November's midterm elections are fast approaching and the momentum does not appear to be with Democrats, who are aiming to retain both houses of Congress. The party is hoping to avoid a repeat of 1994's changing of the guard that saw Republicans pocket 54 seats in the House and eight in the Senate to take control of Congress.
On Wednesday's Washington Unplugged, CBS News Chief Legal Correspondent Jan Crawford spoke with Gov. Deval Patrick (D-Mass.), who is up for re-election this year. Crawford asked Patrick why Democrats are facing such tough midterm prospects.
"I am proud to be a Democrat and one of the things I noticed about Democrats is that we're supposed to be the first ones to believe the Right-wing talking points," Patrick said. "We had one Senator win and we've been acting like Chicken Little all over America."
Crawford noted that the senator Patrick referred to was Republican Scott Brown, whose surprise election to the late Sen. Ted Kennedy's storied seat sent Democrats in a frenzy.
"You have to hand it to Scott Brown," Patrick acknowledged. "He made a connection with people at a time when people were feeling very, very anxious about the present and the future."
The independent vote that helped Brown also lifted Patrick and President Obama to victory in 2006 and 2008, respectively. Is Patrick concerned that those key voters will move away from him in November?
Said the governor: "Sometimes I think people in politics, the way we think about and the way we discern our political choices is a lot more sophisticated than the pundits and the pollsters sometimes allow. We're not buying 100% of what either party is selling. We're making judgments based on the moment in time and the strength of the views and the vision of the candidate."
Gov. Patrick also weighed in on the controversy surrounding attempts to build am Islamic cultuiral center, including a mosque, near Ground Zero. Echoing Mr. Obama, he told Crawford, "I think if we don't stand up for religious freedom and religious pluralism then the terrorists have won. The sooner we separate the peace in the religion of Islam from the violence and hate of terrorists the better for all of us."
Watch Wednesday's show above, also featuring CBS News' Christina Ruffini with a report on the 2010 Failed States Index from Foreign Policy and the Fund For Peace.
"Washington Unplugged," CBSNews.com's exclusive daily politics Webshow, appears live on CBSNews.com each weekday at 2:00 p.m. ET. Click here to check out previous episodes.