Updating James Carville's famous phrase from Bill Clinton's 1992 campaign for the 21st century, it really is all about the policies, stupid. Public Policy Polling carries an interesting graphic looking at the President's approval with net +/- for each state with a Senate race in play. One state - just one - has net approval of the President - Connecticut by only +2. In every other state Mr. Obama is what PPP refers to as a "big drag" on the Democratic candidates.
If this election is a referendum on Barack Obama then o boy are Democrats in trouble...
There's a lot of good Democrats tonight- both incumbents and challengers- who are going to lose and it won't be because of anything they did wrong. It's just hard to overcome an incumbent President of your party being so unpopular with the people most motivated to vote.
It's the policies, stupid. People have realized what some of us saw before the election in 2008. Mr. Obama is a man of the left, an ideologue not prone to compromise on any of his core beliefs. He is firmly convinced that a wise and just omnipotent government (which his hubris tells him is obviously the case with him in charge) can alter the economic and political landscape to favor unions, friends of Democrats and Democratic voting constituencies without detriment; takeover large chunks of the economy and micromanage them to the benefit of all; generate economic growth by removing dollars from the economy, funneling them through government middlemen (thus depleting them) and then re-inserting them at less than par value; dictate human behavior and when challenged ignore those who object.
The 'stimulus' package did not stimulate. ObamaCare is in sheep's clothing a takeover of the healthcare system, which will be killed by redtape, underfunding, 'incentives' and mandates. Cap & Trade was unable to pass even for a Democratic Congress with huge majorities in both houses, so Mr. Obama's EPA will do it by regulatory fiat. Amnesty for illegal immigrants without border control is de facto abdication of American sovereignty, yet he's in favor of it. He's not terribly serious about either winning wars or fighting terrorism, as evidenced by his failure to ever define winning.
No, it's not the messaging, but the policies that led to the messages. It's not something a few appearances by the First Lady can fix. It's not just the economy, but rather the further detriment to the economy that came about through ineffective and in particular damaging policy choices. These aren't "moderate" policy choices in any sense of the word. And it's not that we are "hard wired not to always think clearly when we're scared, or that voters are just uninformed. For example, I'll be most people know that bad mortgage policy emanating from Washington and from Fannie and Freddie was at the root of the economic fall. The banks administering the bad loans were carriers, not the source of the problem.
The American people are smarter and more observant than Mr. Kerry and Mr. Obama give them credit for being. Pollster Scott Rasmussen may be right that people won't be voting for the GOP as much as voting against the Democrats. Okay, I can live with that. It's the policies, stupid.