Democrats up for reelection are not only running against a GOP opponent. They are running from President Obama.
The President’s latest two fundraising trips put the spotlight on what will happen more and more this election season: some Democrats simply do not want to be seen with a President whose job approval rating has sunk 30 points, to 43%, since he took office. He is suffering from low ratings even in states he carried in the 2008 election.
When Obama landed in Atlanta earlier this month, former Gov. Roy Barnes, who wants his old job back, was nowhere near the airport. Barnes was campaigning in Southern Georgia, 100 miles away. His campaign manager said he did not have time to travel to Atlanta and be seen with the President. By the way, Obama’s job approval Georgia is 41%.
While that may be a dismal number, it looks good compared with how voters view him in Texas. Just 37% like the job he’s doing, according to Rasmussen Reports, perhaps the most reliable pollster in presidential, congressional and governor races.
That explains why, when Obama visited Texas this week to raise campaign cash, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Bill White was miles away.
The Texas Democratic Party did not hold an official welcoming party. But Republicans did. The party was so eager to spot light his visit they held a “Hands Off Texas” rally at the State Capitol.
Then there is this report in the Los Angeles Times. Democratic congressional leaders are telling the rank-in-file not to run on the legislation they passed. Just dump on the GOP.
“In an effort coordinated with the White House, congressional leaders are urging Democrats to focus less on bragging about what they have done—a landmark healthcare law, a sweeping overhaul of Wall Street regulation and other far-reaching policy changes—and more on efforts to fix the economy and on the perils of Republican control of Congress,” the story says.
Perhaps the reason they are not “bragging” is because the American people have rejected the healthcare debacle by wide margins in the polls. Missouri primary voters, the first to actually vote on the bill as a referendum, voted against it by a whopping 71%.
When Obama visited Missouri last month, Democratic Senate candidate Robin Carnahan was nowhere in sight.
Other Democrat “achievements,” such as the nearly $1 trillion stimulus package, did not work. It has added so much to the national debt that the Congressional Budget Office says credit-card U.S.A. is unsustainable.
In three important elections in 2009, Obama campaigned for the Democratic candidates for governor in Virginia and in New Jersey, and for U.S. senator in Massachusetts. All three lost.
In Pennsylvania, Rep. Mark Critz presented the blueprint for how a Democrat can win a House seat. In a May special election, he ran against Obama and Obamacare. He won handily. Obama now has a 46% job approval rating in Pennsylvania, a state he won 54-44 against Sen. John McCain.
Pennsylvania is not the only 2008 Obama state that has abandoned him in terms of job approval. This means moderate-to-conservative Democrats in those districts will likely shun the chief executive, following the Critz playbook.
Here are swing states Obama carried in 2008, and his current job approval numbers: Indiana (39%), Iowa (48%), Missouri (44%), North Carolina (41%), Nevada (43%), Florida (44%), Colorado (42%) and Ohio (46%).
The lead paragraph in a recent Politico story stated: ” Moderate House Democrats facing potentially difficult reelections this fall have a message for President Obama: Don’t call us; we’ll call you.”
It went on, “Interviews with nearly a dozen congressional Democrats on the ballot this year reveal a decided lack of enthusiasm for having Obama come to their districts to campaign for them—the most basic gauge of a President’s popularity.”
“This will be my second election with a Democratic incumbent President, and what I’ve found is that their schedules are usually booked full—and so I don’t expect him,” North Dakota Rep. Earl Pomeroy told Politico.
Pomeroy won a ninth term in 2008 with 62% of the vote. Rasmussen, in all recent polls, has him trailing Republican Rick Berg by 3% to 9%.
In Arkansas, where Obama’s approval rating is a meager 43%, the state Republican Party is playing up the issue. Democratic Sen. Blanche Lincoln badly trails her Republican opponent in all polls.
“Four years ago Arkansas Democrats welcomed Barack Obama to the state to campaign for [Gov.] Mike Beebe,” says Arkansas GOP Executive Director Chase Dugger. “Now they fear his open support even though both Beebe and Lincoln have enabled the passage of his liberal policies by their inaction or action. Unfortunately, President Obama’s liberal counterparts in Arkansas have failed to explain how his big-government agenda has benefited everyday Arkansans, when in fact it has increased the national debt and failed to create much needed jobs.”
Democratic Rep. Joe Donnelly of Indiana, who won with 67% of the vote in 2008, is making sure voters know he is not tied to Obama.
He is running a TV ad in which he calls for tough immigration laws and opposition to amnesty. “That may not be what the Washington crowd wants. But I don’t work for them. I work for you,” he says. As he refers to the “Washington crowd,” up pops a picture of Obama and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.