Shawn: I think McIntyre's theory is a valid one. To the extent that the Democrats can make the "dispirited GOP base" a self-fulfilling prophecy, they will. The more conservatively-inclined voters that stay home, the better for the Dems.
Is the press playing along? Well, just take a look at the
Jim Webb Megaphone the Washington Post. 'Nuff said.
In fairness, it is hard to make something a self-fulfilling prophecy unless it is based on something tangible. Clearly there is unrest in the GOP base this year, and one can hardly blame the Dems for trying to capitalize on it. If it were the Dems who were dispirited, you can be sure the GOP would be trying to take advantage of it--all's fair in love and war and politics.