September 2, 2010

Midterms and Murphy's Law

Everyone is familiar with Murphy's Law: Anything that can go wrong will go wrong. With the GOP riding high in Gallup, and 60 days to the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans shouldn't get too optimistic just yet. There's a lot that can go wrong, and a lot of it is very possible.

Consider that Democrats are sitting on a lot of cash that they are going to start using in the next week or so. They have a financial advantage. Remember, money means messaging and messaging means momentum.

The Democrats have a largely compliant press. Jim Geraghty at National Review has an interview with his mysterious mentor OWK today that talks about how the Democrats are masters at crafting story lines. Both Jim and OWK are wondering just when the narrative shifts to a late Democratic surge. If enough people repeat it, enough people might believe it and stay home or switch their vote. The other point they discuss is an October surprise. They contemplate that there might be a full month of them.   

Other things can go wrong. With the heated up campaign season starting, and debates beginning, there's a lot of opportunity for candidates to shoot themselves in the foot with some sort of unscripted flub. This is spotlight time. That just can't happen if you still expect to win.  With a lot of neophyte candidates on the Republican side, it's bound to occur a time or two.   And even if it doesn't, I'm sure someone will invent one.

Going up against seasoned campaigners with a number of new faces and teams, there's a good probability we'll see strategic mistakes as well - bad spending, bad messaging and missed opportunities. That's not to mention unexpected random events that might break the Democrats' way. 

Call me Mr. Frowny-Face if you like, but that's not my goal here. The Reality is that prospects are looking quite good right now.  What I'm saying, is that it underscores the fact that now is the time for vigilance to try to keep it that way.

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