The President’s approval rating among Independents in the last five polls are as follows:
CBS/New York Times: 36%-48%
Those numbers average out to 31% of Independents approving and 60% disapproving.
Independents, the swing voters of this election, disapprove of President Obama by nearly a 2-1 margin. For the mathematically challenged, that’s a lot.
But on October 17th, President Obama and the First Lady will spend a full day in Ohio traveling from Cleveland to Columbus to campaign for Ted Strickland.
Think that will get a lot of attention? Yeah, me too.
So the question is this: Is it smart politics to spend all day campaigning with a man whom swing voters disapprove of by a 2-1 margin and all just 16 days out from the election?
A friend nailed the point of this whole post on Twitter when he said:
There is a reason so many Democrats nationwide have avoided campaigning with the President. He’s a liability among swing voters. Things are no different in Ohio.
The Quinnipiac and CBS/New York Times polls broke it out even more clearly for us:
Those two average out to 7% of Independents being more likely to support the candidate to 31% being less likely. The others say they don’t care, but considering the overall disapproval of Obama by Independents, one has to believe that less likely number could be even higher.
And what trouble is Strickland experiencing among his base? Well, Democrats don’t seem to have much confidence in him. His approval rating among Democrats is as follows:
Fox: 76%-17% [note: Fox did not ask approval, only favorable]
CBS/New York Times: 63%-24%
This averages out to 75%-19% approval. Is having 1/5 of your base disapproving of the job you’ve done a recipe for success? Or looking at it another way, despite being in office for four years, shouldn’t Strickland expect more than 1/4 of Democrats approving of the job he’s done?
That’s why Ted Strickland is welcoming the man that will drastically turn off Independents throughout Ohio. He needs him. He needs the President to whip up support of the base and get them out and voting.
And with Independents surrendered, Strickland also has to hope the obsessively negative campaign he’s run will depress GOP and Independent turnout to the point that he can pull off a victory.
Sounds like a longshot strategy to me.