Clearly, across the country, there is one primary concern among people and that's the economy: Jobs and taxes. Until that is the main focus and dealt with in a way that is seen as forceful leadership, it's political death for incumbents. George H.W. Bush was seen as unbeatable in 1992, when James Carville coined the phrase "It’s the economy, stupid." Carville posted a sign at campaign headquarters in Little Rock that said: "The economy, stupid" along with other slogans. That phrase hit a response in people who believed Bush had failed to deal adequately with the problem of the economy. The economy was in a recession like state at the time, but not as bad as the one we have today. So, the situation today seems to be one where the same concern is even more prevalent then in 1992.
Every other issue pales in comparison and that includes the issue of national health care. Once you give up on a public option as an essential part of a health care plan, you lose the interest of a large segment of the population in the fight over health care. People begin to feel they just "don't have a dog in that fight" anymore.
Nationally the misguided bobbing and weaving and wishy washy approach by the administration and Congressional leaders towards issues involving the economy, jobs and taxes will bring all of the incumbents down, in my view. If they are Washington DC connected they are dead politically and will be thrown out of office or rejected for election.
Locally, the Washington state legislature is as worthless as Congress in passing legislation to deal with the budget crisis and economy. I think the same sword hangs over their heads at election time as hangs over national politicians. The governor has not been able to deal with the budget and tax mess nor bring the legislature into line. The legislature seems to have no leadership and are off in every direction like a herd of cats while totally failing to take decisive action on important issues. Now they are down to the wire on the budget and have nothing but unpopular solutions no one will like. It looks to the public like the prisoners are running the prison.
I think we Democrats will take a huge hit because we were elected to change things and we have been as bad as the Republicans, but I think all of the incumbents, including the obstructionist Republicans are in trouble. People have just plain had it with politicians, lobbyist, insurance companies, credit card companies and banks. They have given up on the American political system or at least as it exists today.
Like Peter Finch as Howard Beale in the 1976 movie Network, the American people are saying to the politician’s: "I'M AS MAD AS HELL, AND I'M NOT GOING TO TAKE THIS ANYMORE!"