A party once left for dead by the side of the road will do better tonight than the most sanguine seer could have predicted two years ago. How the heck did this happen? Needless to say, we all have our pet theories. An insomniac Inkwell has been sifting through some of the more interesting ones being advanced in pundit land this morning:     

 James Pethokoukis: The Reuters financial ace put forward an excellent list of 20 reasons.  I agree with Jennifer Rubin (whose blog pointed me in the right direction) that, while all 20 are excellent, the 20th one is the most explanatory:   

“America is a center-right, aspirational nation. Democrats thought the financial crisis and near-landslide 2008 election meant it somehow wasn’t anymore. So they attempted to graft an essentially artificial, elitist (especially cap-and-trade) agenda onto the body politic. It didn’t take and is in the process of being rejected.”

Fred Barnes:  No, it’s not the economy stupid. The Weekly Standard’s Barnes says it’s the unpopular policies that the Democrats adopted under President Obama:

The run-up to today’s election has been policy-driven: Democrats are likely to lose their strong majorities because of the policies of President Obama and his congressional allies on spending, the deficit, the national debt and health care.

Dorothy Rabinowitz: Charm will get you only so far, the Wall Street Journal’s Pulitzer Prize-winning columnist suggests. She didn’t know FDR, but she knows that President Obama is no FDR (who had a lot of experience to go along with the old razzle-dazzle):

Whatever the outcome of today’s election, this much is clear: It will be a long time before Americans ever again decide that the leadership of the nation should go to a legislator of negligible experience-with a voting record, as state and U.S. senator, consisting largely of “present,” and an election platform based on glowing promises of transcendence. A platform vowing, unforgettably, to restore us-a country lost to arrogance and crimes against humanity-to a place of respect in the world. …

 Toby Harnden: The (U.K.) Daily Telegraph correspondent says that Americans aren’t stupid but tey are mad at Barack Obama:    

But widespread hilarity – inside the country, as well as beyond its shores – about a supposed Idiot America obscures the fact that at the heart of these elections have been big, serious philosophical questions about what government is and what it should do.

Senator John Kerry: The senator from Massachusetts says the voters are stupid: 

“It’s absurd. We’ve lost our minds,” said a clearly exasperated Kerry. “We’re in a period of know-nothingism in the country, where truth and science and facts don’t weigh in. It’s all short-order, lowest common denominator, cheap-seat politics.”