In light of Congress’ low approval ratings, some have suggested that the wave that washed Republicans out of the congressional majority 12 months ago has already subsided, and both chambers will once again be up for grabs 12 months from now.
CQ’s Bob Benenson and Jonathan Allen took a very thorough look at the landscape and have come to the opposite conclusion.
[E]very traditional indicator of election forecasting — from public opinion polls and issue resonance to candidate recruitment and the “over/under” balance of seats in play — suggests that congressional Democrats have just as much going for them in 2008 as they had in 2006, if not more. They now have the power of incumbency to give them added advantages in raising money, attracting top-tier candidates, controlling the legislative agenda and capturing the political zeitgeist.
All this leads Democrats to profess clear confidence that they’ll retain majority control next fall. And not only that, but they may now harbor realistic visions of emerging with 55 to 58 seats in the Senate (pushing them within arm-twisting distance of the 60 votes needed to bust a filibuster) as well more than 240 seats in the House, a cushion that neither party has enjoyed since the end of the last Democratic era in the House, in 1994.
As Kevin Drum noted, the report added, "[T]he biggest factor working in the Democrats’ favor continues to be that they are not the Republicans."
Something to consider the next time the right brags about Congress' low approval ratings.