Hotline editor Amy Walter compares 2010 to 2006 in her latest National Journal column. Although Dems came up with a win in Pennsylvania's 12th district special election, Walter writes that a lot of the same signs we saw in 2006 are pointing to a GOP rout of Democratic candidates this fall:

In May of 2006, according to polling by the Pew Foundation, 29 percent of Americans said they were satisfied with the direction of the country, while a whopping 65 percent were dissatisfied. Fast-forward to earlier this month and the Pew poll finds a similar level of pessimism, with 28 percent satisfied and 64 percent dissatisfied.

Lots of other indicators that favored the Democrats in 2006 -- leads on the congressional ballot test, among independent voters and in the level of enthusiasm among base voters -- now favor Republicans.

In other words, many of the underlying factors that signaled a big wave election in favor of Democrats in 2006 are almost identical to what we are seeing for Republicans this year.

Of course, voter dissatisfaction is different this time around. As Walter points out, Democrats have a huge cash advantage, and voters are upset with more than just Washington. "Outsider" candidates jumping into politics from careers in business and banking will have trouble, too.


Obama has been in office less than two years, and people are unhappy and uncertain about different things than they were in 2006. Another factor to watch: the Supreme Court's Citizens United ruling, and how much additional corporate money actually gets spent this cycle.