I'm not sure that I believe the Democrats are certain they won't win, but I do agree they are trying to cover their bases by floating out excuses.
Most observers are aware mid-terms are about base turnout. When motivated...the GOP has a bigger base. 2004 proved that. Democrats can't be certain the GOP's base won't turn out. Nor are they entirely comfortable pridicting the behavior of their own base right now after CT. Hence the uncertainty.
You may well be right about Barnes trying to cover for excessive doom in past. But, then, serves every insider like himself right for jumping on the conventional wisdom of the Beltway to guage the future. Better if they focused on the actual thinking of the people in the country, rather then that of the paid propagandists.
If I recall, your assessment has been consistently that they'd pick up a few seats? Mine has been fairly close, even in my outraged state. That we were looking at "status quo" with possibility for a few changes either negative or positive but nothing dramatically different. With Republicans largely the ones that can control their own fate here. Even at this late date.
Homeland security, liberal judicial tyranny, Rat extremism (and immigration, for Republican candidates generally, but not for Bush). Barnes is right about taking aggressive positions on Iraq and Iran. But only as part of the mix.
But Rush read a piece---one of those "inside" things by Carville---and it was TELLING. They were basically saying that the election would be "stolen" in six states if they didn't watch out. Why are they even talking about a "stolen" election if they think they will win?