The DNC can put all the lipstick on the pig they want. They can groom the pig like a poodle, bathe it in San Pellegrino mineral water, dip it in a vat of perfume and dress it up like Marie Antoinette. But it’s still a pig: Tuesday’s defeat in FL-13’s special House election, combined with other new data, suggests that the Democrats are in for a very long and brutal election night this November.
By all objective measures, Democrat Alex Sink should have won Tuesday. She had statewide name ID, having already served as Florida’s chief financial officer. She had also been the Democrats’ nominee for governor in 2010, and carried FL-13 by a couple of points that year on the way to losing to Rick Scott. She had money — raising well over $1.4 million for the race, to Republican Jolly barely raising a thing. Sink had the DNC behind her.
But she also had Obamacare and Barack Obama behind her. Sink had pledged support for the president’s unpopular signature law. David Jolly, her opponent and now the congressman-elect, pledged to do away with it.
Jolly won by two points in a district that leans slightly Democrat. To be sure, he had advantages of his own. He worked for the Republican whose passing set up the special election. Republicans have held that seat for decades. He had the NRCC come into the game on his side.
But the biggest advantage Jolly had was that he had no connection to Barack Obama.
A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll is the new data I mentioned in the first graph. That poll has the president at just 41% approval, to 54% disapproval. The president has lost a couple of points in that poll just since January, and the combination of Obamacare and foreign policy flops are not helping him or his party. No poll has him above water. Polls broadly suggest that his disfavor translates directly into increased support for handing Republicans full control of Congress as Obama serves out the remaining years of his presidency.
Barack Obama is an unpopular president now. Obama’s policies are unpopular. He is personally viewed as dishonest. His party will pay for this unless he can turn things around, and there is no sign of that happening between now and November as he continues to double down on Obamacare and the economy shows every sign of failing to improve, while Russia continues to boss the world. Obama cannot flip a switch and suddenly go from partisan insult comic to fair and square dealer. That’s a character thing, and he lacks it. The best thing Obama could do for the nation and his party, and for the young people who supported him only for him to turn around and fleece through Obamacare, would be to renounce Obamacare and pledge to sign a law repealing it. But those are things he simply will not do. Instead he will continue to do craven pitches for it while he re-writes it on the fly. Polls and Sink’s defeat suggest that a majority of Americans are onto his stubborn game and are tired of it.
The Democrats are stuck with him. Ask Alex Sink today if that’s a help or hindrance.