More Wargaming the Senate


Today it’s Scott Bland at the National Journal sounding the alarm. Read:

One look at Obama’s state-by-state approval rating averages ought to send a shiver through the ranks of Senate Democrats.

Republicans need to capture six seats to win control of the Senate, and Democrats have to defend five deep-red states—Arkansas, Alaska, Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia—where Obama’s approval rating was at or below 35 percent in 2013, according to Gallup’s 2013 polling averages. The president was also far underwater in another two Democratic-held states he lost in 2012, Louisiana (40 percent) and North Carolina (43 percent), as well as purple-tinged Colorado and Iowa (42 percent), which Obama won.

Overall, Gallup calculated Obama’s average approval in 2013 at 46 percent. Oregon, New Hampshire, and New Mexico (45 percent) also just fell below that line. In two red states where Democrats hope to gain seats this year, Georgia and Kentucky, the president’s job approval stood at 45 percent and 35 percent, respectively, in 2013.

In the past 10 years, just nine senators of the president’s party have won elections in states where presidential approval slips below the national average, according to a review of exit polls and election results since 2004.


These numbers of course are all pre-SOTU. Can Professor Wiggleroom, wielding his mighty pen and phone, turn things around? In other words, can his use of the bully pulpit change the conversation? That’s the question WSJ’s Patrick O’Connor and Colleen McCain Nelson looked at today:

The challenge facing the president’s party can be seen in Mary Varsegi, a physician in Tampa, Fla., who voted for Mr. Obama in 2012 but now questions the president’s ability to pass an increase in the minimum wage and enact other policies she supports.

Dr. Varsegi echoes growing skepticism among other Obama supporters that the president isn’t looking out for people in the middle.

“Obama is protecting poor people and the very rich,” she said. “He’s not willing to make the middle class a priority.”

Historically, we’ve been a middle class nation. Lose the middle class and you lose the country. Wiggleroom’s policies have indeed been tailored to coddle both the rich and the poor, with everyone else feeling the squeeze. ♡bamaCare!!! is a chilling case and point, where the rich pay more but get more, the poor pay less and get to stand in line, and the middle class gets an effective salary cap (via subsidy losses). That prevents them from competing to join the upper classes, which makes ♡bamaCare!!!’s taxes a small price for the rich to pay.


But I digress. The question remains: Can Wiggleroom change the conversation?


Bing Pulse (H/T, Tom Dougherty) found that Wiggleroom’s speech last night scored about as poorly with Independent voters as it did with Republicans. You’d expect Indies to rate a Democrat President somewhat lower than other Democrats would, and somewhat higher than Republicans. But no. That’s the anchor every single Democrat Senator wears going into November — unless there’s an open revolt, led by Democrats, right on the Senate floor.

Dougherty (read the whole thing) adds this:

Save for the opening, the mention of the USA Olympic team later on and the salute to Ranger Cory Remsburg, the green Independent line never crosses above 50 and spends most of the evening in the 25 to 30 range. Hardly what one would call “regaining a foothold with independents voters”.

The second mission was to engage Democrats running for election, particularly in the Senate, and given the rapid response from many Dems backing away from the President and his polices, Obama missed the target here as well.

That’s a far cry from an open revolt, but it’s certainly indicative. Even DWS is backing off from any grandiose claims about winning the House, and she’s about as connected to reality and truth telling as I am with Bill W and a twelve-step plan.



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