The Rothenberg Political Report's latest projection for the 2012 elections says there's no wave election coming this year. Democrats need a gain of 25 seats to win control in November.
The Democrats’ difficulties are magnified by President Obama’s growing problems, including weak job numbers over the past three months and softening economies in Europe and Asia. A politically weakened Obama can’t be anything but a drag down-ballot, primarily with Independent voters.
We find little evidence of a “wave” election developing, and that means Democrats would have to cherry-pick themselves to a gain of 25 seats, an almost impossible challenge. Democratic retirements and some weaker than expected candidates in places like California and Pennsylvania have limited the party’s upside potential, forcing Democrats to defeat nearly two dozen GOP incumbents if they are going to net enough seats to re-install House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi as the next speaker.
That said, Democrats still have reason to hope that Republicans will sound too partisan or extreme over the next few months, alienating swing voters and giving ammunition to Democratic candidates.