WASHINGTON -- President Obama has been campaigning for endangered Democrats around the country, saying the economy is "moving in the right direction," even though a majority of Americans do not believe him.
Not when half the states, including strategic battlegrounds in the upcoming midterm elections, are suffering from unemployment rates of between 9 percent and 14 percent, or worse. Not when job growth is tepid, the housing industry is crippled, retirement pensions have been shrinking in a bear market, and trillion-dollar budget deficits as far as the eye can see are being called "a cancer" on our economic future.
There is a severe disconnect from reality at the White House. Obama is still saying that things are getting better under his failed presidency while Robert Gibbs, his press secretary, tells the nation on "Meet the Press" that voters are so soured on the Democrats that Republicans have a good shot at winning the House in November.
Gibbs was honestly relating what the White House's own internal polls have been showing for months, in an attempt to deliver a wake-up call to the party's base that the current one-party government will soon end in Congress if Democrats don't get enthused about the election. But the same polls show that enthusiasm is now decidedly on the Republican side, and the voters who put Obama and the Democrats in power aren't going to turn out to vote in the same numbers they did in 2008.
In a desperate move to repair damaged relations with Latino and Hispanic voters, the White House is pushing immigration reform legislation and has brought a lawsuit against Arizona's get-tough law against illegals. But that has only served to anger independents and other swing voters on this issue, as well as Democrats in Congress, who see it as a needless distraction from the No. 1 issue that is driving this election: the economy.
If Gibbs' blunt warning were not enough, this bleak headline that ran across the front page of Tuesday's Washington Post delivered stark, new polling evidence that the Obama presidency was in a steep descent: "6 in 10 Americans lack faith in Obama."
The Post's findings: A clear majority disapproves of how Obama is dealing with the economy. Two-thirds of all voters are dissatisfied with the way the government is working. A majority now says they would prefer the Republicans to control Congress. Likely voters in the midterm election "prefer the GOP over continued Democratic rule by a sizeable margin of 56 percent to 41 percent."