The missteps along the way - Glenn Reynolds has a long, link-filled “pre-mortem” of the GOP’s loss of Congress in three weeks, including critical moments where the Republicans failed.
If I may add my two cents: coming off his re-election, President Bush put Social Security reform at the top of his agenda and Congress handled the issue about as badly as one could imagine. The Democrats framed the debate as “stealing from Grandma” and the GOP never pushed back. The Republicans looked both weak and unprincipled, unable to even bring a vote on one of the most critical issues affecting the long-term fiscal health of the country.
Extra – But then there’s the X-factor - “Democrats have intensity, but the GOP has its machine”: “Republican strategists counter that they can compensate for any gap in enthusiasm with their legendary get-out-the-vote operation. The party has built its electoral success in the last two elections on identifying and producing nearly every obtainable Republican vote at the polls; this time may be more challenging, they say, but no different.”