The geeky numbers cruncher, Nate Silver, who had almost exactly predicted Obama's statistical win in the Presidential election last year (he was off by 1 percentage point in the popular vote, and off by one state in the electoral college), has released a some interesting statics about Democratic and Republican approval ratings. If his statics are any indication of the future, it seem that even though the GOP may get a boost in next years elections, their overall approval is still pretty low.
Lets start with the pundits:
Glen Beck is seen favorably by 24% of Americans and unfavorably by only 19%, with 57% who either don't know him or are indifferent. (My advice to Beck is keep up tea bag rallies, so the other 57% can realize what a douche bag you are.) Rush Limbaugh, on the other hand, is seen favorably by 23% of Americans, and unfavorably by 50% and a whopping 37% who have a strong negative view. Sliver credits this with Beck being more of an "anti-establishment" figure and not an ultra-conservative, as Rush is portrayed. Silver claims the country is leaning more towards anti-establishment rather than conservative, contrary to what the GOP may have hoped.
The Health Care debate has been steadily chipping away at the approval ratings of both Democratic and GOP Senators, Olympia Snowe, Chuck Grassley and Max Baccus. These high-profile Senators, who all have maintained 60-70% approval ratings in their own states, have now all slipped 10-15% over the last months due to the combative health debate.
Nate has also been predicting double digit seat lose for Democrats in the House, based on an "enthusiasm gap," meaning the momentum that helped put Barack Obama in the WH was waned, and voters have become burnt out or feed up. He sees this more as a short term lose rather than a shift in public perception that the GOP is suddenly more qualified. Silver seems to think the "fundamentals" of Democratic policy are still strong, but the leadership has been weak, and that fluctuation in enthusiasm can swing in double digits as well.