The story of an irritated JetBlue flight attendant whose tantrum last week drew national attention is the subtext of a new web ad in which endangered Democrats frantically escape an airplane piloted by the president with a course set for their home states and districts.
Parodies aside, the 50-second spot highlights a serious concern among Democrats: President Barack Obama’s unpopularity–stemming from his controversial overhaul of the nation’s health care system and an unprecedented surge in domestic spending–has translated into a considerable liability for Democrats nationwide, and his presence on the campaign trail may prove to excite opponents before party faithful.
After all, Obama’s batting average on matters not legislative has done little to instill confidence among endangered Democrats. In Virginia, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, those candidates for whom Obama invested personal political capital all lost. And last week in Colorado, 45 percent of Democrats voted against the White House’s pick in the state’s Senate nominating contest.
Though President Obama will be no where to be found on ballots in this fall’s midterm elections, those presidents whose approval ratings were sub-50 percent have averaged a loss of 36 House seats in midterm elections. For those curious, Obama’s approval rests at 42 percent.