Should the reaction here be “that many?” Or “that few?”
Not where Hopenchange expected to be six years into America’s new golden age, I’m guessing.
The amazing thing about that? When people are asked whether they like Obama personally, 59 percent overall still say they like him either a lot or somewhat. Among Democrats, it’s 88 percent. And yet, the only group among the many different demographics here — age, race, party, region, gender, income, you name it — that shows a majority wishing Obama could run again is black voters at 64 percent. No other group reaches 40. For a guy who won two landslides and who’s favorable rating is durably healthy, that strikes me as a surprisingly low number.
But there’s an obvious explanation, isn’t there?
Granted, that’s the word cloud for people who view him unfavorably, but if incompetence looms that large for them, it must be in the mix even for people who still say they like O personally. His job disapproval, in fact, is nearly the mirror image of his favorable rating — fully 58 percent either somewhat or strongly disapprove versus just 38 percent who approve. (Democrats, liberals, and blacks are the only demographic groups showing majority approval.) The public wants him to succeed; there’s just not enough “there” there to say that he has.
The good news for Democrats, though, is that Obama’s loss is Hillary’s gain. The more disaffected Dems feel from Hopenchange, the more they’ll start turning to Clinton as the de facto leader of the party. And the nice thing about that, since she doesn’t hold office, is that there’s no way for her to disappoint them (yet). Every time O fails, they can assure themselves that Hillary would have made the right call. Logically, then, I’d expect excitement for her be sky high compared to O. And yet:
Only a very slight preference for Hillary overall, and among Democrats, it’s Obama who’s slightly preferred. Black voters, who prefer O to Hillary 61/20, are probably the difference-makers there, and of course they’ll vote overwhelmingly for her in 2016 over whoever the GOP nominates (sorry, Rand). The worry here for Hillaryworld isn’t that she’s going to lose the black vote, it’s that blacks may prefer Obama to her so sharply that they simply won’t turn out for her in the numbers that they did for O. That’s a Democratic nightmare waiting to happen, a potentially decisive blow if the election is close. And the worst part for lefties, given how badly Obama himself failed to turn out black voters to try to stop Tuesday’s GOP wave, is that even the endorsement of The One himself in 2016 might not boost turnout for her to the levels he saw. That’s a key subplot of the next election. This is one of many data points to come.