You're missing an important point. The Democrats on the west coast reside in the cities, not in the rural areas. This is why electoral college voting by congressional district is so detrimental to the Democratic Party. They will probably still loose but not nearly by the same margin as a popular vote.
Rural areas, by and large are still overwhelmingly Republican, almost as a mater of faith and have a disproportionate share of the vote.
This means, a progressive candidate that is marginal in the cities, can very well loose with rural areas voting overwhelmingly Republican. (Example: Calif. Prop 8)
Unfortunately, it will take us many years to change that mind set, over a generation it has become ingrained in the mindset of the rural voter, Who's first issues are Taxes, Guns, & God. (Question: What was the Rural mindset during the Great Depression & the fifties?)
Until we start to win over the rural areas (Obama was only a first step, of many needed), and change the mindset of the rural voter to Democratic priorities, then we will risk loosing to a minor re-tooling of the base Republican Message.
I think you are overly optimistic and too quick to dismiss the Republicans as a regional party; they are a national party, solid in the rural areas, waiting for any fracturing of the Democratic Party over issues to re-emerge. They have disproportionate representation in their favor. They still have a unified message that they have fallen back to, although now sounding tired & trite, will not be with a few years of special interest groups taking the forefront in the Democratic Party.
I'm wondering if the hard headed and anti-worker position staked out by Republicans is going to backfire.
Is the population in general, now realizing that the GOP is more than willing to throw workers (and by extension main street) under the bus, now less resistant to the Employee free choice act when it gets introduced next session?
Are Unions, seeing this naked GOP hate, willing to unite create their own independent political faction separate from the Democratic Party?
How much longer and harder did the GOP make this Recession with their extremist vote?
Did the GOP just turn all Midwest states that have manufacturing, Blue?
Much as the Election of 1932 basically put Roosevelt firmly in power, the Congressional antics of the GOP was reflected by so much Democratic gain in the Elections of 1936 to maintain a vast majority for the next 40 years or so. Does the Big three rescue create a similar scenario to become part of the coming election cycle?
With each new real Democratic Senator elected, Joe's importance fades.
The magic number is still 60. But at this point, I don't see how we get there or close without him.
Time to start working on the next cycle. Meanwhile, I suggest that we start a meme of Benedict Lieberman. To remind the voters in the Nutmeg State and the Senate of other great Nutmegers named Benedict...and why they should all trust him.
Chest thumping aside, I think that for it's flaws in the sample, the R2k poll was the only one that has any sort of a Democratic lean.
For Years, we have been bemoaning the fact that most of the polls we see have the Republican Bias (as they did in this cycle). What Kos's poll did was to: (a) Force the methodology of the other polls out into the open. (b) have a poll to counter the Right leaning polls to give the troops hope.
Every day, if there was an R talking about how McCain was ahead, we could point to a National Poll and brag about Obama. The methodology was transparent and that was when the McCain bots just grumbled and walked away (the bystanders listened though).
More than a poll with some Dem bias built in, it became a flag to rally under that could chip at the VRWC and the MSM theme of how the race was such a 'tossup'. It gave the undecided an unbiased faith in our candidate. It gave it a national counter punch to the MSM themes.
I think that the Republicans are salivating over a big three bankruptcy because of their deep and unreasoning hate of Unions.
It seems like the first talking point of the Wingers is to point out that a Bankruptcy judge can modify and Nullify the Labor contract (and subsequently judicially break the union). I can't think of where this has not been their first point. This looks more & more like a Republican 'fuck you' to the Unions who supported Obama, disguised as fiscal conservatism.
Republicans don't care how deep the pain goes, as long as they can get their way. Just like 1929 thru 1932.
A) He had no problem with Lieberman remaining in the Democratic Caucus.
MESSAGE: Don't kick him out of the Dem Caucus.
B) Nothing was said about his chairmanship
MESSAGE: Do what you will.
The rest is ego. The Caucus needs to throw him a bone of a sub-committee chair as an incentive to remain with the Dem Caucus and keep Obama happy. If he leaves of his own volition that is his problem, the Republicans can't offer him a chairmanship anywhere. Also, if he leaves the Dem Caucus he will get the Really. Small. Office. Farthest. Away. From. Everyone.
The only way Lieberman becomes irrelevant is (A) through his own actions or (B) we get 60 with the Georgia run off.
If Reid needs Lieberman, then he will keep his chair. My bet is that he doesn't keep his chair but gets the bone if we get to 58 or 59 (think moderate Republican). 60 or better, no bone. 57 or less, he stays, Reid will need him.
They're gonna play footsie until AK, MN & GA get in. Then they'll decide. Meanwhile Obama wants to appear forgiving.
This brings up something that is starting to trouble me about Obama. In the effort to appear middle of the road and reaching across the aisle, I think we are seeing a subtle shift to the right, which entails not addressing some important issues that may not be household items: FISA & Bankruptcy 'Reform' are the first things that come to mind. I think that they are beginning to be swept under the rug by 'Marquee issues' like Lieberman.
And while I'm ranting, we used to be about two to five steps ahead of Dem mainstream regarding strategy on current and up and coming issues. I haven't seen that lately. A while back I stated that MyDD is like a War College where we examine and try to understand the nuance to influence the issues. Lately, I sense we are falling behind here. We're becomming more reactionary and not anticipatory.