Sinking numbers for Obama, Democrats
The victories by Republicans in two Governors races last Tuesday appear to have lifted the party's prospects in 2010 and in 2012 in the minds of voters with 58% of those surveyed by Rasmussen now believe the next President will be Republican
Both Gallup and Rasmussen now show solid leads for the GOP in the generic Congressional ballot for 2010 - 4% in Gallup and 6% in Rasmussen. For Gallup, this is a 6% shift in one month, and a 10% shift in two months away from the Democrats.
Nate Silver show more Democratic held Senate seats at risk in 2010 than GOP held seats. After losing a net 14 Senate seats in the 2006 and 2008 elections (plus one more due to Arlen Specter's defection), the GOP has only 40 seats in the Senate, and needs help from independents (Joe Lieberman) or conservative Democrats (Ben Nelson) to sustain a filibuster.
Even a small pickup in Senate seats in 2010 would solidify the GOP's ability to block some of the statist agenda of the Obama administration.
Finally, as to Obama himself, his approval rating has sunk to 46% in Rasmussen, tying his all time low since he was elected . I don't think there is only one factor driving down his numbers in the last week. The Fort Hood attack suggests that political correctness, and the inability of various intelligence agencies to communicate with each other or act (a repeat of the failures that led to 9/11), allowed a self proclaimed Palestinian jihadist to murder 13 American soldiers.
The President's snub of Germany, passing on attending the anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall, probably did not sell too well either, especially among older voters with some knowledge of history.
Also, the passage of the House health care monstrosity has not sold well. The late night vote, and the selling out of pro-choice Democrats revealed deep splits within the Party. For all the Frank Rich punditry about venomous divisions within the GOP, it is the Democrats , with all the power on their side,who are cutting each other up in the legislative process.
The GOP now has many prime targets for 2010 in swing districts following the health care vote, while many moderate Democrats now will face leftist challengers funded by groups like Moveon.org.
Political parties can rebound from bad defeats when their base believes they can win, and is motivated to help them win. Both of these pieces seem in place for the GOP in in 2010. Add to this the fact that independent voters seem increasingly concerned abut the Obama/Pelosi domestic agenda, and shifted dramatically to Republicans in the two Governors races.
Conservatives can make common cause with independents on bread and butter economic issues, such as job losses (the failure of the stimulus plan), rapidly rising deficits, rising taxes and fees, and government control of healthcare and the energy sector. To be sure, the GOP still faces daunting long-term demographic issues, and a year is along time in politics, but 2010 is increasingly looking like a good year to run as a Republican .