Back in April, I predicted that Democrats would actually shape up to be in a good position heading into the November election:
It feels really weird to write this, but as of today, April 22nd, 2010, I’m not that concerned about the fate of Democrats in midterms. Granted, they haven’t done much to make me care too deeply about the size of the Democratic majority in either chamber or even holding on to both. If I had to guess based on where we are in late April, Democrats will lose a couple seats in the Senate and a low two-digit number in the House, but maintain legitimate majorities in both chamber.
In addition to healthcare, I expect Wall Street reform and immigration reform to pass in some state. There’ll probably be a number of smaller jobs bills that are passed before the fall too. Take into account that Republicans continue to abide by a doomed-to-fail strategy of mistaking their base’s disappointment with Obama with independents’ disappointment with Obama and this doesn’t look like it will be a catastrophic election for Democrats. I don’t expect gains, but given where we were six to nine months ago, I think it’s a pretty good place to be, if you care about the electoral fate of Democrats.
From where we are today in early September, this prediction was massively off-base. The economy has stayed south and there has not been a lot of good legislation moving forward from Democrats. We don’t really know today what the administration’s plan for fixing the economy is, nor do we see any urgency about solving the unemployment crisis. This has lead to a truly awful environment for Democrats. While people aren’t really in love with the Republican brand, “Anyone Else” is winning out over “The Guys We’re Not Happy With.”
We are about to come off another brutal August where Republican messaging dominated the media. Congress will come back soon and that will change, but from where we are today, I’d predict that Democrats lose the House. If they hold the Senate, it will only be by 2 votes. Things still have ample opportunity to get better for Democrats, but more importantly, there is still opportunity for them to get worse. And right now, I’d bet the Under.