We can still win this, Democrats!

Nov. 2 will doubtless bring its share of surprises, and one of them could be that Democrats suddenly awaken to the threat posed by a Republican takeover of Congress. The same enthusiasts who got Obama elected may decide that the chance to deliver another big blow to the GOP is just too enticing to pass up. They don’t even have to really win. The party in power typically loses seats in the first midterms after a new president takes office, and Republicans have been anticipating a big victory for months. So even if the Democrats lose seats—but manage somehow to hang on to slim majorities in the House and Senate—that will be a huge success…

Still, for the Democrats to retain control of the House, a number of things have to happen. First, the base has to get re–fired up. Recently Obama has been drawing big crowds reminiscent of the heady days of ’08. He has to keep at it. Second, Obama must do more in the next week to make his economic case, and to clarify the choice facing voters: which party and which candidate has a reasonable chance of making things better? The White House has garbled its message on this until now. Obama must persuade voters to allow him more time, and to give his policies a chance to work.