Ron Brownstein, on This Week with George Stephanopulous, reiterated his theory that limited government backlash in the 2010 elections could cause a misreading of young voter sentiment in the 2012 presidental election. The theory is that older, more conservative voters vote in mid-term elections, while younger, more diverse voters vote in presidential elections, so, if the limited government, conservative base voters find success in 2010, the Republican Party might become overconfident and fail to build a big tent coalition, welcoming moderates, and face failure in 2012.
I believe Brownstein is rationalizing the need for moderate influence in the Republican Party and minimizing the current indicators in New Jersy, Virginia and New York elections where limited government candidates are making a statement. An alternative theory is that limited government sentiment is more widespread than Brownstein is willing to accept, and that a major backlash in 2010 could cause moderate Democrats to distance themselves from progressives in the Democrat Party — progressives who are more and more being associated with Obama — and that when 2012 rolls around, the momentum will be in favor of limited government. The moderate Democrats who begin sounding more like Republicans will cause the public to concede that progressivism is too risky to support, and that the safest route is to vote Republican rather than hope the Democrat Party will control the progressive influence.