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July 29, 2009

2010: The Year We Make Contact?

Or, "Reap Year"?

Democrats giddy with possibilities only six months ago now confront a perilous 2010 landscape signaled by troublesome signs of President Barack Obama’s political mortality, the plunging popularity of many governors and rising disquiet among many vulnerable House Democrats.

...

Bolstered by historical trends that work in the GOP’s favor — midterm elections are typically hostile to the party in power — and the prospect of the first election in a decade without former President George W. Bush either on the ballot or in office, Republicans find themselves on the offensive for the first time since 2004.

...

“What’s hurting the Democrats badly is that people are afraid of the deficit and spending. They don’t see signs of economic growth, and people are worried,” said GOP pollster John McLaughlin. “If you look at the economy right now, voters gave the Democrats benefit of the doubt, they thought the stimulus would work, unemployment would recede — and they’re finding out now it’s not the case.”

...

The polls tell only part of the story. National Republicans have recently met with success in persuading a number of top recruits to commit to 2010 races that not so long ago looked considerably less attractive — the surest signal that potential GOP candidates view the playing field as less tilted against them than just a few months earlier.

Ah, that is a big thing, candidate recruitment. Good candidates shy away from futile races. The better the situation looks, the better candidates we get.

Politico notes that the odds of winning the House outright are small. Or zero. And the odds of winning the Senate are even weaker -- because of GOP retirements, we're defending 18 seats while the Dems defend 18. Everything else being equal, it's a fight to just stay even.

But there is a lot of room for growth.

I don't think Politico mentioned it, but Barack Obama is also not on the ballot in 2010. Many Obama-only voters will come to the polls again, but many -- more? -- will sit out the election as not having enough MTV hype and Michael Bay explosions for their liking. And a good number of them, hopefully, will have realized their colossal error.

The Democrats convinced the public in 2006 and 2008 that it was now safe to vote Democratic again. But after posing as moderates for four years, the public sees what they are, and they're the same taxing-and-spending hippies in suits they always were. The public's having an "A ha" moment as it realizes the Democrats are exactly who they always thought they were.*

* Yes, this paragraph was written as pure pretext, to justify linking a different Abba song.

Recruitment: A few weeks ago Geraghty noted the GOP is getting the candidates it seeks for 2010.


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posted by Ace at 05:43 PM

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