What is the mandate for the new Congress on the economy? It's a bit hard to say: asked to name the highest priority for the new Congress, 37% chose "spending to create jobs"; a different 37% said "reducing the deficit.
Those who try to argue that the key to 2010 was what happened with the independents are not in touch with reality. It doesn't capture the complexity of an electorate that is going through profound demographic change every two years.
We see candidates employing the unusual tactic of insulating themselves from the rigors of the profession, which should send a cautionary signal to the electorate that maybe they are not up to the task they seek.
Reports of the recession ending do not mean that we're well on our way to recovery. Black and Latino workers know this well. In our communities, the economic crisis has hit hard, and it is unrelenting.
While many things are working against Democratic incumbents this year, the public's tendency to be risk averse may make the difference in allowing some incumbents to win campaigns that they might otherwise have lost.