This post originally appeared on Open Left.
The short-term, 24-hour political news cycle is focusing on tax day and tea parties. However, no matter the focus on conservative protests, the big news today is that Democrats will control the White House until at least January 3rd, 2013.
This news came today when Tommy Thompson announced he would not challenge Russ Feingold for Senate in Wisconsin. Some polling
, mainly conducted by right-wing source, had shown that Thompson would have made the race extremely competitive. He might have even started out with a lead, in fact. However, now that Thompson is not running
, it will be extremely difficult for the little-known Republicans, who trail Feingold by huge margins, to pull off the upset.
For Republicans to win control of the Senate before 2013 now, they would have to not only sweep all currently competitive races
, but also pick off a victory in a seat where they currently trail by double-digits and will be massively outspent. Not only is winning every single competitive campaign extremely difficult, but the polling for those campaigns is currently dominated by Rasmussen, which is flooding the zone with polls
. In reality, the current polling outlook for competitive Senate campaigns is probably more favorable to Democrats than my forecast suggests.
And, as I noted, they still need at least one extreme longshot on top of every single one of those competitive campaigns to take control. That just isn't going to happen.
Democrats will not be in control forever, and will likely lose the Senate in either 2012 or, at the latest, 2014. But they will stay in control for a while. They have a decent shot at holding the House in 2010, too
. With an improving economic picture, they might actually fare pretty well in the 2012 elections.
And that is the biggest political story today.