05/28/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

2010 Elections: Can Democrats "Win"?

For some time, I've been part of the doom-and-gloom brigade when it comes to Democrats' fortunes at the midterm elections this November. As early as last August, on a panel at the Netroots Nation conference, I said that I expected a loss of 20 to 50 Democratic seats, which necessarily implied that a loss of their majority was quite possible. I've since revised the low end of that estimate downward, to a loss of 20 to 60 seats.

I'm not sure that there's yet been enough time to assess whether the Democrats' passage of health care reform seven days ago could mitigate -- or broaden -- their losses. Most polls suggest that the health care reform bill itself has become somewhat more popular since passage. But President Obama's approval ratings are little moved, and there has thus far been little new polling on the generic ballot or perceptions of the Democratic congress. Moreover, any changes in the polling may prove to be temporary.

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