There will be a great deal of uncertainly, flux and bloviating in the media, especially on air, as the election results sink in. There's air time to fill. There's conflict to gin up (the media loves conflict, which is why the cable news networks are interviewing so many immigration opponents this weekend - comity and bipartisanship doesn't sell). And there's a fundamental misunderstanding of who the Democrats are, which we've been better about explaining than they have.
One reasonably on-the-mark article appears today in the Financial Times, via MSNBC (more accessible). The idea of populist politics (fair trade vs. free trade, for example) is not lost on the authors.
Defeated Republicans have found solace in the fact that many of their victorious Democratic opponents are "social conservatives". They point to James Webb, who surprised everyone by winning the bitter and close Senate race in Virginia on Thursday, giving his party a majority of one in the upper house tom complement its decisive victory in the House of Representatives.
However, neither Mr Webb nor the majority of the Democratic freshmen who won elections this week can so easily be fitted into that category. Punching the air and holding up the dusty boots of his son who is serving in Iraq, Mr Webb told cheering supporters in Arlington that his election was as much a vote for economic fairness as it was for a change of course in Iraq.
Many of us have noted the media discussion about how "conservative" the new crop is. Compared to who? Che? Mao? Hugo Chavez?
One or two of his colleagues, including Bob Casey, the new senator for Pennsylvania, and Heath Shuler, a Democratic representative for North Carolina, are "pro-life" but the large majority of new Democrat lawmakers support the woman's right to choose.
More significantly a majority of the intake, including Mr Webb, are economic populists who are deeply suspicious of free trade and quick to blame China and other developing countries for the loss of US jobs. Some, such as Sherrod Brown, the new Democratic senator for the key Midwest state of Ohio, which has lost 200,000 manufacturing jobs since Mr Bush came to power, won the election virtually on that issue alone.
"We will focus on economic fairness in a country divided too much by class in an age of the internationalisation of American corporations," said Mr Webb in a victory rally speech that devoted more to the economy than all other themes combined. "At a time when profits are at a record high and wages are at a low, we will focus on bridging the class divide."
Iraq was the dominant issue in this election, but along with corruption, the economy is very much on the minds of Americans. Unfettered free trade is as dead as John Bolton's nomination. Immigration reform becomes more possible now, but how necessary it is has not been explored as much as how passionate it is. What matters to voters is what kind of a job you can find, whether you're newly arrived or back home from Iraq.
As the media turns to 2008 to try to gin up even more conflict as early as possible, expect them to ignore issues that matter much more to Americans than whether McCain will be helped by this election and whether Hillary will run. This election was a huge win for Americans, despite the uphill odds of winning both houses. Unfortunately, the election is less likely to change the media than the Congress. Thankfully, there are blogs.