The Democrats' fundamental problem is that most voters don't want what they're selling, i.e., more government. (As Michael Barone put it, recalling the joke about the dog food ad campaign, "the dogs don't like it.") This is reflected in Scott Rasmussen's finding that by almost a three-to-one margin, likely voters would rather have less government and lower taxes than more government and higher taxes:
One could draw many conclusions from this, but I would suggest two. First, far from being a fringe phenomenon, the Tea Party movement represents the solid core of mainstream American opinion. Second, when the Republicans take control of Congress, they should not be afraid to cut spending and programs.