarantee of righteousness, as the reversal of political fortunes in two years demonstrates.
Rather, the American system, we learn again, is intolerant of only one thing: intolerance. Whether its hammer comes from left or right, it always wakes the spirit of revolution. Freedom of speech, to dissent, to oppose, to fight back, is not just the literal content of the First Amendment. It is the essence of who we are as a people.
Which is why the Democrats are headed for a bad day next week.
Is it dispirited liberals? Secret campaign spending from conservatives to “fool” voters? The unavoidable result of the Bush economy? A lack of “marketing” and “PR” from the White House about the legislative achievements of the past two years?
Those are all reasons being put forward by Democrats as to why the party is being tossed about on the electoral waves, but none really get to the heart of the problem.
At the center of it all is that the policies of the party since taking total control of Washington have angered independent voters while galvanizing conservative opposition.
What Democrats are doing now would be like a man who was about to get stung 100 times after whacking a hornets’ nest with a broom handle thinking of why it isn’t his fault. If his wife had bought the bug spray… If his son had cleaned the eaves while cleaning the gutters… Global warming has lengthened nest-building season… If only the hornets were really butterflies… and so on.
And so on…
The most conventional argument about what went wrong for Democrats is that Obama moved too far to the left in a country that is center-right. But this argument is not supported by a recent study by The Washington Post, Henry Kaiser Family Foundation and Harvard University.
The study found that Americans are philosophically conservative but operationally liberal. While they do express strong distrust of government in general, when asked about specific programs they usually voice their support. More Americans have more negative views of government than they did 10 years ago, yet most people still consider Social Security and Medicare to be “very important” and almost half support government regulation of health care.
…Obama has not performed very well as a party leader, even as he succeeded in obtaining a good deal of his presidential agenda from Congress. In this respect, there are some similarities between Obama and President Carter, who left his party in worse political shape in 1981 than when he found it.
Exactly. The similarities between Obama and Carter have hurt the party, but this isn’t just about the party. They have profoundly hurt the country and left it in worse shape, just two years in. Of all the things Americans still give thanks for, one is certainly mid-term elections.