THE WAVE: CAN IT BE SWAMPED?
Charlie Cook is trying to be cautious, but he clearly thinks the possibility exists that the midterms could be a reprise (in reverse) of the 1994 Gingrich revolution.
For those who were not paying close attention to politics in 1994 or whose focus was on a single state or district, the concept of a 'wave election' is foreign and is radically different from the "all politics is local" elections of 1996-2004. For others whose sympathies lie with Republicans, it is difficult to deal with the possibility, or growing probability, of a profound rejection of their party -- that Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman could actually lose an election. For diehard Democrats, who are s so used to snatching defeat from the jaws of victory, they are having a hard time seeing their party actually win a majority in the House for the first time in five elections.
The bottom line is that at this stage, Republicans should consider themselves lucky if their net losses stay in the 20-25 range in the House, four or five seats in the Senate, and between five and eight governorships. It would be a tough election, losing their majorities in the House and governorships, but it would fall short of the devastating losses that are possible. But the chances of this thing going bigger -- far bigger -- still exist, and there are quite a few veteran Republican strategists, people who have done tons of races in all kinds of states and districts for many years, who are bracing themselves for that distinct possibility.