Sure, waves of frustrated voters have knocked off Democratic candidates in Virginia, New Jersey and, most notably, Massachusetts. But Cal Cunningham, a N.C. Democrat who formally kicks off his campaign for the U.S. Senate tomorrow, likes to think that anger is aimed not at Democrats but incumbents.
"There is a great deal of frustration that Washington is not working," Cunningham said Tuesday during a stop in Concord. "Independents in particular are asking themselves what it's going to take to make government work."
Cunningham is one of at least four Democrats hoping for a chance to unseat Republican U.S. Sen. Richard Burr in November.
Democrats have been on the ropes. Washington is gridlocked. The deficit deepens as recession and unemployment stubbornly persist. President Obama's popularity is hovering around 50 percent.
But Congressional approval is even lower. Most polls put it at less than 25 percent. Even many Tea Partiers blame incumbents of both parties.
"The Tea Party is animated," Cunningham says. "But so are Democrats frustrated that Washington is not working."