Democratic Candidates Avoid Obama

By Rohit Bhandari ’16:

Obama-sad-face-450x278President Obama has emerged as the biggest asset for many Republican Senate hopefuls across the country in the upcoming 2014-midterm elections. With several close races, many of which are in Republican-leaning states, Republicans have made it their mission to try to paint their opposing candidates as reinforcements for Obama. The strategy is based off of the fact that Obama’s approval rating has steadily decreased over the last couple of years and continues to do so. Just this week, polls found that Obama’s disapproval ratings are the highest they have ever been.

Furthermore, it seems that the problems for Democrats facing tough elections this November lie not just with an unpopular president but also an unpopular party brand. Polls out this week also found that only 39% of people have a favorable view of the Democratic Party. This is the lowest level of approval for the party in 30 years. To put that into perspective, the last time the Democratic Party brand was this unpopular, Democrats lost 49 of 50 states in the presidential election of 1984. Although no one predicts Democrats will do anywhere nearly as badly as they did in 1984, most analysts are starting to agree that this will be a bad year for Democrats. The only question is how bad it will be.

With Republicans attempting to make this election a referendum on Obama, Democrats could lose their Senate majority along with some House seats. On the other hand, however, Democrats have major opportunities in some key gubernatorial elections. Since it is tougher to tie a governor to Obama’s policies than to tie a congressman, the referendum argument becomes rather irrelevant in gubernatorial races. Notably, though, Obama has only made one campaign appearance with a gubernatorial candidate this election cycle and that too was in the very liberal state of Maryland. Some Democratic candidates in states such as Kentucky, Michigan, and Georgia refuse to even answer the question of whether they voted for Obama. It seems these past few months Democrats have been more scared of Obama than the conservatives who often voice their fears of the direction Obama has been leading our country toward.



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