It was clear on election day in 2008 that Republicans would have a good 2009 and 2010.
This was before Obama and the Democratic Congress had done anything. Only the most wild-eyed partisan Democrat or a severely Depressed Republican thought otherwise.
That's because the American public is fickle, they don't understand policy, and can be easily riled up against the negative aspects of a necessary action.
Remember, the same people that supported President Bush's War in Iraq were in many parts the same people who supported President Obama's withdrawal. Many of them felt they were lied to, deceived, etc.
The same people who supported the Bush tax cuts are the ones who decry the huge debt and annual deficits.
The same people who think Medicare spending is unstainable Big Government are the ones are decry "death panels" will be used to curtail Medicare.
In addition, there is a natural momemtum to any human endeavor. In a market, the swings rarely moderate, they generally swing from one extreme to another.
So the question really is whether Democrats could have done anything to prevent a bad 2010?
The answer is NO.
It was/is always going to be bad absent some outside event that trumps the normal cycle.
The impeachment of President Clinton in 1998 was such an event.
It actually serves as a two-fold historic example.
Not only is it something that changed the trajectory of politics where the party opposite the President gains in the sixth year Congressional races, but
it's an example of a political party doing something "Big" against the Public Will.
Polls all showed that people were against Clinton's impeachment and removal. Clinton's spin won the day.
The Republicans instead of gaining seats actually lost five seats.
But instead of "listening" to the people, Republicans finished the job as best they could.
The impeached Clinton and tried him in the Senate.
In 2006, the public rejected President Bush's War in Iraq. Democrats ran and won by being against the war. Yet, again, Republican finished the job with a Surge.
The 1998 gamble paid off with Bush winning in 2000 and Republicans controlling Washington.
The 2006 gamble seemingly brought on a Democratic wave.
Since you really don't know what will happen, do what you think is right.