It's not quite counting coup on my part - I had suggested that by about June the DCCC would be bragging about how they'll keep us from getting enough votes for veto overrides - but I am pleased to see that the slow march by the Democrats towards objective reality is continuing.
Slowly. Slowly is good.
...the last thing Dems need is a group of major donors convinced that another check will just be throwing good money after bad.
But the goal posts keep moving. At other times over the last 2 years, Dems have said their goal was to limit losses to fewer than 10 seats. Dems later said they would gladly take a 15-seat hit, assuming the environment might worsen further. By Feb., Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-FL), who leads the DCCC's incumbent retention program, said they party would lose fewer than 25 seats.
On Tuesday, DNC chair Tim Kaine acknowledged the possibility of losing the House. But, he said, that's not anything new, citing an average loss of 28 seats in midterm elections for an incumbent party -- though he hinted that party losses might be much greater.
Regular readers will remember my own skepticism (and mockery) of this tentative, haphazard retreat from the 2008 electoral madness that gripped the Democratic party. And, believe it or not, but this is still tentative and haphazard. The Democrats are on the thin side of a 9:1 ratio of in-play House seats (at this point in 2008 it was 3:2 the other way). As Hotline notes, their cash advantage for the House has gone from $40 million in 2008 to about $16 million now; but that's not even the whole story. In 2008 the Democrats had roughly eight times the cash to spend on House races than the Republicans did; now they have a bit above twice the amount, despite a 70 seat majority.
This might not matter, if there was a genuine sentiment among Democrats about fighting in November. But there isn't. All the emotion and anticipation is on the Republican side; poll after poll shows the Republican candidate picking up independent voters, which is usually a good indication of enthusiasm levels. Meanwhile, a bunker mentality grows more prominent among the Other Side. Even the Democrats' vaunted Red-to-Blue program has been reduced to spend as many resources defending what the Democrats already hold as they are on their largely-mythical 'offense.'
I'm not claiming a rout. Yet. But it's three and a half months to the election, and the Democrats are acting more and more like people who know that they've already lost, but are trying to either deny or hide it. Which is perfectly reasonable enough, because that's what's happening.
Crossposted to Moe Lane.