President Obama is on the road again.
Never missing an opportunity to waste taxpayer dollars in an increasingly desperate effort to get a second term, Obama will take his “pass this bill/it’s not my fault” tour to Virginia and North Carolina this week.
That certainly makes sense as both are traditional swing states that Obama won in 2008 and where he is polling well below 50% against most of the Republican contenders (on average Obama is at 46% in North Carolina against the Republican top-tier and 42% in Virginia in recent polling).
The problem for Obama is that while he is re-running 2008’s campaign (at least geographically), the 2012 race is shaping up very differently.
Here are some other states in which Obama is well below 50% on the ballot against most potential Republican challengers:
Democrat Wins Out of Last Four Presidential Races
Obama Average Performance (most recent polling)
Those are six states that have been reliably Democratic over the past four Presidential cycles. In each, Obama is well below 50% on the ballot against, at this point, much less well-known Republican opposition.
For voters who are not hard-core base partisans, most incumbent re-election votes become choices about whether the incumbent has earned another term in office. Presidential elections follow this pattern even more strongly because of the ease with which voters can make judgments about the direction the President has taken the country.
For Obama to be well below 50% in swing states should be chilling; for him to be well below 50% in territory that should form part of his base support should be the stuff of electoral nightmares.
It’s not just six generally Democratic states that Obama is losing; it’s 71 electoral votes. While both Virginia and North Carolina are growing states, neither would make up for the loss of Pennsylvania and only North Carolina would make up for the loss of either Michigan or New Jersey.
It seems wrong to offer the other side free advice, but the Obama team might look at re-directing some of their taxpayer-funded campaigning to big, recently reliable Democratic states like Pennsylvania, Michigan, and even New Jersey rather than wasting money in states like Virginia and North Carolina that may not matter if they don’t literally cover their bases first. But then again, I hope they don’t.
Of course, if there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last four years it’s that this Administration is really bad at doing anything with taxpayer money other than squandering it on bad ideas that don’t accomplish much. So maybe what they’re doing this week shouldn’t come as that big of a surprise after all.