This is supposed to be a good year for Democrats. By every measure, the signs are pointing toward big Democratic gains in the mid-term elections. President Bush’s approval rating has been stuck in the mid-30s for a couple of months now, the war in Iraq is every bit the quagmire that Democrats warned it would be, gasoline prices are edging toward $4 a gallon and the domestic economy, while not currently in recession, is nothing to write home about.
And yet I’m still in a particularly pessimistic mood about Democratic prospects this year. Maybe it is because I’m living in a Red State where the Democratic candidate for governor is in serious danger of coming in fourth behind Kinky Friedman. Or maybe it’s because I see all the big time liberal bloggers out there right now obsessing over defeating a Democrat - Joe Lieberman - who should he lose his primary race will probably turn around and run as an Independent - and win.
If I had to make a prediction right now, I would say that Democrats will probably fall short of taking either the House or the Senate. I don’t doubt that they will pick up seats this year, but probably not enough to wrest control away from the Republican yahoos who have been screwing things up so royally. I hope that I am wrong, but I would have to bet that the Republican’s advantages of incumbency and corporate financing will continue to prop them up.