In other words, everything had to break right to pull this off. Which leads to Nate's musing on the macro implications of the two "wild cards" he sees happening this year:
1) The GOP budget
2) Osama bin Laden
As a consequence of those two wild cards, Nate concludes:
Coupled with what is arguably a troubling start for the Republicans in the presidential campaign — a couple of electable candidates aren’t running, while there are signs now that Sarah Palin may — the past six months have played out in a way that is toward the lower end of what the G.O.P. might reasonably have expected in November 2010.
That doesn’t mean there are any guarantees. Far from it: I don’t know that Mr. Obama is much more likely than a 2-to-1 favorite to retain the White House, nor that Democrats better than even money to take back the House. But both sets of odds have improved, in my view, from where I would have pegged them a few months ago.
And there you have it, folks. That's not dismal odds, but given the breakdown in the Senate class of 2012 is something like 23(D) to 10(R), we need all the help we can get. The GOP has told us that given the House, the Senate, and the White House, they will enact the Ryan budget - and a budget can't be filibustered.
50-50 in the House, probably 50-50 in the Senate, and the two events are correlated, so it's not a 25% chance that the GOP gets all of Congress - probably closer to 40%.
That 2-1 for Obama, then, is our firewall. Re-electing Obama is the easiest way to prevent the New Deal from being scrapped.
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