It strikes me, in following the Democratic and Republican campaigns for President, that there are two competing explanations about the 2006 elections.
The explanation bandied about on the Republican side is that the GOP lost big in 2006 because the party had lost its way--because of wasteful spending, because of corruption, because of mismanagement in Iraq. These are fixable issues, according to this explanation--and on Iraq, in particular, what voters want is victory.
The explanation bandied about on the Democratic side, by contrast, is that the GOP lost big in 2006 because of America's very presence in Iraq. The voters don't want victory anymore, according to this explanation--what they want is out.
Candidates on both sides are, by and large, running their campaigns according to their party's explanations, and whichever candidates win the nominations of their respective parties will likely continue to do so through the general election.
Here's the thing, though--these two explanations are mutually exclusive. They cannot both be true. At least one of them is false.
Either the Republicans or the Democrats have drastically misread the message voters sent in the 2006 midterm elections. Whichever party that is will likely find itself completely out of power following Election Day 2008.
(Which party do I think that is? Much as I'd like to buy the GOP vision, the Democrats and their media allies have been pushing a self-fulfilling prophecy of unremitting gloom and disaster in Iraq for the last four-plus years. Their Big Lie has worked, and worked to perfection--and I fear it's far too late for anything the Republicans [or General Petraeus in Iraq, for that matter] can do to make a difference.)