Obviously who wins and loses is what's most important, but there are a number of things that could be telling about the future.
In 2008 House Democrats won the 18-29 vote 65%-35%. This was significant, but below the 67%-33% that Obama got. Do the Democrats have this group or was it just Obama in 2008? If Republicans do better, Democrats will argue that this is an off year election and a Republican wave. Because it's an off year election less young people will vote, but what we want to know is what the ones that do vote do. Certainly Republicans will do better than they did in 2008. The Democratic argument is that they own the youth vote. If Republicans do well with 18-29 that'll show that they won't win this demographic under all circumstances.
So it be important to look at how the youth vote indexes against the total percentage. This eliminates that it's a wave election because it compares the percentage of 18-29, 65%, to the overall average of 55.6%. The Democratic index was 117, well below Obama's 126. That may show that Obama really inflated the number.
House Democrats won the Latino vote 70%-30%, just as they did in 2006. The Latino indices were 126 and 128 in those years. In 2004 the Democrats only too 55% of the Latino vote, a 114 index. That was a year Bush brought in a lot of Latinos. This year will show whether the GOP is capable of winning Latinos.
People might think the Black vote would be irrelevant to Republicans, but they've traditionally garnered around 10% of the Black vote. It was 5% in 2008. The is a significant amount of votes and could be a big deal in districts that aren't majority Black, but there is a presence. If Republicans are at 5% again that'll show that Blacks are a lost cause until Obama leaves office or that the GOP has lost the few Blacks it had due to Obama opposition.
I'll be watching the tea party candidates. The argument against them is that they won't win. The argument for them is that they are true conservatives, not RINOs. I may not prefer some of the candidates, character counts with me, but every dog should have his day. I'm tired of hearing that conservatives can't win somewhere. We'll test it and see. If they don't win this year we'll know that the state/district is one where only a more moderate candidate can win. We know about the ones in the Senate (e.g. Miller, Angle), but there are a number in House races. Keith Rothfus in PA-4, Anna Little in NJ-6 are two I can think of.
I'll be watching the fake tea party candidates. Democrats have inserted these people in PA-7, NJ-3, FL-8, FL-12, and the Nevada Senate. If conservatives can be fooled into voting for these people the Democrats have a winning strategy of fraud that they'll expand to hundreds of races in 2012.