A couple of Bill Clinton's smart boys have suggested that the Republicans have peaked too early and won't make the big gains they are counting on in the Fall elections.
I'm not sure that's true. You can always build on a successful strategy. There's no "too early" in politics.
The Republicans have done two things. They have focused on eliminating big government and have allowed the social conservatives free reign to expand their themes of super patriotism, coupled with fundamentalist religion and a return to what they see as the comforting, strict traditional moral codes of the past.
Eliminating big government is a winner, the problem is that they do not identify where they want to cut. They do not say they want to curb the tremendously expensive Medicare and Social Security entitlements. They do not say they want to scale back excessive government pension benefits. They do not want to target the black hole of military spending. They certainly do not suggest increasing taxes to balance the already huge government deficits that accumulated in the Bush administration after the balanced budgets of the Clinton years. Any future Republican administration would just be more of the same that we already have, not less.
The social conservative stuff does not expand their base, it simply panders in an effort to keep the wing nuts that they already have by default. These people are certainly vocal and politically active but they in no way constitute a viable majority of the voters. The population is becoming more liberal socially, not less. People are becoming more accepting of openly Gay relationships, of people adopting non traditional lifestyles, of those who do not affiliate with an organized religious group. Most people may feel that abortion is not a choice that is right for them but that is a different stance than denying others to make that choice for themselves. In the end, social conservatism is seen as oppressive and un American.
I wouldn't want to prognosticate the electoral outcomes of 2010 but I don't think the Republicans will be big winners any more than the Democrats. I also do not yet see a strong move to support any third party, although I think independents may do very well regionally and that may be a very healthy trend.