I'm putting on my faux political analyst hat for this post.
Everyone know that the Democrats are in trouble this coming election. Their loses are going to be significant. In my home state of Ohio were looking at basically a clean sweep for the Republicans. The incumbent Governor, Democrat Ted Strickland, is likely to be beat pretty soundly by the Republican challenger*. The senate seat here will also undoubtedly go Republican. The majority of competitive house races will probably go the Republicans way as well. So, giving Ohio as an example, it looks pretty doom and gloom for the Dems right?
The Democrats have a saving grace; counter intuitively to their purpose, it's the Tea Party movement. As unpopular as the Democrats and congress are, the Tea Party is even more hated by the general population and fires up a Liberal base that is otherwise unenthusiastic.
To control the Senate, the Republicans basically have to win every competitive race. Two of those races involve Republican 'tea party' candidates. In Nevada and Delaware**, Tea Party Candidates won the Republican primaries and basically ensured that the Democrats would be able to hold those seats. Holding those two seats will put the Democrats at 51 votes***.
Many more tea party candidates have been nominated for competitive house seats. Again this is basically giving the Democrats victories in districts where the populous is even somewhat moderate.
So, what does this all mean?
I don't think the Democrats will lose either house of Congress. The Democrats will lose a lot of seats, but will be able to hold against more extremist conservative candidates that the Tea Party produces. That will probably be just enough for the Democrats to maintain majorities in both chambers.
To be honest, I don't think the Republicans taking back congress is the best thing for their chances in 2012. If republicans control congress, they also will assume some of the blame. The economy is unlikely to get better anytime soon. If the Republicans control congress, Obama and the Democrats can run against a 'do nothing' congress and that might just be enough for the Democrats to hold.
Thanks for reading and please comment.
*Even if that challenger is a total asshole, and is running a horrible campaign.
**I can't believe the Republicans in Delaware were dumb enough to nominate Christine O'Donnell. A Republican is going to have a hard enough time winning there with being a wacko conservative that is totally corrupt.
***Assuming Joe *cough* traitor *cough* Liberman doesn't switch caucuses. I don't think I would mind that much though, because he'll vote with the other side anyway.