Election 2010: Making it all about Obama and his upside-down approval numbers 

In this ad released two weeks ago, former Colo. Lt. Gov. Jane Norton, R, does not even mention the name of the Democratic opponent she hopes to face in November, appointed Sen. Michael Bennet, D. Instead, she takes aim at President Obama directly, imploring him to balance the federal budget or else decline to seek re-election.

For the moment, this sort of thing is a nice tactic for reaching Republican primary voters, who overwhelmingly disapprove of Obama's performance.

But is this a flash-forward to what we can expect in November -- more Republicans taking on the president by name? It depends.

Up to now, Obama has been the best thing Democrats have had going for them. But as the Democratic polling firm PPP points out, he is suffering low approval numbers in several states with key Senate races:

In Colorado a recent Rasmussen poll found his approval at 45/53 (approve/disapprove). Research 2000 found his favorability at 46/47 in January.

In Florida Rasmussen found his approval at 45/54 and Quinnipiac's latest found it at 45/49.

In Indiana Rasmussen has his approval at 44/54 and Research 2000 finds his favorability at 46/49....

In Nevada Rasmussen finds his approval at 46/54. We found 44/52 in in January...

In North Carolina our last poll put him at 45/51.

In Ohio Quinnipiac's last poll put him at 44/52.

Let me add a few more states. In Arkansas, PPP found Obama at 38/58 in early February. Rasmussen found him at a staggering 33/66.

In Arizona, Rasmussen found Obama at 43/57.

In Kentucky, Rasmussen found Obama at 42/57.

In Wisconsin, which might soon have a competitive Senate race, Obama was in relatively good shape at 47/52 in a Feb. 18 Rasmussen poll.

(Rasmussen tends to have the harshest numbers for the president, but it also has a tight screen for likely voters, unlike some polls that merely survey adults.)

Whereas George W. Bush provided his party with a big boost in the 2002 midterms, President Obama seems in no position to do so in 2010, except in a few states, such as Illinois, California and New York, and possibly Delaware. In most of the competitive Senate states, he could become a serious liability for Democratic candidates.

About The Author

David Freddoso

David Freddoso came to the Washington Examiner in June 2009, after serving for nearly two years as a Capitol Hill-based staff reporter for National Review Online. Before writing his New York Times bestselling book, The Case Against Barack Obama, he spent three years assisting Robert Novak, the legendary Washington... more
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