Off to Bar Harbor, Maine, Obama ends week on an up note
Obama – and the Democrats – may well feel buoyed by better news about the Gulf oil spill, Senate passage of financial reform, and latest poll numbers for vulnerable Sen. Harry Reid. The president now gets a weekend away, in Bar Harbor, Maine.
(Page 2 of 2)
Any incumbent polling below 50 percent is still in trouble. But Angle’s hard-line conservative views – she favors phasing out Medicare and Social Security, closing the Department of Education, and withdrawing the US from the United Nations – have given Reid fodder for a five-week pounding in TV and radio ads. Apparently it had an impact.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
The political press may be tempted to highlight any positives for the Democrats, in the interest of giving a persistently negative story line – Obama’s declining job approval, Democrats in trouble – an eye-catching tweak. Indeed, campaign handicapper Charlie Cook could be guilty of that in his end-of-week analysis, entitled, “A Glimmer of Hope for Democrats.” After plowing through reams of polling data from the Democratic firm Benenson Strategy Group, which Mr. Cook describes as “grisly” for the Democrats, he finds a message in there with potential to help the party. Respondents were given a choice between a candidate who would stick with Obama’s economic policies and one who would return to those of his predecessor, President Bush. Obama beat Mr. Bush 49 to 34 percent.
Of course, by Election Day, Bush will have been out of office nearly two years, and the public probably won’t have much patience for reviving what feels like ancient history. Typically, a midterm election is a referendum on the party in power.
But “if the Democrats can frame this election as Bush versus Obama, even to a moderate degree, Democrats might be able to keep their House losses down,” Cook writes in National Journal. “They don't have a great shot at succeeding, but they don't seem to have many promising alternatives.”
Indeed, Cook still asserts that it’s “very likely” the Democrats will lose the House and “possibly” the Senate.
In his Q and A with the press, Obama said he didn’t feel the 3.6 magnitude earthquake that hit close to Washington, D.C., at 5:04 Friday morning. If the Democrats lose both the House and Senate, that’s an earthquake he’ll notice.
- Financial reform bill another win for Obama, but will the public care?
- Why the White House wants Dems to keep the House – for the most part
- Obama's triumphs are also his weaknesses: Health care, stimulus, financial reform