Talking to candidates and staffers at Netroots Nation, you can't possibly miss the sense of optimism. And we as Democrats should be optimistic -- there are races out there that you would never have predicted to be competitive, but here we are, looking at possible victory.
But there's something else, too. Even as longshot races are looking good, people on top-tier races know they can't take anything for granted. In her Senate race in New Hampshire, Jeanne Shaheen has had consistent leads in polling for months now. But when I talked to her daughter Molly (who is blogging her mother's race), she emphasized that they know they have a fight. They know that, in a rematch of the race that saw the blatant lawbreaking of phone jamming in 2002, they face an opponent who will go somewhere below dirty. So no matter what the polls say, the Shaheen team knows they need to keep fighting every day for this victory.
Talking to Orange to Blue candidate Dan Seals I got the same message: It's not just that he knows he's facing a tough race. It's that he doesn't want to see Democrats screw up. Seals clearly feels the optimism of the year, but also the sense of urgency that this election is so important for the future of the country and the world. The stakes are too high to give anything less than the best.
We can't take anything for granted. And we're lucky to have great candidates who know that and are putting in the hard work to win it.