Friday, March 26, 2010

Obama in Ohio

Our Ohio poll this week is a pretty good indication of the extent to which Democrats will sink or swim this fall depending on Barack Obama's popularity.

Ted Strickland has poor approval numbers right now but he's still leading John Kasich 79-4 with voters who approve of Obama. At the same time he's down 72-7 with voters who disapprove of Obama. There's almost total correlation between how people feel about Obama and how they're planning to vote for Governor and that makes you wonder how much of Strickland's trouble he really owns personally and how much of if it is just because people aren't that thrilled with the President.

It's a similar story in the Senate race. Jennifer Brunner's up 76-7 with voters who approve of Obama and down 65-8 with voters who don't. Lee Fisher's up 77-4 with folks who like Obama and down 71-5 those who don't.

Because feelings about the President are so polarized it seems to be having an impact on how willing voters folks are to support a candidate across party lines. That's a big part of Blanche Lincoln's problem in Arkansas right now. She got reelected in 2004 because people were willing to vote for her even as they voted against John Kerry. But voters don't seem to be separating her from Obama in their minds that much this year and although there is no doubt much of her trouble right now is self inflicted the reality is that she may have no chance this year no matter what she does because of Obama's unpopularity in the state.

There's no doubt Obama's numbers will be the biggest factor shaping this fall's results.


St. Louis Oracle said...

Lincoln's 2004 success may have also been because Lincoln outspent her GOP opponent 40-1 that year. The GOP candidate spent less than $150K.

That won't happen this year.

Christian Liberty said...

remember Obama's 2010 SOTU? What did Obama do in order to boost his approval #s? Denounce Congress and the Washington way. Who runs Congress? Democrats. So, in order to be of any use to Democrat candidates, he had to denounce the partisanship and corruption of Congressional Democrats. Obama does his party no favors if Obama needs to denounce Congress in order to help elect Democrats.

Kansas City said...

Good honest analysis. Probably means that in addition to Ohio and Arkansas, dems lose Indiana, Pa, Nevada, Missouri, Colorado, New Hampshire, and possibly Wiconsin and Illinois - still hard to see how they lose California or Washington (although neither Boxer or Murray is very bright or a good candidate at his point). And, of course, they lose North Dakota and Delaware. Each incumbent democrat also is further vulnerable as the deciding vote on health insurance reform, which only makes their troubles worse. The polls on the health bill have not gotten better and, at some point soon, dems will be a catch 22 of either giving up the PR effort on it or continuing it and further establishing the image that they are focuse on health insurance and not the economy - which was their worst mistake to begin with.

It is amazing how things can turn around so quickly. Those are 12 senate seats where one would have favored the democrat a year ago. Highly partisan dems must be shaking their heads in shock. Obama has not done that bad a job (at least in any way that has yet produced any terrible events) and, of course, the media has been very supportive, yet the mid-terms look like a disaster.

Looking at Lincoln, it is hard to understand how she could win so handily in 2004 with the lug Kerry at the top of the ticket, but now with a much better politician Obama leading democrats and not even on the ticket, she is apperently dead.

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