It’s been apparent for quite awhile that the DFL won’t have anything to tout as accomplishments or highlights. U.S. Senate Democrats are in similar shape. Jay Cost’s article highlights the fact that President Obama’s only chance of getting re-elected, other than the biggest voter fraud campaign in history, is to hope people stop wanting to talk about the things they want to talk about most:
I’ll bet you dollars to donuts that the average swing voter does not want to talk about the “war on women,” the Buffett rule, or whatever else Team Obama is going to throw out there in the weeks and months to come. That voter wants to talk about jobs, the economy, the deficit, gas prices, the health care bill–in other words, all the issues where the president is vulnerable. And the competition of the campaign means that swing voter will get what he wants – Team Romney is more than happy to discuss all those issues, and so Obama will have no choice but to respond.
President Obama’s accomplishments aren’t popular except with his out-of-step base. The polling we’ve seen thus far is worthless because Mitt Romney hasn’t fired up the ad blitz yet. When Mitt hits President Obama on the economy, high gas prices and the unprecedented regulatory overreach of President Obama’s administration, the polling numbers we’ve seen thus far will flip. In fact, they’ll flip fairly quickly.
In short, whether we’re talking about the DFL legislature, Harry Reid’s Senate or President Obama, we’re staring at the same thing: the potential for a GOP blowout exists. It’s anything but guaranteed. But it’s possible.
Because President Obama sought to be the most ideological president in generations, he put his presidency in peril. Because he put his ideological goals ahead of the nation’s priorities, he did everything except pound the final nail in his political coffin.
What ideas can President Obama run on? What accomplishment can he point to that he enjoys majority support? Claiming that Republicans are waging wars on women, working families, the environment and who knows what else they’ll think of over the next 6 months won’t cut it.
Elections are about the future. President Obama can repeat the ‘Yes, we can’ mantra all he wants. It won’t make a difference. President Reagan summed it up perfectly at the end of his debate with Jimmy Carter:
Next Tuesday all of you will go to the polls; you’ll stand there in the polling place and make a decision. I think when you make that decision, it might be well if you would ask yourself, are you better off than you were 4 years ago? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was 4 years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was 4 years ago? Is America as respected throughout the world as it was? Do you feel that our security is as safe, that we’re as strong as we were 4 years ago?
And if you answer all of those questions yes, why then, I think your choice is very obvious as to who you’ll vote for. If you don’t agree, if you don’t think that this course that we’ve been on for the last 4 years is what you would like to see us follow for the next 4, then I could suggest another choice that you have.
Going into that debate, then-President Carter held a significant lead. Here’s how that race turned out:
The electoral college paints an equally stark picture:
Reagan-Bush: 489 EVs
Carter-Mondale: 49 EVs
Let’s be clear about something. This election won’t be that type of blowout. Few are, with Johnson in 1964, Nixon in 72 and Reagan in 84 being the only other comparable blowouts. That said, it’s quite possible that President Obama will get fewer EVs in 2012 than Sen. McCain got in 2008.