I didn't give Bob McDonnell much of a chance early in the Virginia gubernatorial election. In fact, Creigh Deeds wasn't given much of a chance against the big money primary leader Terry McAuliffe. Then McAuliffe got crushed in the Virginia Democratic primary by Deeds. Shortly afterward, and coincidentally at the same time the Obama big spending agenda came into focus for voters, Deeds found himself struggling in an election held in the President's own back yard. McDonnell was the first major candidate to make the Obama agenda a singular issue in an election, and he won. But the recipe to his success was no secret.
Then incumbent Democrat John Corzine, the only candidate I can think of that had access to more money than Barak Obama, lost to Republican Chris Christie in Blue New Jersey. During all of this a vigorous and heated discussion of policy, which never took root during the 2008 Presidential election, was blossoming in the grass roots. When Scott Brown claimed the "Kennedy" seat in the Massachusetts special election even politicos suffering from industrial strength denial (like Senators Ben Nelson and Blanche Lincoln) openly expressed concern. But the hard core leftists at the New York Times, The Huffington Post and Firedog Lake raged on for President Obama to redouble his efforts on ObamaCare, ObamaSpending, Passive Aggresive Terror Policy and Cap and Trade.
However,today an adult showed up at this Democratic bonfire of insanity and told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, his putative leader, to take this job and shove it. Indiana Democratic Senator Evan Bayh's announcement to not run for reelection mere days before the Indiana filing deadline is a clear signal to Democratic caucus leaders that they are not just wrong on policy but also totally out of touch with reality (something we have been saying on this blog for months.) As Dan mentioned below, Majority Leader Reid didn't even get a heads up. That sound you hear is the sound of sheets splitting across the wide, wide bed of the Democratic Party.
After the Indiana bombshell delivered today the collective eyes of news junkies will naturally settle on La La Land, where California Senator Barbara "Please call me Senator" Boxer is presenting the same symptoms shown by Deeds, Corzine, Coakley and Bayh. Everywhere in flyover country there is a chorus of Tea Partiers, silent majorities and ordinary middle class Americans (including many unemployed) shouting "Can you here me now?"
Note: A thank you to Commenter #1. I left out a link. It's fixed now.
More: Peter Wehner provides some context:
The last time we saw a double-digit shift in Senate seats in a single election was when a former movie actor by the name of Ronald Reagan was elected president (Republicans won a dozen seats back in 1980). A shift of those dimensions in a non-presidential election year would be basically unheard of. But as Jen points out, a pickup of 10 GOP seats -- and recontrol of the Senate -- is no longer out of the question. America's political tectonic plates are shifting in a fairly dramatic and rapid fashion; and the resulting dislocation will batter and crush many Democratic candidates, perhaps on a scale we have not witnessed before in our lifetime, at least in a midterm election.
"Crickets" from ABCNBCCBSNYTNWTIMENPRMSNBCCNN opinionators that would interrupt regualarly scheduled programming if this were a Republican problem.