President Barack Obama spoke at Northwestern University on Thursday to deliver a speech on the economy. Amazingly enough, even though he is not on the ballot, he made the midterm elections about him.
Something Democrats, especially in Republican-leaning states, have been trying desperately to avoid this cycle.
The President said, “I am not on the ballot this fall. Michelle’s pretty happy about that. But make no mistake – these policies are on the ballot.”
Yes, yes they are. I’m sure that Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC), Senator Mark Pryor (D-AR), Senator Mary Landrieu (D-LA) or Senator Mark Begich (D-AK) would like to avoid that thought being in the voters’ mind as they proceed to the voting booth in November. This is a narrative that I’m sure that Congressman Bruce Braley (D-IA) or Alison Lundergan Grimes in Kentucky would like to avoid as well.
Alison Lundergan Grimes released an ad in the Kentucky U.S. Senate race claiming: “I am not Barack Obama.”
The Cook Political Report lists seven states as toss-ups – Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Michigan and North Carolina. President Obama lost Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana and North Carolina in 2012.
Republicans are likely to win seats in that are Democratically held Senate seats in Montana, South Dakota and West Virginia.
Republicans only need to pick up six seats to take back the U.S. Senate.
President Obama’s approval rating is also dismal in key states. In a USA Today/Suffolk poll in Arkansas taken last month only 34% of voters approved of the President’s performance. Rasmussen had his approval rating at 38%. In Colorado it’s not as bad with USA Today/Suffolk having the President at 42% and Rasmussen at 47%.
In Louisiana Public Policy Polling had his approval rating at 39%, CNN/Opinion Research at 37%, and Fox News at 34%. Senator Landrieu has recently been criticized over improperly charging taxpayers for political travel over a period of 12 years. She paid back $33,000 to the Federal government for charter flights that she has taken.
Needless to say President Obama did not do Democratic incumbents or candidates in swing states any favors.