Given that at least a third of Americans identify strongly with neither major party, it seems anomalous that the two major parties boast all but two of the 535 members of Congress, 49 of 50 state governors, 99% of the nearly 7,400 state legislators nationwide and every American president for more than a century-and-a-half. Many third-party supporters are convinced that Democrats and Republicans at the state and national level collude to restrict third-party ballot access and make fundraising more difficult for third parties and their candidates.
After two strong congressional cycles in 2006 and 2008, the Democrats were "shellacked" by Republicans in 2010. As the 2012 cycle approaches, uncertainty prevails for both parties: Each is trying to hold or expand its majority in one chamber while attempting to weaken and maybe topple the opposition in the other.
Sandwiched between the Democrats’ disappointing 2002 election cycle and their 2010 “shellacking,” the party made significant gains during the three, mid-decade intervening elections of 2004, 2006 and 2008. And nowhere were the party’s gains more impressive than in four states: Colorado, New Hampshire, Ohio and Virginia.
With a dozen weeks to go before the 2010 midterm elections, speculation is rising about the possibility of the Republicans retaking the House. On Sunday, that speculation rose to a fevered pitch when White House press secretary Robert Gibbs conceded during a Meet The Press appearance that there are enough House seats “in play” this November to put control of the chamber at risk.