I did not predict specifically that the former seats of Obama and Biden would be lost, but I did predict that the Dems would lose seats in both the House and Senate but retain a small majority in both. It was in the American Conservatism thread. ...
Congressional Dems, while predicted to lose seats, are not predicted to lose the majority. I think they will be fine as well.
The loss of some seats by any majority party following mid-term elections is a normal event. However, current indicators strongly suggest much larger-than-normal losses this year. Republicans will likely pick up as many as six seats in the Senate and may well take a majority in the more volatile House.
The 'political fortunes' of the Prez and the Dems in Congress are essentially unchanged. Their polling numbers are fine. There's no real data which shows that they are in any big trouble, certainly not Obama. Would you like me to quote specific polls? I thought you were uninterested in such things!
Gallup today puts Obama at 51% approval, a rating which is essentially unchanged over the last 9 months. In prospective 2012 polling he creams all the Republican opponents. I think it's fair to say that he's fine.
Polls are an important source of information, but they don't tell the whole story. The most obvious element of which is that the President and the Democrat Congress have consistently failed in putting forward the legislative agenda which was central to their campaign; Cap & Trade, Health Care, and "Fair Organizing" - for Unions, are all either stalled or dead. Significantly these reversals all occurred at the height of their legislative power, and the downstream prospects for their eventual passage are dim at best.
Other detectable factors are likely to further erode this situation. (1) The beneficail effects of the very costly stimulus legislation, both enacted and proposed, are fairly hard to detect amidst the continuing economic difficulties. Public confidence in Democrat economic policies appears to be eroding, along with the credibility of their deficit forecasts. (2) The President's international ass kissing quickly blunted some of the popular outrage directed at the Bush Administration, but it hasn't done anything to improve key issues. Moreover, that fact is increasingly apparent both here and abroad. What will follow? (3)The dogmatic ineptitude of the Administration (and the Attorney General in particular) has caused failures in areas ranging from the closure of Guantanamo to the handling of cases with individual terrorists.
Some of the criticism attending all of these issues is unfair, but as other Presidents have learned, even unfair criticism can erode a leader's power.
In the wings behind all of these issues is the sense of wonder and novelty that attended a new, fast rising, attractive player on the political scene. It is clear that Obama's magic was inflated in his public ascent - not an unuaual occurrence in such circumstances - and that excess has helped him .. so far. However collapsing bubbles, whether economic or political, can have far-reaching destructive effects. His current poll mumbers are OK (not great) , as you noted, but the downhill run could be as sudden as the ascent.
The beginnings of all this may be indicated by events like the Brown victory in Massachusetts and the earlier gobernatorial contests in Virginia and New Jersey. Congressional legislators are generally proficient in guessing which way political winds are blowing. It's too early to be sure, but the recent decisions of key Democrat Senators not to seek reelection MAY be an indicator. It will be very interesting to observe the near term behavior of members of the House, all of whom face reelection contests in November.
I believe the Administration is going to have a difficult year. Partisanship among the truly committed on both sides is likely to remain. However, the very large cadre of not-totally-committed folks in the middle will be watching it all with obviously growing unease.
We can compare notes on November 8.