An article in yesterday’s Politico highlighted how President Obama will be adjusting his schedule in 2010 to lend a bigger hand to Democrats as they attempt to go against the political environment and bring home a victory on election day.
White House aides have said recently that the president will spend more time on the road, part of an effort to position him above the Washington fray and perhaps a signal that he intends to play a bigger role in helping candidates from his party who are facing tough contests.
But to me, the most important part of this article is the paragraph quoted above – that the President will intensify his effort to help Democrats win in November.
God, I hope so.
When President Obama went to New Jersey just prior to election day in 2009, his Strong Approval ratings stood at 38% and Rasmussen had Chris Christie up 3 points. Nationally, the President’s Strong Approval(as opposed to overall approval) rating floated around 30%.
After the President went back to Washington, Christie went on to win by 4 points.
Prior to the President’s trip to Massachusetts to campaign for Martha Coakley, Rasmussen had Scott Brown down 2 points to Coakley, and Barack Obama’s Strong Approval at 37% in the Bay State.
Brown went on to win by 5.
Since then, the President’s national Strong Approval ratings have sunk even lower – averaging out at around 25% since early February.
What’s the big deal about Strong Approval? Well, in a nationalized election, as the Democrats seem to be playing it, those who strongly approve of the President are most likely to go out and vote for him/Democrats.
Now consider that the President’s strong approval rating at the time of his visit in New Jersey, a strongly blue state, was 13 points higher than it is now in national polling, and 12 points higher in Taxachusetts.
To put it simply, if sending Obama didn’t work in New Jersey and Massachusetts, it definitely won’t work most anywhere else.