On Tuesday, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid struck a bullish tone on President Obama’s approval ratings and the upcoming midterm elections, insisting that “Barack Obama is personally a very popular guy,” and that yes, he certainly would encourage some of his vulnerable Democratic colleagues in the Senate to hit the campaign trail with him in their home states.
I daresay that they don’t all feel quite the same way about it. Via RCP:
UDALL: We’re going to be running a strong campaign based on Colorado’s interests and Colorado’s future. My job, I think, is to protect Colorado’s way of life. We’ve got a wonderful —
BASH: That was not a yes or no. Yes or No?
UDALL: We’ll see what the president’s schedule is; we’ll see what my schedule is. But Coloradoans are going to re-elect me based on my record, not the president’s record. Not what the president’s done, but what I’ve done and how I have stood up for Colorado. That’s the case I’m going to make to Coloradoans.
BASH: Wow. One more chance, you’re not going to say yes or no, are you?
UDALL: We’ll see what the schedule allows. I’m running for re-election, not the president of Colorado.
BASH: Wolf, I think that’s our answer.
Sen. Udall isn’t in the hottest water relative to a handful of his fellow Democrats from red-Romney-states, but his race has been getting more competitive and the president’s slipping approval rating in Colorado isn’t likely to do him any favors, via National Journal:
Republicans need to capture six seats to win control of the Senate, and Democrats have to defend five deep-red states—Arkansas, Alaska, Montana, South Dakota, and West Virginia—where Obama’s approval rating was at or below 35 percent in 2013, according to Gallup’s 2013 polling averages. The president was also far underwater in another two Democratic-held states he lost in 2012, Louisiana (40 percent) and North Carolina (43 percent), as well as purple-tinged Colorado and Iowa (42 percent), which Obama won.
Overall, Gallup calculated Obama’s average approval in 2013 at 46 percent. …
In the past 10 years, just nine senators of the president’s party have won elections in states where presidential approval slips below the national average, according to a review of exit polls and election results since 2004.
And a lot of that slippage, of course, is coming from Coloradans’ negative reactions to the rollout of ObamaCare. The state GOP has been taking Udall to task over his possible involvement in pressuring the state’s Department of Insurance into lowering its estimate on how many Coloradans received insurance cancellations as a consequence of ObamaCare last fall, and the situation does seem pretty dicey:
A skirmish over Sen. Mark Udall’s efforts to pressure state insurance regulators into reworking their Obamacare cancellation figures has entangled another prominent Colorado Democrat: Gov. John Hickenlooper.
The Hickenlooper administration is accused of covering for Mr. Udall by claiming his staff was cleared of bullying accusations by a “neutral and objective panel” that turned out to be three administration Democrats.
Now state Republicans are calling for the resignation of a top Hickenlooper appointee, as well as for joint legislative hearings into accusations that Mr. Udall’s staff tried to intimidate state Division of Insurance employees for political gain.
Do you suppose he’s feeling nervous, perhaps?