The majority party begins the real campaign season with its worst poll numbers in living memory. I can sum up the ABC/WaPo and NBC polls quickly for you: No one thinks the economy's recovering, very few people think Democrats are helping, and most people are willing to give Republican candidates the chance to do... something about it. In the ABC poll, a generic Republican leads a generic Democrat by 13 points among likely voters. That narrows to a 2-point lead among registered voters, and the first conclusion you'd draw from that all Democrats need to do to survive is get their base excited about hitting the polls. Obviously, that would help them. But like I keep saying, this was the Democratic plan for 2010:
1) Health care bill is passed and becomes more popular as people receive the benefits.
2) Economy recovers and stimulus money starts showing real impact.
If that isn't happening, what is the Democratic comeback scenario? And if you're a Democrat, do you break out the defibrillator and try to convince people that their local economy is turning around because of legislation X, Y, and Z, or do you rev up the base by saying that the new Republican majority wants to use the bad economy as an excuse for more tax cuts and deep entitlement cuts? Clearly the Democrats are opening the second door, hence all of the attention on Paul Ryan's austerity "roadmap."
If you're a Democrat, you want to ignore the polls, hope for a turnaround in the next two months, and check out
Politico's race breakdowns
, which reveal that the embattled Democrats have plenty of money... and poring through the names I recognize some in deep red territory who are up in public polls. But Democrats used to think the next two months would be great for them. Now?
TODAY IN SLATE
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John Dickerson on Ben Bradlee’s fascinating relationship with John F. Kennedy.
My Father Invented Social Networking at a Girls’ Reform School in the 1930s
Renée Zellweger’s New Face Is Too Real
Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band
Can it be again?
The All The President’s Men Scene That Captured Ben Bradlee
Is It Better to Be a Hero Like Batman?
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Driving in Circles
The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.