Remember, the House GOP’s getting crushed in fundraising and their retirements next year actually exceed the Democrats’. And all of these guys know it. And still the alarms are sounding.

Don’t say ol’ Eeyorepundit never did anything for you.

“If the election were held today, we’d lose the House,” says Democratic campaign consultant Tom King, a view shared, off the record, by a number of his colleagues…

The burden for a Democratic incumbent is to “make it a ‘choice’ not a ‘retention’ election. The voters need to be thinking a whole lot about the other guy, not about you,” this consultant says. Party operatives agree that an election conducted on disputes over the deficit, health care legislation, the stimulus, the bank bailout, and/or climate change will work to the disadvantage of Democrats

One key Democratic strategist playing a central role in the preparations for 2010 — who asked to remain anonymous — makes the case that that the political environment has deteriorated with such extraordinary rapidity over the past eight to nine months that it is impossible to predict with any certainty what will happen in November. Last May, this strategist says, he and others thought Democrats could actually pick up as many as two seats in the Senate and keep House losses to the low teens. Now, he notes, Democrats appear almost certain to lose three or four Senate seats, with the possibility of losing as many as six. In his view, if House losses are kept to 20 or so seats, that would be a major victory…

Republicans, needless to say, have their own spin: Ayres, the GOP pollster, claims that this round Republicans have it easy: “Democrats are doing such a wonderful job of flying a suicide mission, we are not going to have do to a hell of a lot. . . . They are spending like they have no concept of where money comes from, how you produce it, or if there is any limit on it. People are scared.”

Some Democratic strategists are indeed fearful. “I hate to say it, but he’s right,” said one, after hearing Ayres’ comments. “That is just what we have to be worried about.”

The Dem counterstrategy: Emphasize district-specific issues, like stimulus spending in areas with high unemployment, and of course attack attack attack the Republican. (“You’ve got to kick the sh*t out of somebody,” advises one Dem consultant.) It’s mind-boggling to me that The One could have fallen so far so fast that the GOP would now be eager to run against him even in state races, but look again at that boldfaced list of radioactive issues. TARP, the stimulus, the deficit, ObamaCare, climate change — it’s their entire agenda. The only things missing are Afghanistan, unemployment, and national security, and he’s circling the drain on the latter two as well. Don’t think the hemorrhaging on ObamaCare is over, either: Rasmussen shows an uptick since the Senate passed Reid’s bill, but the news that they’re going to skip a conference committee has prompted a new round of turnout-deflating progressive shirt-rending about betrayals and sellouts and treachery and blah blah blah.

Exit question via Kyle Smith: Would a GOP takeover be a gift to Obama? Quote: “Poll after poll shows that people like him personally more than they like his policies. If Republicans take away his ability to ram through any more of his ill-advised ideas, the appeal of Obama’s personality might regain precedence in citizens’ minds. He can blame the Republicans for saying no to everything, since that is indeed the party’s primary job, and the American voter can return to the pose he finds most comfortable: Simultaneously castigating the Washington forces that oppose change and enjoying the bounty that comes from stability.”