Are Democrats doomed in 2010, with an energized Republican Party capitalizing on a backlash against a young president’s ambitious agenda to seize control of Congress a la 1994? Not likely — particularly if Democratic candidates learn from the Obama campaign and use the internet to help make sure that their supporters are the ones who show up to vote in November.
First, the background: the party of the president in office essentially always loses seats in the mid-term elections (2002 was a post-9/11 one-off), a tendency likely to be reinforced in 2010 by the fact that so many Democrats rode the Obama wave to win marginal districts in ’08. Plus, this year many progressive activists are turned off by what they perceive to be a failed healthcare reform bill, while others oppose Obama’s expansion of the war in Afghanistan. Add into the mix on the other side a fired-up movement of Tea Partiers and Sarah Palin fans and you have what looks like the recipe for a massive Democratic defeat in eleven months.