A Wall Street Journal story on President Obama’s falling poll numbers included this quote from a disappointed former Obama voter: “‘It’s time for somebody new,’ she said, ‘like Hillary.'”
It would be easy to mock such a comment, but the truth is that this is exactly how a lot of voters will respond to Obama’s failures.
Why is this important to acknowledge? It would be easy for Republicans to talk themselves into believing that Obama’s current troubles preordain a Republican victory in 2016 — or that his bad poll numbers constitute a rejection of liberalism.
That would be the best way to blow yet another election.
And that’s not the only trap, either. Someone on Twitter just noted that history suggests Hillary can’t win — since Democrats haven’t won a third consecutive presidential election in many decades (this person at least acknowledged that Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000).
These tidbits are fun for trivia buffs, but I wouldn’t assume that these sort of historical facts are predictive.
… Since 1977, no gubernatorial candidate of the same party as the sitting president had been elected governor of Virginia … until Terry McAuliffe.
… No House Majority Leader had lost a primary since 1899 … until Eric Cantor.
… And, of course, there is the “Redskins rule.”
One could even use this same logic to say that Hillary can’t possibly win the presidency … since no female has ever been elected president before.
The bottom line is that Republicans shouldn’t assume that a rejection of Obama automatically constitutes an acceptance of a Republican candidate as a viable alternative.
And even if it does, that’s hardly a mandate for conservative governance …