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February 16, 2010

Brilliant: Democrats' Big Plan for Saving the Senate is... Mr. 44%, Barack H. Obama

That MSNBC blogger asked why Democrats are acting as if Obama's support is 35%.

Okay.

Why is Obama acting like it's still 70%?

The president is still a huge draw in Democratic campaign circles, and Reid wants him in Nevada on Thursday, but Obama’s approval rating keeps dropping, and no matter what Democratic lawmakers accomplish, history shows they can’t divorce themselves from the president’s polls.

That’s bad news for Reid, who already trails virtually every GOP candidate in Nevada, whether or not Obama stumps on his behalf.

...

Reid insists Obama is still the biggest asset Democrats have — despite intraparty squabbling about health care and jobs legislation.

“No one can deliver the Democratic message better than he can,” said Reid spokesman Jim Manley. “Polls go up, and polls go down.”

They go up, too? Really?

When?

For the past few months, Obama’s approval rating has trended downward. A New York Times poll published Friday showed only 46 percent approve of the president’s general job performance, while 45 percent disapprove.

Voters are far less enthused with Congress.... But disapproval of Congress is nothing new, and history shows that the president’s approval rating matters more than Congress’s in the midterms.

...

“Like it or not, the president at the top more or less defines what the party is,” said Democratic pollster Andrew Myers.

Not everyone in Congress agrees with this conventional wisdom.

“Going into the midyear election, you’re going district by district, running on the record of what you did in Congress,” a senior House Democratic aide said. “You can’t make a blanket statement that because his numbers are up, we’ll be up. ... It’s just too simplified.”

Ahhhh... the Old Standby, "there are 435 individual elections, each decided on a case-by-case basis" claim. I remember offering that weak hope myself in 2006, right before we got walloped as so many of those individual elections turned the same damn way. Gee, it was almost as if there was some unifying force that strongly influenced each election and turned the majority of swing voters in the same direction.

Obama is an unpopular president. In fact, as that CNN poll disclosed (but CNN sought to downplay), Obama is less popular in these states than the Congressmen he will supposedly be boosting with his Most Awesome Presence. 51% of voters say that their individual Congressman should be reelected; only 44% say that about Obama.

So I'm not really sure how the less-popular guy helps out the more-popular guy. I guess in cases like Reid's -- he's very, very unpopular -- Obama's weak 44% reelect number starts to look positively glowing.


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posted by Ace at 04:02 PM

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