In Losing to Win, James Ceaser and Andrew Busch analyze the 1996 election in light of political cycles. That is, defeat can lay the groundwork for future victory. Early in 2008, I applied this analysis to the upcoming election, suggesting that the GOP could actually reap long-term gains from a loss. The 2010 election may provide some confirmation. Steve Kornacki writes of Susan's Coakley's various campaign problems and adds:
Had John McCain been elected last year, then all of the above could still be true -- and Coakley would be winning by 30 points. But with Republicans locked out power in Washington, swing voters in Massachusetts -- and every other blue state -- are, for the first time since 1994, ready to blame their problems on Democrats and use the GOP as a protest vehicle. And with 10 percent unemployment, voters have a lot of anger to vent.