The president’s cool demeanor became oblivious detachment from the political climate; his oratorical skills degenerated into wooden reading of the teleprompter screens; his “yes we can” attitude devolved into tribalism and race baiting.
One of the more difficult challenges an incumbent can face is a voting public that thinks the country is on the wrong track. Currently, according to the latest Harris Interactive Poll, two-thirds of Americans (66 percent) believe that America is on the wrong track and 67 percent blame President Obama and the Democrats in Congress. While it comes as no surprise that the Harris poll shows 90 percent of Republicans giving the president negative ratings, fully one-third of Democrats and one-third of Liberals also give the president negative ratings; as do 70 percent of Independents and 60 percent of Moderates. The bad news extends across the board –– the president doesn’t get even 50 percent on any of the various measurements of approval.
Explaining the national mood and reaction to the president’s “divisive and doctrinaire performance,” Jeff Jacoby of the Boston Globe wrote, “The hills are alive with the sound of liberal Democratic contempt for the electorate. So are the valleys, the prairies, and the coasts. For months, voters have been signaling their discontent with the president, his party, and their priorities; in less than a week, they appear poised to deliver a stinging rebuke. Yet rather than address the voters’ concerns with seriousness and respect, too many Democrats and their allies on the left have chosen instead to slur those voters as stupid, extremist, or too scared to think straight.”
Poll after poll indicates that incumbents will be hurting on November 2 and the overwhelming sense of pundits and commentators is that the GOP will benefit from voter disgust with “politics as usual.” Ed Koch, former mayor of New York City, sees “mounting anger around the country” and “deep, deep disappointment” in President Obama’s policies –– enough to sweep Republicans to a “victory of tsunami proportions on November 2nd.” In contrast to most speculation that is cautious about predicting a GOP take-over of the Senate, Koch predicts that Republicans will end up controlling the Senate as well as the House.
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