“We know that there’s a hurricane coming, and it’s going to hit the Republicans in November,” says Charlie Cook of the non-partisan Cook Political Report. “We’re just trying to figure out how big this thing is.”


Democrats’ biggest advantage: Americans are increasingly worried that the country and Congress are moving in the wrong direction. In a USA TODAY/CNN/Gallup Poll last month, 29% of those surveyed said they were satisfied with the way things were going in the nation; 68% were dissatisfied. At this point in 1994, 35% were satisfied.

In the latest survey, registered voters said they were leaning toward Democratic congressional candidates over Republicans by 55% to 39%. That’s the biggest lead Democrats have had since they lost control of the House.

Presidents matter, too. In 1994, Democrats’ loss of Congress was in large part a rebuke to Clinton. His complicated proposal to overhaul the health care system and early fumbles on issues including gays in the military pushed his job-approval rating as low as 39% in September and October. By Election Day, it was still below 50%.

Bush’s approval rating in the latest survey, taken last month, was 36% — one percentage point below the low point of Clinton’s presidency. It hasn’t been as high as 50% in almost a year. ~USA Today