Friday, October 3, 2014

Barack Obama on the Midterm Elections

President Barack Obama traveled to Chicagoland to give an economic speech at Northwestern University in order to justify his fundraising appearance for Illinois Governor Pat Quinn (D-IL).   The President used the speech to justify what he perceives as a rosy economic picture during the six years of the Obama Administration. Americans are supposed to believe this rhetoric even if they do not feel it in their daily lives through  their income and wages

Mr. Obama claimed that his speech at Northwestern was nonpolitical.  Yet the Campaigner-in-Chief uttered 28 words which many Democrats may come to regret.

That sort of reminder may sell well in a solidly blue state like Illinois, but vulnerable incumbent Senators like Sen. Mark Pryor (D-AR) and Sen. Kay Hagen (D-NC) cringe at reminding voters of that fact.

If Mr. Obama's policies were working so wonderfully, then incumbents up for re-election would clamor for appearances with President Obama.  Instead, those vulnerable candidates just want the benefits of fundraisers without appearing with "the Won".

Midterms are turnout elections, meaning that parties need to work to get their base out to the polls. Mr. Obama's favorability polling is in the low 40s.  Gallup reports that 65% of Likely Voters think that the US is on the wrong track.

Most voters ordinarily only pay attention to politics after Labor Day of an election year, which influences their opinions and motivates them to get to the ballot box.  At the 2014 Value Voters Summit, Governor Bobby Jindal (R-LA) joked about what was wrong with Washington.  Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) cited concrete ways to turn America around by voting.  But what may motivate many likely conservative leaning and independent voters to crawl over broken glass and risk Ebola infection to vote is President Obama's personalization of the midterms as a referendum on his policies.

If the Republican National Committee were smart, they ought to use this clip to remind prospective midterm voters what their support for down ballot candidates really means.

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