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?
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“One nonpartisan prognosticator, Stuart Rothenberg, said Friday he thought the Republicans could pick up as many as 70 House seats – something no party has achieved since 1948” when Truman was president, the Wall Street Journal reported Saturday. That’s far more than the 39 new seats the GOP needs to take control of the House.Skip to next paragraph
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One Republican campaign tactic has been to make the election all about Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and Senate majority leader Harry Reid. (So far, the GOP is not referring to them as the “Axis of Evil,” but they might as well, given the harshness of the campaign rhetoric.) The ploy seems to be working.
The CNN poll shows Obama’s favorable rating at just 48 percent, down from 53 percent in September and 57 percent in April. Ms. Pelosi’s is down to just 26 percent. In Nevada, several polls have Republican challenger and tea party favorite Sharron Angle expanding her slim lead over four-term incumbent Reid to four percentage points.
Obama has to reunite his party
Even within his own party, Obama will have to rebuild personal support after Tuesday’s elections.
Nearly half of all Democrats (47 percent) say he needs to be challenged in 2012, according to an Associated Press-Knowledge Networks Poll. (True, that’s mostly those who supported Hillary Clinton for the presidential nomination in 2008, but still.)
Looking back at his nearly two years in office, much of that intraparty grumbling comes from the liberal wing upset that he didn’t fight harder for some issues – a public option on health care, for example.
But with a newly strengthened opposition to push against, Democratic troops are more likely to unify and rally to Obama’s support.
"Democrats currently disappointed with Obama will likely be less disappointed if he spends the next two years fighting a GOP Congress,” University of Wisconsin political scientist Charles Franklin told the Associated Press.
Not quite as good as having a clear congressional majority. But for Obama, it’ll have to do.