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Democrats Will Need to Regroup

Gallup reports today:

Barack Obama averaged 44.7% job approval during the seventh quarter of his presidency. His average approval rating has declined each quarter since he took office, falling by more than two percentage points in the most recent quarter to establish a new low. …

Obama’s seventh-quarter average ranks on the low end of comparable averages among the nine presidents since Eisenhower, although it is similar to that of several of the more recently elected presidents, including Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton.

That is to say, unless the economy turns around as it did under Reagan, or the administration does as under Clinton, Obama is headed for one-termer status. In the meantime, he remains an albatross around the necks of Democratic candidates.

It therefore is not only the case that Obama will face an energized and enlarged Republican congressional contingent; Democrats will assess the election results themselves as well as Obama’s declining political fortunes. Those not swept out to sea by the 2010 tsunami will need to figure out how to distance themselves from the president, at least the version we saw in his first two years in office. On the Democratic side of the aisle, first will be the finger-pointing and then the bickering. “Go left!” will scream the liberals left in office and in the blogosphere. “That’s nuts!” will reply those from moderate states and those who remember all too well the Carter and Clinton years.

In other words, 2011 may be just as fascinating a political year as is 2010. For political junkies, the wild ride continues.