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Judged by Results

Obama sailed into office on a wave of voter anxiety about the economy and dissatisfaction with the Bush administration. (I haven’t seen a recent poll asking voters if voters would prefer Bush or Obama, but I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s a dead heat.) The latest survey highlights how one-party Democratic rule has intensified this sentiment:

Americans are increasingly optimistic about the economy, but that brightening outlook hasn’t softened their outrage over the country’s direction and its political leadership, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds. Two-thirds of those surveyed this week describe themselves as “angry” about the way things are going in the USA, the highest percentage in the decade the question has been asked. By nearly 2-1, they would rather vote for a candidate who has never served in Congress over one with experience. … The findings are sobering for incumbents who hope an improving economy will ameliorate the throw-the-bums-out sentiment before November.

Moreover, the enthusiasm gap persists: 50 percent of Republicans are extremely motivated to vote, while only 30 percent of Democrats are.

The professional buck-passers attribute this, of course, to events before Obama was elected or to events that they suggest are beyond Obama’s control. David Axelrod says: “There’s been a lot of frustrations and grievance building up for years. For many Americans, it (the recovery) still hasn’t touched their lives.” That would be a year and a half into Obama’s presidency. Did he not say, “I expect to be judged by results”? He is — and that’s a problem for the entire Democratic Party.


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