Oh, how the tables have turned. In 2008, Republicans would rather have been pegged with a salacious scandal than have George W. Bush join them on the campaign trail. In 2010, two years after Barack Obama’s cakewalk to victory, polling data suggest that Democratic candidates should adopt a similar approach to their own president.
After analyzing endorsements in five states, the left-leaning firm Public Policy Polling concludes that “it’s looking more and more clear that there’s just about nowhere Democratic candidates would benefit from having the President come to campaign with them.” Ominously for Democrats, that aversion to the prez was felt among independents, too, who “are completely unimpressed by an Obama endorsement.”
Could it get any worse? Yes. The Democrats’ secret weapon, Bill Clinton, is nearly as toxic as Obama (but not quite). In terms of the benefits of his endorsement, Clinton’s negative-positive spread ranged as large as 24-percentage points in Louisiana and Wisconsin.
Could we be seeing a replay of the Bush implosion, but at a much faster pace? Bush maintained decent popularity years into his presidency before nose-diving in his second term. Obama is not even halfway through his first term. Already, he’s a political liability.