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Despite all the hand-wringing of the past week and a half (including quite a bit of my own), I remain optimistic about President Obama's prospects for reelection for one major reason.

It appears that the chances of Democrats actually gaining seats in the Senate are now greater than the chances of the Republicans taking over.  And that trend has continued even during this post-debate Romney surge.

I find it hard to believe that an electorate itching to vote for Democratic senate candidates will simultaneously turn its back on our Democratic president.

Put another way: How many Kaine/Romney voters are really out there?

Nate Silver posted a blog entry about the Senate prospects this morning, saying "there is little sign, however, that Mr. Romney’s rebound has translated into races for the Senate."

I believe that's because all of Romney's "gains" are tied to voter enthusiasm after the debate -- positive enthusiasm for Republicans, negative enthusiasm for Democrats.

The debate was the first good news for the Romney campaign in over a month and it was entirely unexpected.  That amped up its news value and made it the equivalent of a pitcher of ice water for a party that had spent weeks in the desert.

On the flip side, Democrats were high on our candidate's success, going to sleep at night with visions of flipping Arizona and Texas, and so the debate felt like a two-by-four to the face.

That dynamic showed up immediately in the polls and is taking a little while to dissipate (particularly given the flood of right-leaning pollsters who were thrilled to join the conversation when they saw a chance to further the narrative).

But polls are snapshots, and the underlying fundamentals remain.  We won the battle for new registrations, we are winning in the early vote, and we have the broader, stronger GOTV operation.

The most important thing right now is that we don't lose sight of those advantages but instead work hard to bolster them.  Victory is ahead... it's just hard to see through all the smoke generated by one nasty bump in the road.

But check out those Senate numbers, and tell me which party you think is winning.  

Poll

How will the Senate change?

0%1 votes
1%2 votes
7%8 votes
4%5 votes
16%18 votes
33%37 votes
36%40 votes

| 111 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I hope you are right (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    deep, Woody, growingMajorityMN, nomandates

    I have been unflappable, even after the debate, but the last couple of days - and looking at Nate's site - I have had a sinking feeling.

    The liberal in me has been thru this before.  I always think that the republicans are going to pull one off because they lie so well and know how to distill their policies into neat little talking points that speaks to the low info voters.

    I am hoping to see more of a bounce this week for President Obama and I am hoping he does very well at the Townhall debate.  He does well with interaction with the people, unlike my former governor, Mittens.

    This is my first post, I've read here a long time, I post at huffpo with this nic, so I am not a concern troll or anything

  •  The senate picture (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wishingwell, Supavash, Woody, nomandates

    is really puzzling with the romney picture. the only thing i can take away from it is that obama has a chance to get back a lot of his votes over the next 3 weeks. but a kaine/romney voter isnt that hard to believe if someone thinks he is a moderate and thinks romney is one too and can fix the economy.

  •  Flipping Texas? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Sun dog, flatford39, nomandates

    I never saw any discussion of that. And it doesn't seem particularly plausible.

    Thank you to jayden, Dr Erich Bloodaxe RN, Aji and everyone in the Daily Kos community involved in gifting my subscription and gifting others!

    by Nulwee on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 01:16:58 PM PDT

    •  Not this year (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Sun dog, Wildthumb, nomandates

      But I've read many diaries and comments here discussing the chances for doing exactly that in years to come (thanks to the increasing lockhold on the Hispanic vote).

      Don't get me wrong... I love those diaries.  And I love Democratic prospects in the decades to come.  I'm just pointing out that it was that sort of optimistic mindset that ran into the brick wall of Black Tuesday.

    •  A key aspect of flipping Texas (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      207wickedgood, nomandates

      is that in coming years the GOP can't survive as a threat for the White House by gripping ever tighter to a homogenous white voting base.  

      They will have to change in ways people aren't considering right now.  How does this current party court ANY new demographic without abandoning most of what they are?  All kinds of states will come into play as they will have to move to the 'middle' and try to offer something to someone besides bigots and fools.  It simply won't be the same party.  

