Michael Barone

Charlie Cook and Stuart Rothenberg, who do seat-by-seat analysis, expect Republicans to capture the 39 seats they need for a majority and more. Both list 100 seats as up for grabs, of which 91 are held by Democrats and only nine by Republicans.

In wave election years, the wave party usually wins half or a little more of the seats it targets, while the losing party usually wins only about one-tenth of its target seats. You do the math. Looks to me like Republicans gain more than the 52 they captured in 1994.

Why has the Democrats' theory of history moving left worked out so badly? One reason is that it is factually untrue. We've moved from regulation to deregulation in the last century, for example.

Another reason is that when government is small and deft, as it was in the 1930s, a little more of it may help folks. But when it is big and plodding, as it seems to be now, a lot more of it may just be a dead weight on the private sector economy, which most Americans seem to realize, is the only generator of real economic growth.

A third reason is that big government can be overly bossy. Voters who have learned to navigate their way through life may not believe that they need Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to set the terms and conditions of their health insurance policies, as Obamacare authorizes her to do.

"Don't tread on me," read the flags at tea party rallies. That's not a contradiction of "facts and science." It's an insistence that the Obama Democrats' policies would strangle freedoms and choke off growth. You may disagree. But if so, it looks like you're in the minority this year.

Michael Barone

Michael Barone, senior political analyst for The Washington Examiner (www.washingtonexaminer.com), is a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, a Fox News Channel contributor and a co-author of The Almanac of American Politics. To find out more about Michael Barone, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate Web page at www.creators.com. COPYRIGHT 2011 THE WASHINGTON EXAMINER. DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM