The Obama fans' adoration notwithstanding, Republican Chris Christie defeated Corzine. Republican Bob McDonnell was successful in Virginia, as well. Two months later, in indigo Massachusetts, an unfamiliar species called a Republican won a special election for the Senate seat, formerly known as "Ted Kennedy's seat."
After nine more months of Obama stewardship, the nation held its midterm elections. Republicans took control of the House of Representatives with the largest victory since 1948, winning 63 seats. Republicans also won 680 state legislative seats, the most lop-sided victory for one party since the post-Watergate class of 1974. Independent voters were credited with the shift.
When Rep. Anthony Weiner resigned his House seat in 2011 (a twit undone by a tweet), aqua New York held a special election. The seat was won by Bob Turner, a businessman. He was the first Republican to represent the district in over 80 years.
In 2012, arrayed against the full power of labor unions and the Democratic Party, Republican Scott Walker secured a resounding 53 percent victory in azure Wisconsin, beating back a recall attempt.
When an election is close, everything depends upon turnout. Republicans and Republican-leaning independents have been demonstrating for three years that they are willing to get themselves to the polls to pull the lever for candidates who oppose Barack Obama. Polls famously cannot measure the intangible called intensity.
The president retains the loyalty of his ardent supporters. But only a blinkered partisan could fail to notice that the feverish enthusiasm of 2008 among Democrats -- particularly among young voters and women -- has flagged. Republicans, by contrast, are burning to fire Obama. They are also proud to support an articulate, experienced and honorable man whom they genuinely believe has what it takes to right a listing nation.
Come what may, I will be a poll watcher. I will smile amiably at Democrats -- remembering that they are opponents, not enemies -- while confidently expecting them to be the minority on Wednesday.