      Being in charge after the last debate is what counts.

      by Sun dog on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 01:53:21 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Texas is changing (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Sun dog, 207wickedgood, nomandates

        and its not what you think it is now. Until Tom Delay's redistricting, TX had a majority Democratic representative count in the House. W was only the second Republican governor since reconstruction. There was a transition as the conservatives left the Democratic party and went Republican in response to Nixon's southern strategy but there is a history of progressive populism here and it's pretty healthy. Currently Dems hold all 88 county wide offices in Dallas County and went for Obama in 2008. Houston, Austin and San Antonio did was well.  The state is now majority minority.  Now, if we can just persuade the "moderates" that a path to citizenship for immigrants and protecting union rights for all of us is the way the Democrats get back in power, we can flip Texas, maybe as soon as next time.

        "If I pay a man enough money to buy my car, he'll buy my car." Henry Ford

        by johnmorris on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 03:25:55 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Thanks for this, jm (0+ / 0-)

          I keep trying to tell people about Texas, and there's not enough looking at it by those not here, and little help nationally.  And the circular arguments about "DNC may help you when you help yourselves", etc. gets old.  Especially when they continue to ask for money for races in other states, but no help for us here.  Yeah, the punishments will stop when morale improves.

          Never mind, we'll do it ourselves.

          Torture is Wrong! We live near W so you don't have to. Send love.

          by tom 47 on Tue Oct 16, 2012 at 08:23:07 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

  •  How many BS Democrats? (0+ / 0-)

    That is the count that matters to me.  How many BS Democrats are we going to have grand bargaining away core Democratic programs.  

    •  The one that counts? (0+ / 0-)

      The one in the White House is the one who said in his debate that he and Rmoney were probably pretty close on Social Security.

      Obama seems to think he'll be a statesman and have his face put on Mount Rushmore by selling Social Security down the river. First he has to get re-elected to do that. If he keep dropping clues that he will sell it out in the Grand Bargain, he won't be in office to make such a rancid deal.

    •  BS Dems are alot less than before (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      nomandates

      Lest you forget we lost Lincoln, Lieberman, Nelson and now Webb.  Manchin and Warner are a bit troublesome but nowhere near the extent that Lincoln, Lieberman and Nelson were.  Landrieu remains as well.  Overall the Senate will be a whole lot more progressive in 2013 with Baldwin replacing Kohl, Warren replacing Brown, Murphy replacing Lieberman and King is an upgrade from Snowe.   also if the Dems win in AZ, NV and IN Carmona will be an upgrade from Kyl, Berkeley will be an upgrade from Heller and Donnelly will be an upgrade from Lugar.  

      This is your world These are your people You can live for yourself today Or help build tomorrow for everyone -8.75, -8.00

      by DisNoir36 on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 04:17:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Winning the Senate (6+ / 0-)

    I think Obama will win and I think we will keep the Senate. But we also have to work hard for it.

    I have ALMOST raised $2000 for key Senate races. Anyone want to help take my Senate 2012 Act Blue site to over $2000?

    Can't afford donating some cash, how about making phone calls from your own home through Democracy for America to support Progressive candidates

    Or volunteer directly for the Obama campaign.

    We CAN win and win fairly comfortably. But only if we work for it.

    FREEDOM ISN'T FREE: That's why we pay taxes. I Had A Thought

    by mole333 on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 01:29:06 PM PDT

  •  Good analysis of the debate situation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    nomandates

    and its effects.

    If there is no accountability for those who authorized torture, we can no longer say that we are a nation of laws, not men.

    by MikePhoenix on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 01:45:12 PM PDT

  •  Was the debate a two by four to the face (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Arnie, deep, nomandates

    or did Obama pull our security blanket away?  

    I'm starting to feel more and more like it was part of a three debate strategy that actually accomplished what it was supposed to.  So many people seem to think that suffering bad polls right now is just too high of a price to even consider as part of a long term strategy.  But it's only a high price if you're mostly concerned about your sense of security and comfort more than the long game.  

    Hasn't it been shown that the Commanding Lead we had was actually quite brittle?  

    There was going to be a Romney Surge one way or another.  I think this helps cauterize it.  If it had come after the third debate, THAT would have been seriously bad news.  I think there's very little chance for that now.  

    Letting Romney bump his head on his ceiling of support in early October will probably seem like no big deal come Nov 6.  

    Being in charge after the last debate is what counts.

    by Sun dog on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 01:45:59 PM PDT

    •  Agree and disagree (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      deep, Sun dog, PorridgeGun, nomandates

      I don't think for a minute that Obama's poor performance was a deliberate tactic aimed at giving Romney a boost that will fade before the election.

      I think Obama went in with a strategy to be presidential and non-combative, to essentially run out the clock without taking any big risks.  It backfired.

      But I think you are absolutely right that the past couple of weeks will prove to be Romney's ceiling.

      •  Yes, we're going to win (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Arnie, nomandates

        The inside chess game will be interesting to read about afterwards if anyone actually comes out and tells it straight.  I just can't help giving Obama some benefit of the doubt when it comes to knowing the long game in defeating an opponent in a campaign.  

        To me it was the way he helped in the Romney Victory pile on with Obama himself commenting on it and admitting his fault in not being more forceful with Romney's flip flops and dishonesty.  

        Consider that it's actually the conventional wisdom at this point that Romney won the debate by bailing on much of what he's promised on the stump.  Romney was just being too slippery for a far too polite and passive Obama who we're now to believe just aint a good debater.  And this with two debates to go.  

        I don't think there's any way Obama would have stuck to that demeanor if there was only one debate.  I think the poker player played us all.  Losing a hand is not the same thing as losing the game.  It depends on which hand and for what stakes.  

        How can Barack Obama, who had more facts on his side but was too polite to fight it out, possibly rebound against such a great (if dishonest) debater as Mitt Romney?!?  That's the set up going into the final two debates.  

        Now being seen as a possible favorite to win by many people, how could Mitt possibly blow that set up?  tee hee

        Being in charge after the last debate is what counts.

        by Sun dog on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 02:32:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good analysis- trends are positive (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Arnie, nomandates
  •  I'm generally positive! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Arnie, nomandates

    I look for the silver lining.  I'm a liberal and I don't mind when my friends call me a liberal.  I served my country, I'm a veteran, but I don't trust the GOP.  I don't trust Diebold or whatever they have renamed their corporation.  I know how far I can trust Karl Rove and I know how far I would like to kick his slimy A$$.

    The Republican Party is intent on destroying democracy in the USA.  I hope that I am wrong and I hope that we are able to pull out this election.

    The re-election of President Obama is critical for our future!

    Dick Cheney said, "Pi$$ on 'em!" And, Ronald Reagan replied, "That's a Great Idea. Let's Call it 'Trickle Down Economics!"

    by NM Ray on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 04:33:54 PM PDT

  •  Indiana will go Red to Blue --- YAHOO!! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    207wickedgood, nomandates

    Crazy Tea Party loon Mourdoch can't get endorsements by Lugar or Rep. Gov. Mitch Daniels. We can turn Sen. Lugar's senate seat from Red to Blue with Democrat Joe Donnelly.  

    IN-Sen: President Clinton Endorses Joe Donnelly (D) For U.S. Senate

    When he heard Mourdock “excoriating (Lugar) for working with President Obama on national security matters,” he was shocked, he said.

    “Do you really think it’s a Republican or Democratic issue whether Osama bin Laden and all the leadership of Al Qaeda is gone now or not,” Clinton said. “I thought it was an American issue.”

    And, he said, he called Bayh after that election to say he believed Donnelly could win. What convinced him, he said, was Mourdock saying Washington needs less compromise.

    It is not “Hoosier common sense,” he said, using the slogan that Democrats were emphasizing on the rally in signs and placards, to say Washington needs more partisanship.

    Joe Donnelly for Senate

    Act Blue for Joe Donnelly

    Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can transform the world.~ Howard Zinn

    by ParkRanger on Sat Oct 13, 2012 at 05:37:51 PM PDT

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