A series of new polls show Barack Obama has become so politically radioactive that even many Democrats do not want him at the head of their ticket in 2012.
Everyone understands, if polls are accurate and the elections are free of fraud, the Republican Party will do well tomorrow. But how well? The Gallup Organization, a non-partisan polling firm respected for its work since the Eisenhower administration, has a new poll indicating Republicans lead Democrats in a generic ballot match-up by 15 points. Gallup tries to put that into perspective thus:
[T]his year’s 15-point gap in favor of the Republican candidates among likely voters is unprecedented in Gallup polling and could result in the largest Republican margin in House [of Representatives] voting in several generations. This means that seat projections have moved into uncharted territory, in which past relationships between the national two-party vote and the number of seats won may not be maintained.
The blowout is two-fold: more Republicans are likely to turn out tomorrow, and independents overwhelmingly support the Republicans. While 75 percent of Republicans or those who “lean Republican” are “absolutely certain” they will vote tomorrow, only 68 percent of Democrats feel the same. Gallup’s poll found the number of respondents who called themselves Democrats and those who called themselves independents each totaled 32 percent. But independents “tilt toward the Republican candidate by a sizable 59% to 31% margin.”
This is hardly surprising. Many independents are more conservative than the Republican establishment that has controlled the party for well over a decade.
The General Ballot Matters…This Time
Analysts usually dismiss generic ballot measures, because voters do not choose generic parties; every race pits two local candidates against each other. (I have often written this.) However, that is not true in a nationalized election. When a midterm becomes a national referendum on the president or the party in power, party designations make all the difference, and incumbents who would normally be safe are swept out of office. Barack Obama gets this. (I have not often written that.) He told supporters, “My name may not be on the ballot, but our agenda for moving forward is on the ballot.” (Incidentally, it has not been reported just who the president hoped to turn out: he spoke on the national radio program of Al Sharpton, whose racial incitement in Crown Heights in 1991 helped whip up riots that left a number of residents dead and 150-200 people assaulted or injured. Heaven knows why Obama wants those followers to show up at the polls.)
He’s right. And that is 60 percent of the Democrats’ problem. The other 40 percent is the Democrats’ record.
65 Percent Say: Throw Them All Out
A new Rasmussen poll reveals the extent of voter anger at Congress: “65% of Likely U.S. Voters say if they had the option next week, they would vote to get rid of the entire Congress and start all over again.”
Congress knows who is to blame for their predicament. And a growing number of Obama’s own party members want him forced aside before he can ruin another election.
Even Democrats Want ObamAlbatross Gone by 2012
Although it seemed unthinkable in early 2009, nearly half of all Democrats want someone else to run for the party’s presidential nomination. An Associated Press-Knowledge Networks poll finds that 47 percent of Democrats “said Obama should be challenged for the 2012 nomination.” That number includes 29 percent of voters who supported Obama during the 2008 primaries.
In modern times, no sitting president who has been faced a primary fight has won the general election. Lyndon Johnson retired rather than face Eugene McCarthy or Robert F. Kennedy in 1968. Gerald Ford nearly lost the 1976 nomination to Ronald Reagan. George H.W. Bush faced a tough campaign against Pat Buchanan in 1992. And Jimmy Carter is still complaining about Ted Kennedy’s primary fight in 1980. Nonetheless, this is what many Democrats say they want Barack Obama to face.
AP tries to smooth ruffled Democratic feathers by noting: “At this stage two years before their re-elections, Presidents Clinton and Reagan had approval ratings that were lower than Obama’s now, according to the Gallup Poll; both men won a second term. The ratings for Presidents George H.W. Bush and Carter were better than Obama’s; both lost.”
Obama faces one thing none of those presidents faced: a two-year presidential election cycle. With the realities of the Democratic presidential primaries, a would-be challenger would have to announce his, or her, candidacy within the next few months. The attack ads would begin immediately and not end until Obama’s renomination was assured. If 2008 taught anything, it is what a lingering and wasting process the Democratic nominating process is.
If Obama wins his own party’s nomination, he will face a galvanized Republican Party — and possibly a “centrist” third party designed to target the mushy middle that went for Obama so heavily two years ago.
Obama could improve his and his party’s 2012 prospects by following a Clintonesque triangulation with Congressional Republicans, then running as a moderate. However, his advisors have already indicated he will not. Asked about imitating Bill Clinton’s faux centrism, an unnamed “senior White House official” told The Washington Post, “This president is not like that president.”
That is why so many Democrats want a primary challenge; endangered Congressmen can endorse his opponent, and perhaps the party will throw a “Hail Mary” and actually nominate a more electable Democrat in 2012.
Democrats Do Not Have His Back
There is a lesson for Republicans here: Not only is Barack Obama’s agenda deeply unpopular with the American electorate, but a fair segment of the non-suicidal portion of the Democratic Party would not mind seeing him removed from office. Permanently removing a hard-Left ideologue whose unwavering agenda has proven to be electoral hemlock from the top of the Democratic ticket before another GOP tidal wave? Please, don’t throw us in that briar patch.
This should give Republicans the confidence to investigate Obama thoroughly, exhaustively, and in every significant area of wrongdoing. And if the findings merit it, it should encourage Republicans to impeach Barack Obama.
As Howard Phillips of The Conservative Caucus recently wrote, “even a conservative Congressional majority will be reluctant to begin impeachment proceedings without overwhelming public support. That’s why we must begin now to educate voters and build public pressure on Congress to begin Impeachment proceedings.”
This trio of polls should indicate that, at a minimum, Congressional Republicans should not fear a thorough investigation of Obama’s crimes. The American people do not oppose their efforts. And a few Democrats might secretly support them, as well.