Where's that tidal wave?

U.S. Democrats are cheering themselves up with scraps of evidence to support the dream of sweeping to victory in the House of Representatives (more than the Senate) in the coming November mid-term elections.

Let's be clear about it, a tidal wave where something like 30 seats change hands is possible. It happened in 1980, 1986 and 1994. Why the Democrats are clutching at straws for a landslide, is that the electoral map for them is so bad that anything less than a political earthquake in their direction will not be enough.

The result is inflated expectations at precisely the wrong moment. If the Democrats win ten seat in the House, it's a moral victory for the Republicans, but only because of months from the Democrat side telling us about the dozens of seats they're going to win in Texas and Pennsylvania and.. and sounds like the Howard Dean scream.

Here's what Business Week has to say about the Republicans' chances. Basically, if house prices stay buoyant, the feel-good factor will do the job for them.

Remembering how deeply unpopular Margaret Thatcher was in opinion polls during the 1980s, and remembering how at election time the unemployment figure always seemed to be dipping and house prices were booming, I can imagine a similar scenario in the U.S.A.. My advice to Democrats would be to keep the expectation levels down. That's what Republicans did brilliantly in 2002 [scroll down to table of before and after the elections]...

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