Perhaps this qualifies: Political analysts Larry Sabato and Kyle Kondik find it more likely that the Democrats will lose the Senate in 2014 than that they will win the House.
Based on historical measures, it would take a massive popular preference for Democrats to overcome their logistical disadvantage, perhaps an almost unheard-of lead of 13 points in the generic ballot questions pollsters use (“will you vote Democratic or Republican for House in the next election?”). Currently, the generic ballot shows a slight Democratic lead of two to three points.
As for the Senate:
Democrats are defending seats in seven states that Mitt Romney won in last year’s presidential race: Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia. Mr. Obama won an average of just 40.5% of the vote in these states. In addition, the retirements of longtime Sens. Tom Harkin (D., Iowa) and Carl Levin (D., Mich.) make those previously safe seats much more competitive. Factor in some freshmen Democratic senators elected from swing states in Obama’s 2008 wave (the last time this batch of seats was contested), and Republicans could run competitive challenges in 10 or more Democrat-held seats. Incompetent GOP nominees could change the picture, but almost all of the seats that Republicans are defending are in solid-red states.
Obviously, we shouldn’t put much stock in speculation about elections that are a year and a half away. But amidst all of the gloom and doom speculation that the Republican Party is doomed unless it “recasts” its conservatism — in which we also shouldn’t put much stock — it doesn’t hurt to hear that 2014 might be a good year.
JOHN adds: I don’t know whether we will re-take the Senate, but I am pretty sure that, barring some massive unforeseen development, we won’t lose the House. Last time we had an election when Barack Obama wasn’t on the ballot, the GOP did extremely well. I look for it to happen again in ’14.