A couple of months ago I was convinced that the Republican Party were headed towards a (mainly deserved) thrashing in the mid term elections in November.
However I hadn’t counted on the ability of the Democratic Party to do really stupid things, and wouldn’t want to make a prediction now.
In one seat a Democratic candidate put a doctored photo of her Republican Congressman opponent in a Nazi uniform on her website. These things have national consequences as we saw in 2002 when the boorish behaviour at Senator Wellstone’s funeral probably tipped several seats to the GOP.
The debate over warrantless NSA interceptions ended up with the Democrats looking like they were against intercepting calls between Al Qaeda and operatives in the US. And perception is everything.
The Justice Alito nomination has also been a disaster for them. Senator Kennedy’s behaviour seemed to be from Senator McCarthy and backfired massively as Alito’s wive broke down in tears. But even more of a disaster is that almost every Democrat voted against Alito. Why is this a disaster. Because Republicans previously had voted to confirm left-wing candidates (sometimes unanimously) who were well qualified. This precedent now means that a future Democrat President will be unable to get his or her picks confirmed unless they also have a majority in the Senate. Very very stupid. They concentrated on the battle (which they also lost) and forgot about the war.
You also have John Kerry swinging even more to the left to try and get another chance as their presidential candidate, and Republicans could not be happier.
I still think at this stage that the GOP will lose some seats in mid-term (especially because of corruption scandals) but the chance of them losing a majority in either House seems to be receding.