William Galston, an intellectually honest Democrat, writes this:
Conventional wisdom: it is a fickle, fickle thing. The latest example of the incredible lightness of opinion in today’s media and political climate is the reaction to the results of the race in Pennsylvania’s 12th congressional district. Politicians and pundits, right—as well as left-leaning, are taking it as evidence that Republican hopes of retaking the House this November are too optimistic. That may turn out to be the case, but PA-12 is hardly enough evidence to warrant the conclusion.
After citing the different reasons why, Professor Galston concludes this way:
Connect the dots and we have the portrait of an electorate that’s highly dissatisfied with the status quo and that seems poised to give more votes in the aggregate to Republican than to Democratic candidates this fall. I don’t know how many House seats that translates into, but I’d be surprised if the number didn’t start with a “3” (at least). As far as I can see, only a big change in the economy—a significant increase in the rate of GDP growth leading to a noticeable reduction in top-line unemployment numbers and a bump up in real disposable income for those who have jobs—would be enough to change the overall outlook for November.
I tend to agree with Galston’s last observation — and we are now close to the point where the narrative for November is baked in the cake. Precisely how many Democratic losses that translates into is hard to know — but I’d wager a small bet that the number will start with a figure higher than three.