When I say this, I’m not being a pessimist, I’m being a realist. The economy is not going to show any real signs of improvement in the next 13 months. Neither President Obama’s rigid ideology nor his special interests groups will allow him to push innovative pro-growth policies that would kick start our economy during the remainder of his term. Our turnaround will probably begin sometime in 2013, after President Obama is back teaching law in the People’s Republic of Chicago and the new President’s entrepreneur-friendly economic plan is put into place. So, I ask this question: if our economy does in fact remain in this awful funk for another year with unemployment stuck at over 9 percent, is President Obama unelectable?
Mr. Obama won the Electoral College by a 365 – 173 margin in 2008. Using the 2012 map, if Mr. Obama carried the exact same states, the Electoral College would stand at 359 – 179 because of redistricting. The Republican candidate-to-be has already picked up ground without making one general election campaign stop.
Now remember the country’s mood in 2008, when candidate Obama managed to carry several states that usually end up in the Republican column on the empty messages of “hope” and “change.” The states of Florida, Indiana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, and Virginia all voted for Mr. Obama. These six states were all carried by President George W. Bush twice, except for New Hampshire in 2004 (Democrat nominee John Kerry resided in neighboring Massachusetts). In 2012, these six states will award a total of 90 electoral votes. Any reasonable observer would agree that the current political mood in the country suggests these states are all poised to swing back to their natural place – in Republican hands. President Obama’s job approval rating in these six states is alarming at best. These most critical states all lean conservative – they only took a chance on Obama because he campaigned as a moderate with no record to disprove (or prove) his claim. Now these voters know better and recent polling on the President’s job approval backs that up:
Florida: 39 approve – 57 disapprove
Indiana: 42 approve – 50 disapprove
New Hampshire: 31 approve – 59 disapprove
North Carolina: 43 approve – 53 disapprove
Ohio: 42 approve – 53 disapprove
Virginia: 40 approve – 54 disapprove
There is a path to the presidency through what we’ll call the “six states plus one-fifth of Nebraska” strategy. If Nebraska’s one electoral vote from its 2nd district goes back into the “R” column with the state’s other four votes (Bush 43 carried Nebraska’s 2nd district 60 – 39 in 2004 and President Obama carried it by a razor slim margin of 50 – 49 in 2008), Republicans would win back the White House with 270 electoral votes to 268. That’s all it would take. If lightning were to strike and somehow the President retains one electoral vote in Nebraska (assuming the state legislature does not move to a winner-take-all system), the Electoral College would deadlock at 269 – 269. These are just a few potential outcomes to consider, but polling suggests that it could be much worse for Obama and the Democrats.
Consider Pennsylvania, a state Republicans haven’t carried since 1988. President Obama’s rating in the Keystone State is 43 percent approval to 54 percent disapproval. In Colorado, the state where Barack Obama filled a football stadium for his nomination speech, his job approval is 46 – 50. Harry Reid’s Nevada? Obama’s approval dials in at 44 – 48. Without these 35 electoral votes, the Republican wins 305 – 233. The idea of the challenger capturing these three states in the midst of these horrible economic times is hardly unimaginable.
Now, let’s pivot to the shocking polls measuring Obama’s job approval that have come out recently in some of the bluest of blue states:
Connecticut: 48 approve – 48 disapprove
Maryland: 49 approve – 47 disapprove
New Jersey: 44 approve – 47 disapprove
New York: 45 approve – 49 disapprove
These polls are evidence that there is widespread discontent with the policies and leadership coming out of this White House from every corner of America. Juxtapose these numbers with those of 2008, when President Obama carried Connecticut by a margin of 61 – 38; Maryland, 62 – 36; New Jersey, 57 – 42; and New York, 63 – 36. At the end of the day, President Obama will probably carry all four states in 2012, but if he has to spend one dime defending this deep blue turf, he can’t spend as much in swing states like Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania.
Numbers like these make a candidate and a campaign do a lot of praying. Praying they can rely on their money advantage; praying they can portray their opponent as out of the mainstream; praying the liberal media will do its thing; praying there is nice weather on Election Day to promote a big turnout. Reality, however, does eventually sink in. America will likely have a 45th president heading into 2013 and thus an economic recovery.
In 2008, Mr. Obama promised to be a moderate, but he’s unabashedly liberal. He said he was post-partisan, but he’s hyper-partisan. He said his economic package would work, but we’ve lost over two million jobs instead. He said he’d focus on jobs, but he wasted a year ramming through Obamacare. And now he’s fresh out of excuses.
All these facts and polling statistics add up to one conclusion: President Obama is unelectable.