FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
WaPo uses the dread number ‘2006’ when discussing Barack Obama.
Everyone in the world – well, maybe not quite that many people – is talking about this Washington Post-ABC poll/article that suggests that Barack Obama has been merely spitting in the wind for the last month. There’s a lot to mine in there, and not just for our side*, but this passage jumped out at me:
Although Obama’s overall approval rating is at its lowest point ever in Post-ABC polls, his disapproval is still a few points better than at its worst. That’s because more people than usual say they had no opinion. At this point, Obama’s approval rating looks only slightly better than that of President George W. Bush in the spring of 2006.
Bolding mine: this poll pegs Obama at 41/52, by the way. Normally, we talk about the likely 2014 election results in terms of what happened in 2010, and there are a lot of good reasons for that. But it’s also reasonable to compare 2014 in terms of 2006, as both were the sixth year of a controversial President’s contentious term of office. If Barack Obama continues on the same arc as did George W Bush – and Obama’s not doing great** – then the Democrats are going to have a really bad day in November. Not necessarily so much in the House, given that most of the low-hanging fruit there is already gone, but the Senate and the governorships are completely different stories. Indeed, we could very well see Democrats being hammered in the state legislature again, which would blight their future crops of candidates for the rest of the decade.
This is all very promising for the GOP. Yes, yes, I know that the election is in six months, and six months is an eternity in politics – but so is nine months, and the trend has not been going the Democrats’ way since, say, the end of January. To put it mildly.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
*The Democrats are no doubt going to clutch to the finding that “Americans trust Democrats over Republicans by 40 to 34 percent to handle the country’s main problems” like a drowning man clutches at a spar. A real shame that spar is also attached to a rapidly-descending anchor, though: the same poll showed that the electorate wants (53/39) the Republicans to take over Congress in order to keep the President in check
**The RCP average there does show that Obama’s overall approval rating of 43% is actually higher than GWB’s (34.8%) at this moment in time. Presumably the Washington Post is referring to its own specific poll history. Or perhaps the WaPo simply feels that there’s not much difference between a D and a D-.