For Democratic Aspirants, 2010 Might Be a Year to Miss

In a way they haven't been in at least three decades, Democrats are ascendant in Washington and in state capitols across the country.

For two consecutive elections, the party has claimed dozens of new House and Senate seats, building muscular majorities in both chambers – this after being locked out of power in both for virtually the entire period between 1994 and 2006. In '06, not a single incumbent Democratic senator, congressman or governor was defeated for re-election, and almost none were last month either. Similar dominance has been evident in recent local and state legislative elections in numerous states, including some with Republican bents.

All of which might make this statement seem ridiculous: If you're an ambitious Democrat in a politically competitive state or district, you might want to think twice before making your move in 2010. And, conversely, if you're an ambitious Republican in a competitive state or district, it might actually be a good time to take a leap.

For good reason, election analysts expend considerable time and effort dissecting factors like the fund-raising skills of candidates, their personal appeal and name recognition, and their communication abilities. All play significant roles in determining the outcome of any race.

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For Democratic Aspirants, 2010 Might Be a Year to Miss