Politics Magazine

2014 Election Is About A Bad Congress - Not Obama

Posted on the 09 May 2014 by Jobsanger
2014 Election Is About A Bad Congress - Not Obama
2014 Election Is About A Bad Congress - Not Obama
The political pundits, especially the ones on TV, all seem to have an opinion about the coming election, and that is fine. They are entitled to their opinion, just as you and I are. But there's one thing a lot of them seem to think will matter, and it's so silly that I really can't let it go without comment. They are saying that the Republicans will win the November election because the president has low approval ratings.
I have said this before, but it bears repeating -- this election is not about the president. That issue was settled in 2012 (when these same pundits were telling us President Obama was in trouble because of low approval numbers). And the president won an overwhelming victory.
Note the numbers above for the last few months. The president's approval rating, according to the GOP-friendly Rasmussen Poll, was lower near the end of last year (about 43%), most likely because of the poor roll-out of the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). But now that Obamacare is a success, with larger numbers than was predicted, the president's numbers have rebounded and now rest at about 50%.
But even the 43% number of last year seems stratospheric when compared to the approval numbers of Congress. Note in the chart above (an average of all polls by RealClearPolitics) that Congress hasn't been able to even reach a 14 point approval for a long time now. Some Republicans may think they are popular, and it is the Democrats bringing the approval numbers down. If so, they are living in a dream world and are completely detached from reality.
The truth is that the voting public is unhappy with both political parties in Congress, because they want compromise to fix the economy and create jobs -- but poll after poll has shown that they are significantly more unhappy with the Republicans in Congress. This election is about public disgust with a do-nothing Congress -- a Congress that thinks it's more important to play political games than to do what is necessary to help American citizens recover from the recession.
I worked the polls in the primary last March, and it was a combined primary that had Republicans and Democrats voting in the same place -- and you would not believe the number of voters saying they wished they could vote against every member of Congress from both parties. There is a real anti-incumbent mood sweeping this country, and that will have much more effect on this election than whether the president is popular or not (and it ought to scare the hell out of incumbents in a competitive district).
And if you need any more proof, just look at the chart below (from the Pew Research Center). While there are a few Republicans who will vote against the president, and a few Democrats who will vote for him (neither of which is a surprise), the majority of Americans say the president's popularity will not be a factor when they vote in November.
Let me repeat. The coming election is NOT a referendum on President Obama. It is a referendum on a dysfunctional and very unpopular Congress -- and that's just as it should be.
2014 Election Is About A Bad Congress - Not Obama

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