Just a year after Democrats won the presidency and sizable majorities in the House and Senate, a CNN poll found that 39 percent of respondents think we'd be better off with Republicans controlling Congress. Forty percent still prefer Democrats, so the party of Obama is hoping to avoid losing control of the House and Senate in 2010. But with their numbers falling, are Democrats headed for disaster? (Watch Newt Gingrich talk about the GOP's 2010 chances)
This always happens: Falling support, from both the left and center, is "pretty disheartening" for the Democrats, says Steve Benen in The Washington Monthly, but it's hardly unexpected. Regardless of party, "presidents take office with high hopes, governing proves difficult," policymaking gets bogged down, and supporters get discouraged.
Democrats are doomed: Democrats have fallen so far from being "masters of the political universe," says Karl Rove in The Wall Street Journal, they could lose not just the House but even the Senate next year. That's partly because their polls are bleak, the economy is bad, and health-care reform is "deeply unpopular" — but also because the GOP has "talented, energetic challengers" lined up.
"Can Republicans retake the Senate in 2010?"
GOP infighting is the wild card: "Democrats have plenty to worry about in 2010," says Michael McAuliff in the New York Daily News. But there's "one thing giving Democratic leaders hope": the GOP base's "discontent boiling to the surface with the Republican establishment all over the country." If the GOP splinters, the Democrats win.
"Dems doing better with base than GOP"
The GOP will win a Pyrrhic victory: Republicans are "betting heavily that a bad economy will collapse Democratic support without us having to lift a finger," says David Frum in Frum Forum. But that strategy is a "complete failure." By refusing to negotiate with Democrats, we've just gotten more liberal policies. "Even if we gain seats in 2010, the actions of this congressional session will not be reversed."
"The cost of no deal"
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