Reid Wilson reports what most Hot Air readers will see as conventional wisdom, but the news is really the source of the advice. Democratic strategists have concluded that Barack Obama is “a walking radioactive disaster,” whose free-fall threatens a large number Democratic candidates in the midterm elections. Their advice? Dump their wingman, because as it turns out, he’s less popular than the man he’s been demonizing in the districts where it counts:
The advice from Democratic consultants and strategists is almost unanimous: Run away from the president, and fast. A prominent Democratic pollster is circulating a survey that shows George W. Bush is 6 points more popular than President Obama in “Frontline” districts — seats held by Democrats that the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee sees as most vulnerable to Republican takeover. That Bush is more popular than Obama in Democratic-held seats is cause for outright fear. …
“He is a walking radioactive disaster,” one senior Democratic operative said of the president. But any effort to seriously distance oneself from Obama is dangerous for an incumbent; go too hard against the president and voters think the candidate is faking it.
That will be a problem for Democrats who rode Obama’s coattails to victory in 2008. All of them embraced Obama, and all of them benefited from his “hope and change” campaign that in retrospect looks a lot more reactionary than substantive. In order to distance themselves now, they’ll have to rely on a large-scale outbreak of collective amnesia.
Candidates will also have to carefully and slowly extricate themselves from that embrace. How to do that? Wilson reports that strategists are offering vanilla advice: talk about yourself, talk about your opponent, and talk about local politics. The more nationalized the election becomes, the more difficulty Democrats will have in separating themselves from Obama (and Nancy Pelosi as well). That will prove difficult in an election cycle where the top issues for voters are the national economy, joblessness, and the budget deficit. It will also mean eschewing the single legislative accomplishment Democrats can claim, ObamaCare, but that’s not much of a sacrifice, since ObamaCare is so unpopular that six out of ten voters want it repealed.
In other words, take the advice of the Ventures — walk, don’t run. With 75 days left for the midterm elections, it seems doubtful that Democrats have enough time to build their campaigns around attack ads and pork, but that will probably be their strategy. Unfortunately, Republicans will continue to remind voters of the importance of the midterms on the national level, and in this cycle, that’s almost certainly going to trump pork.
Here are The Ventures with the strategists’ theme song for the midterms: