While reading Nathan Gonzales' election preview, this is what jumped out at me:
Democrats are going to use their considerable financial advantage to frame this election as a choice between two candidates in each race, not a clash of party philosophies. From there, the goal is to attack GOP candidates across the country and make them unacceptable alternatives...
Democrats want to fight a series of local races. They want voters to think about Bobby Bright as the nonpartisan mayor of Montgomery, not the Congressman from Alabama’s 2nd district. They want voters to examine Idaho Rep. Walt Minnick’s record of voting against the stimulus, against cap-and-trade and against health care reform, even though he’s from the same Democratic Party that passed all three bills.
This will be my fifth election cycle covering House races. All five have something in common. Each time, one of the two parties has tried to frame the election as a national referendum. The other has talked about turning the election into "local races."
In every single election I have watched closely as it happened -- 2002, 2004, 2006, and 2008 -- the party talking about "local races" has been the sure loser.