Thanks to Obama, Democrats Will Lose the Senate

Red state anger will trump blue state love in the November mid-terms.

President Barack Obama speaks in front of the Interstate 495 bridge over the Christina River near Wilmington, Del. Photo | Patrick Semansky, AP

President Barack Obama speaks in front of the Interstate 495 bridge over the Christina River near Wilmington, Del. Photo | Patrick Semansky, AP

Philadelphia and the entire tri-state area is so dyed-in-the-wool Democrat blue that it is difficult sometimes to have a conversation about national politics, especially about President Obama. It is fascinating to watch the conflict in thought as the topics of the Ukraine, Syria, Iran, Israel, the border children, immigration or the Affordable Health Care Act come up. On topic after topic, the blue-as-Smurfs party loyalists will complain, but somehow the President gets a pass.

Not so much in the rest of the country.

The most recent CNN poll shows the President’s approval rating at 42%. 55% disapproved of the job he is doing. Gallup’s tracking poll had similar results. 42% approved. 51% disapproved.

Those numbers are pretty bad, but not devastating. It seems the same Smurf loyalty I witness locally is keeping the Obama’s overall numbers from plummeting below 40%.

Look at the numbers behind the numbers. 58% disapprove of the President’s handling of the crisis at the Mexican border. 52% disapprove of his handling of Iraq. 59% are opposed to Obamacare. Only 26% think America is heading in the right direction. Only 38% believe President Obama is going a good job with National Security. Only 19% of Americans think the economy is “excellent” or “good.

With the President getting high marks in nothing, what could possibly be holding his overall numbers up? Blind loyalty. Democrats, who disagree with the President on a wide variety of issues, still vote thumbs up on his overall approval rating. In the weekly Gallup poll, 81% of Democrats approved of the job the President was doing, even though they did not show anywhere near that kind of approval on his handling of a long list variety of issues.

It seems that, short of a major catastrophe, the President’s approval ratings will hover just above 40% because of the high marks he gets from Democrats, especially in the Northeast and on the West Coast.

Although the President’s nagging low marks on a variety of issues don’t seem to drag him down as much as you might expect, they are dead weight for Democrats in mid-term Senate battles.

Again, in the blue bubble over our area it may be difficult to see, but Republicans are near certain to win the Senate, giving them both houses of Congress. The President’s problems may not be hurting him, but they are killing everyone else in the party.

In our area, Democrats Chris Coons in Delaware and Corey Booker in New Jersey will cruise to re-election. But the future of the Senate will be decided in red states and swing states where Democrats are not faring well, thanks to the performance of President Obama.

The split in the Senate right now is 53 Democrats, 45 Republicans and 2 Independents who vote with the Democrats. Of the seats that are in play, the GOP needs to take 6 seats to take control. Three — Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia — are in the bag. Alaska, Arkansas, Iowa, Louisiana, North Carolina, Colorado and Michigan are all considered toss-ups. It would be stunning, with the current mood in the country, if the Republicans didn’t pick up at least three of them.

Democrats are pinning hopes on picking up a seat in Georgia, but again, with the current mood in the country, a pick up in a traditional red state seems far-fetched.

Whenever I mention that the Republicans will win the Senate, I am met with horror, disbelief and even ridicule locally. “How can that be? Everyone I know hates the Republicans.” Yes, but the Obama hate in the red states trumps your blue state love in this mid-term.

And that sums up our current political process, fueled more by hate than hope; it divides America into tribes that don’t understand each other and don’t care to try. “We’re right. They’re wrong” is the battle cry. And, of course, as always, when misguided passion clouds reason and intellect, they are all wrong.

Follow @LarryMendte on Twitter.

Around The Web

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • Dan

    What a troll post. If this were another presidential election year Obama would win easily and the Senate would go the Democrats. The problem is young people and minorities don’t vote in non-presidential elections. /thread.

    • RogerW

      OMG… thanks for the laugh! Liberals are always good for comic relief!

  • Armored Knight

    Its even worse then stated here..Obama will be the face of every election for decades to come, down to little town city council elections..the damage he has inflicted on the people that don’t agree with Blue state ideology will broil red state voters for a long time to come

  • sp

    Michigan is not a toss up. Terri Lynn Land is a horrible candidate, currently down by 9, will lose by double digits. This article is based on wishful thinking and total ignorance of reality in key states.

    • Arthur Melander

      The New York Times sees it as a 50 – 50 race. All indications here are that it is very close. So look at whatever poll you want and the fact that it is 9 percent on a poll known to be Democratic does not mean it isn’t. By the way, I live in Michigan and most of the press sees this as close despite the fact that the Liberal press is doing their best to say she is a bad candidate. She is known as being extremely hardworking and has deep grassroot support. Her opponent, not so much. No, I am not a Terri Lynn advocate, but I do know how to send a message about how bad Obama is as a President.

      • sp

        Dream on

  • Tim

    No offense, Larry, but I think this post underscores the difficulty of having conversations about national politics. No doubt, the evidence you cite to prove the inexorability of a Republican takeover of the Senate is quite solid. However, I wish you scrutinized the rationale behind blaming President Obama for the host of issues you present in your post. Perhaps it is outside the scope of this piece, but why not explore the origins of the refugee crisis on the border (i.e. long-running War on Drugs, Cold War-era military interventions) or the current imbroglio in Iraq (no need to go through the history books to take on this topic) to determine whether or the extent to which Obama is at fault for these problems. Even better, how about exploring what exactly the Administration should be doing that they already are not doing. Idle grumbling is easy. Visceral reaction is even easier. Getting educated on the issues and developing a nuanced opinion is a bit more difficult, but it is our duty as citizens. Otherwise, we’ll continue this cycle of changing our proverbial clothes every election season and then complaining that we don’t like the way we look.

  • Michael Myers

    Thanks to Obama? Faux news advocate? He’s more repub than reagan…can’t wait for a gop pres….to show everyone that us politics is just big money status quo baby…and nothing will change as long as people have fast food, internet and tv to dull their senses…

  • pathos

    Don’t blame Obama. Blame the do-nothing-obstructionist Repubs. like the Queen Lindsay Graham and her arthritic cowboy from AZ for throwing darts which have no merit.

    • farawayplace

      Democrats had a majority in the House and Senate for 2 years. They did little with it.