In his speech to Northwestern University Thursday, President Barack Obama gave GOP campaigns and right-wing super PAC’s across the nation fodder to use less than five weeks out from the midterm elections.
Obama told the crowd, “I am not on the ballot this fall. Michelle’s pretty happy about that. But make no mistake: these policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.”
Many apologies to the likes of Mary Landrieu, Kay Hagen and Mark Pryor for those comments. They’re surely not going to help matters in their battles for reelection.
According to several polls featuring incumbent Democrat senators in toss up states, Obama’s approval numbers hover between 30 and 40 percent.
In the latest NBC/Marist Poll, just 31 percent of Arkansans approve of Obama, while just 40 and 38 percent of Louisiana and North Carolina voters, respectively, offer their support for his agenda, according to the latest CNN/ORC polling figures.
Couple those numbers with the fact that six of the nine toss-up races, as rated by RealClearPolitics, are states that Mitt Romney carried in 2012. Those comments certainly do not help a president who is trying to actively keep hold of the Senate ahead of a 2016 election featuring probable Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton.
While, as Chris Cillizza of the Washington Post notes, Democratic voter enthusiasm is lower than that of Republicans, what hurts are the middle of the road voters that make or break elections, especially in the aforementioned races featuring Democratic senators in red states.
In the CNN poll in Louisiana and North Carolina, both Bill Cassidy and Thom Tillis lead amongst independents, though Tillis surely loses votes overall and amongst independents thanks to libertarian candidate Sean Haugh. (POLL: Libertarian In North Carolina Could Be Spoiler)
Also, it doesn’t help Obama’s case that Saturday Night Live absolutely lampooned his fading approval numbers last weekend.
“It’s no secret that it’s been a rough summer for President Obama,” said Weekend Update co-host Colin Jost. “Between gridlock in Washington and the situation in the Middle East, his poll numbers are at an all-time low. So we just wanted to say, cheer up, President Obama, because no matter how hard stuff seems right now, things are gonna get easier.”
“If you had a better approval rating, you’d have to be all over the country campaigning for other Democrats, but they don’t want you anywhere near them now,” Jost continued. “So why don’t you just skip the campaign tour and hit up the ‘On The Run’ tour with the real first family, Jay Z and Beyonce.”