Are Democrats heading to huge losses in the November elections? In the Virginia political blogosphere as well as other places Dems are blustering, calling names, and trying to distract from the issues at hand, a classic case of, "If I say it enough, I'll believe it," syndrome.
Byron York, Chief Political Correspondent for The Washington Examiner, said it best in today’s column:
All around, there are Democrats telling us their prospects for November are looking up. Things aren't as bad as Republicans say! Health care is becoming more popular! The country wants financial reform! People still like Barack Obama! Isn't Joe Barton awful.
They're fooling themselves.
Even as President Barack Obama again bashed former President George W. Bush Thursday while entertaining Russian President Dmitry Medvedev in the White House, the latest poll numbers regarding Obama's leadership were dismal. His constant blame of the former administration wears thin after a while and, quite frankly, he has little to stand on.
President Bush's post-Katrina approval rating was 50% while Barack Obama's post-oil spill approval currently stands at 53%. In other polls Obama's handling of the oil spill has lower approval ratings than President Bush. As the saying goes, “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.”
A full 62% of Americans feel the country is heading in the wrong direction, according to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll. Obama's handling of the economy, the Afghanistan war, the Gulf oil spill, chaos on the border, and his determination to bring a lawsuit against the state of Arizona because of its strict immigration enforcement law have Americans feeling unsettled and concerned about the future.
Karl Rove crunches the numbers, too, and also comes up with bad news for Democrats even as they sit on larger war chests than Republicans. The albatross around every Democratic candidate's neck is President Barack Obama, something that cannot be taken care of with money, according to Rove:
But cash won't save the Democrats. Complex combinations of factors decide elections, and this year the driving forces are the president's low standing, his mishandling of the economy, his failure to respond to the oil spill, and the interconnected issues of jobs, spending, deficits and ObamaCare.
It is an explosive mix for Democrats. All these measures—from his job approval to handling the economy and the Gulf oil leak to the generic ballot to intensity—will remain roughly where they are unless a dramatic event causes a shift. That's unlikely: The president can do little to radically improve the landscape.
Republicans, however, cannot assume that elections will swing their way. They have to reassure voters that Republicans will do the right thing. As Byron York concluded:
As strong as the numbers look, smart Republicans are constantly telling each other to calm down and keep working. While the public has soured on Obama and the Democratic leadership, Republicans can't just bash the opposition. "The Democrats have really opened the door for Republicans," Winston says, "and the challenge for Republicans is to lay out for people what they'll get if they get a GOP majority." If Republicans can do that, they'll win big in November.
In Virginia, Republicans have already hit the ground running, working hard to reelect their Congressmen and to replace Democrats who voted for health care and cap and trade.