Picking up on several postings by Jen today, there are three sets of new data that should alarm Democrats. In increasing order of importance, they are these: First, according to the most recent Gallup poll, President Obama’s disapproval rating is now higher than his approval rating (47 percent vs. 46 percent). That is the first time this has happened for the president. It won’t be the last.
The second finding comes courtesy of the Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, which found an astonishing 21-point enthusiasm gap between the parties, with 67 percent of Republicans saying they are very interested in the November elections, compared with 46 percent of Democrats.
The third — and for Democrats arguably the most terrifying — data point: Republican candidates have, according to the most recent Rasmussen survey, now stretched their lead over Democrats to 10 points in the Generic Congressional Ballot, their biggest lead ever in nearly three years of weekly tracking. Historically Republicans have trailed in the Generic Congressional Ballot, even in elections they do well in.
When you combine these numbers, they point to an epic blowout for Democrats in the midterm elections. Many of us, in writing about the November elections, have been careful to see that things in politics can shift rapidly, and they can. But often the opposite happens: certain trends continue their trajectory. Things get worse rather than better. And that, I think, is what Democrats are facing today.
Things have been going badly for Democrats since around the late spring of 2009, when the popular uprising against Obamaism really began. It has proceeded more or less uninterrupted since then. In that span, we have seen three significant electoral losses – the gubernatorial races in Virginia and New Jersey and, especially, the Senate race in Massachusetts. What were initially troubling signs for Democrats have become a fairly entrenched pattern. It is getting to the point where it will be very difficult, absent some extraordinary intervening event, to shift things in a favorable direction for Democrats.
To make things worse for Democrats, they have continued to focus the nation’s attention on legislation that the public, by a wide margin, rejects – and they are using means to win votes that much of the public find to be somewhere between troubling and corrupt. If Democrats succeed in passing ObamaCare, their problems will be magnified.
Barack Obama is indeed turning out to be the embodiment of hope and change — hope for Republicans and change in the control of Congress.
What a perfectly terrible 13 months it has been for the president and his party. And things are going to get worse, much worse.