I've been a semi-naysayer about the Democrats' electoral chances this year, but Eric Alterman's been saying it loud and clear. He offers some a couple of points of further skepticism. Here's some more from me. Yesterday, Kevin Drum linked to a Greenberg Quinlan Rosner election survey he characterized as "pretty positive for Democrats." And, indeed, it is. But if you look at the past couple of cycles, you'll see that GQR has a penchant for overoptimism (they're Democratic consultants) and if you look at the previous GQR survey, you'll see that the trend line they're monitoring is bad for Democrats.

Other points. TNR rounds up the "seven worst immigration campaign aids." They mean "worst" in an ethical sense here, most of the ads look pretty good as campaign ads to me. Similarly, I think Josh Marshall is making a mistake by violating his own dicta about paying attention to meta-messages and the undesirability of Democratic whining in the context of the anti-Ford ad campaign. Josh says "When it comes to GOP race-baiting, calling them out, revealing them for who they are and what is they do, is fighting back. It's that simple. The dynamics of the issues are fundamentally different."

I disagree. What I think you have here is the GOP launches a mildly racially tinged, highly negative ad against Ford. Instead of simply firing back with a tough anti-Corker ad, Democrats start complaining about race baiting. What voters in Tennessee hear is "Democrats think all y'all are a bunch of redneck racists" and are reminded of why they hate liberals in the first place. Not that there aren't some serious racists in Tennessee (at least I assume there are; they're everyplace else) but it's hardly as if Ford was going to be competing viably for the hard-core racist vote anyway. My feeling is that this kind of thing -- with plenty of money and a good GOTV operation to back it -- has a good chance of sharply limiting Democratic gains.