Down to the wire, it's crunch time for Democrats and Obama
Democrats are likely to lose big in the US House of Representatives, and they'll be lucky to keep slim control of the US Senate. Will Obama do better with a resurgent GOP to push against?
It’s crunch time for Democrats in this year’s midterm elections, and the majority party finds itself in a major vise – likely to lose big in the US House of Representatives and lucky to keep their slim control of the US Senate.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
Finishing up his last-minute campaigning Sunday, his voice harsh from so many rallies, President Obama feels the pressure too. His name may not be on the ballot, but his agenda and his reputation surely are.
Some analysts are saying he’ll be in a better position when resurgent Republicans (even less popular than Democrats) actually have to legislate rather than just say “No.” But it always hurts to lose.
As David Jackson at USA Today points out, Obama is in good company. Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman, Lyndon Johnson, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton all experienced a “conservative wave” election as president. While Roosevelt, Truman, and Clinton held on to the White House two years later (and even strengthened their position), congressional midterm losses helped end the presidencies of Johnson and Carter.
A weekend poll by CNN/Opinion Research Corporation shows Republicans with an even greater advantage in congressional races than they had back in 1994, when Newt Gingrich led his party to victory – leading 10 percent in a generic ballot (52-42 percent) compared with 7 percent in ’94.
Independents going Republican
Even more dispiriting for Democrats: Fifty-five percent of independents say they'll vote for a Republican, with just 32 percent saying they'll go for the Democrat in their congressional district. That’s in line with the latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll, which also shows independents – who accounted for a major portion of Obama’s winning majority in 2008 – trending Republican.