If you’re a Liberal or Progressive or just a vanilla Democrat who has been thinking about an electoral rout this fall, congratulations, you’re a member of the elite. I can’t really estimate how many of us there are, but the fact is that most of the nation did not really start paying attention to the 2010 election cycle until after Jerry Lewis brought his Labor Day telethon to a close.
Sure there was lots of polling that said people were pissed at the government, who wouldn’t be when there is nearly 10% unemployment and things don’t seem to be getting measurably better for millions of people? The “Throw the Bums Out!” sentiment is always strongest before the vast majority of the people start paying attention to the actual candidates they have to choose between. That is part of why the generic ballot polling is almost useless. We don’t get to pick between Democrat and Republican, we get to pick between two (or occasionally more) real people who speak and have a record we can judge.
This is where the political rubber meets the road. For all their structural advantages (bad economy, large majorities some of which are from very conservative districts, midterm election without the White House) the Republicans should be looking at a sweep. The thing is they still have not learned the lessons of the 2006 and 2008 elections. Americans don’t want rabid conservatives; they want some representation that will solve their problems. This leaves the Republicans out in the cold.