President's Poll Numbers Give Dems the Midterm Blues
by Jonah Goldberg
It wasn't supposed to be like this.
At the end of 2013, the Washington Post's electoral number-crunchers calculated that the Democrats had a 1 percent chance to win back the
Even a popular president can usually expect disappointing midterm results for his party. What makes things particularly dire for Democrats is that a president's approval rating has a significant impact on his party's prospects. Obama's approval rating is in the low forties, and while things can change, few would bet it will improve all that much between now and November.
One reason for that: The Obama administration is poised to give an incredible gift to the
This could be the single most effective direct-mail campaign material in American history, and Republicans won't even have to pay for the postage.
The president's agenda for 2014, write Manu Raj and Carrie Budoff Brown of Politico, is a mix of initiatives designed to energize the Democratic base of women, students and blue-collar workers, and to attract independent voters -- aka the parts of the Obama presidential coalition he needs to turn out in the midterms.
Obama's standing with all of these groups has dropped considerably since the square-wheeled "rollout" of Obamacare. A slim majority of young people and women don't approve of his performance. As for independents, the key group for midterm elections, only 35 percent approve of his "handling his job as president," according to a recent
Imagine how they'll feel when they're notified that their insurance premiums (and deductibles) are going up and their doctor is no longer available. On the very off chance that they won't know who to blame, all they'll need to do is turn on the TV, which will be blaring ads showing their Democratic congressman or senator parroting Obama's lie that Obamacare will save you money and that you can keep your insurance and your doctor if you like them.
Like the president himself, Obama's fans have an unshakable faith in his ability to move the electorate to his side. And while it's obviously true that he's been good at getting himself elected, he's inversely successful at getting anyone else elected, which is why Sens. Mary Landrieu (D-La.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) chose not to appear with Obama during his recent visits to their states.
In 2009, retiring Arkansas Rep. Marion Berry presciently warned that Obamacare was setting up the Democrats for a huge defeat in the 2010 midterms, just like "Hillarycare" had led to a loss of 54 House seats. Obama scoffed at such concerns. According to Berry, the president told him, "Well, the big difference here and in '94 was you've got me." Republicans went on to win 63 House seats and six
Again, it wasn't supposed to be like this. President Obama's election was supposed to be the start of a "new New Deal." With unstoppable majorities in both the House and
Liberals are still convinced their vision is what America wants and needs and that Obama is the right man to give it to us. Assuming Republicans don't immolate themselves -- always a possibility -- that vision will receive yet another massive rebuke in November. The interesting question then will be whether liberals question the soundness of their faith or insist that the fault lies entirely with the false prophet who failed to deliver them to the promised land.
Article: Copyright ©, Tribune Content Agency.
"President's Poll Numbers Give Dems the Midterm Blues"