The bar has been set for the GOP in November: outside of a takeover of the House and Senate, all electoral gains will be failures. At least, that’s the expectation according to the Democrats.
The White House is openly discussing the prospect of a Republican Congress. The Democrats’ ploy to tie BP to the GOP this week – the clever microsite BP Republicans – says that the politicians it highlights “will be guiding U.S. Policy if the Republicans can regain control of Congress this November.”
This rhetoric sets the stage for effective policy messaging assuming the Republicans don’t retake the majority. A post-November Congress with fewer Democratic seats but maintaining a blue majority would give President Obama the opportunity to use the “I won the election and you lost” argument he was so fond of early in his Presidency. And if Republicans do re-take the House, the shock is lessened somewhat because, after all, they would only have accomplished what was expected.
Despite the complaints from some of the people actually running, the White House is smart to set the bar high for Republicans and low for Democrats.