Much ado has been made recently about the demise of the Republican Party and the growing sense in the New York/Washington bubble that Obama will be re-elected. It’s certainly possible the ?improving? jobs’ numbers and economic data could give Obama enough momentum to slide into a second term. Certainly his media advantage, his wars on conservatives, women, and the productive sector have ginned-up his base, at least somewhat. But there are definite signs out there Obama is not a sure thing and could be a real long shot this November. “ Obamalaise,” Kyle Olson of the New York Post calls it, has begun to infect the electorate. It is spreading more deeply than the MSM will let on.
There are two ways to study populations in the social sciences. One is through objective measures of attitudes like with polls and surveys. The other is through use of case studies. I’m going to use both methods to show just how Obama is becoming the persona non grata of the political world.
First, some polls. For the most part, Obama has been buoyed recently by the messy Republican primary fight and the brouhaha of the contraception proposal. His numbers have ticked up among women probably due to the ‘free’ contraception promise since that seems to affect women more. But, the other is the media’s daily narrative about the GOP trying to do something mean in regards to contraception. In any case, this has given Obama a little breathing room eight months out.
But, that isn’t really helping the overall case for the Democrats. The Rasmussen tracking poll taken March 10, 2012 shows Romney with a six point edge over Obama and Santorum with a statistically insignificant one point lead. But, the Republicans are still divided and the Democrats are supposedly united. Moreover, Obama can’t even get above 50% against Gingrich, the candidate with the widest margin. Obama has 48% and Gingrich has 40%. Of course, these tracking polls and surveys are quite fungible this early in the race. However, Obama has other more intractable problems with how he is perceived.
According to Gallup in a survey of adult voters, not registered or likely voters but all adults, 50% see Obama’s presidency as a failure. What is really telling is 53% of independents think Obama’s failed. That’s a margin that is almost impossible to overcome, especially as gas prices begin to rise and its effect on the economy begins to slow this flabby recovery. To conclude a president has failed is quite a powerful sentiment. Forty-four percent believes he’s succeeding, not exactly room for error.
So, some of the objective evidence is decent, some not so good for the Democrats, but they have hope. Right?
Let’s consider some of my informal case study evidence. My first exhibit is the Minnesota GOP District Convention where I was recording secretary. I’ve already discussed our caucuses were far more diverse than I anticipated. What struck me about these delegates and alternates at the convention was how young they were. Half the assemblage was in their twenties or thirties. Two thirds of the delegates were younger than 50. We are constantly being told the GOP is old, white, male and doomed to extinction. Not if these people have their way. There was fire in the belly at this meeting. So much so that when a resolution to defeat Obama and the Democrats in November was voted on the meeting was thunderous in its approval. There was no dissent to record.
Now, it was a Republican gathering but it wasn’t tired, complacent, or wary, at least not about the dangers this president and his extreme wing of the Democratic Party pose. This was an excited group with many Ron Paul supporters. They weren’t delegates to a state district convention on a 65 degree day in March in Minnesota to vote for Obama if Paul doesn’t get the nod. These Paul supporters are committed to building a grassroots party that will extol libertarian virtues and limited government in people’s lives. I was impressed and quite pleased. With people like this moving through the ranks, the GOP needn’t worry about becoming a corpse.
My next example is from our vacation. Upon returning to San Juan, Puerto Rico, we signed up with a tour to use our last day seeing this U.S. territory. One of the first stops the driver took us to was the statues of the U.S. presidents outside their legislative building. He stopped the bus at Obama’s statue and asked if people wanted to get pictures. Not a person moved. Not a sound was made.
I later found out several people on this tour were public school teachers on spring break from New York. Public union employees from the People’s Republic of New York, and not a one of them wanted a happy snap of the Dear Leader. If this doesn’t illustrate the bloom being off the rose, I don’t know what does.
Hell, it isn’t just the bloom that’s fading; the damned leaves are falling off as well.
Now this certainly isn’t conclusive evidence of an Obama defeat. It is evidence of an energized opposition, a growing conservative youth movement, and the specter of an Obama non grata among his rank and file this fall. With half the country concluding he’s a failure and trouble garnering support even when facing a still divided GOP, Obama’s path isn’t nearly as primrose as we are being told. In fact, it could be far thornier for a Democratic Party that has bet the house on this president and his radical allies. They may be rather sullen come November.
Crossposted at Looktruenorth.com