The politics of hopelessness
E.J. Dionne, The Washington Post
Sunday, March 16, 7:52 PM
Obama and his party are in danger of allowing the Republicans to set the terms of the 2014 elections, just as they did four years ago. The fog of nasty and depressing advertising threatens to reduce the electorate to a hard core of older, conservative voters eager to hand the president a blistering defeat.
The most telling fact about the Democrats’ defeat in Florida’s special House election last week was the party’s failure to get its voters to the polls. This owed to many factors, but one of them is disaffection in Democratic ranks.
The recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll pegged Obama’s approval rating at 41?percent, his disapproval at 54 percent. But the most disturbing finding to him ought to have been the 20 percent disapproval he registered among Democrats. Winning back three-quarters of those discontented Democrats would, all by itself, bump up his overall approval rating by more than six points. It’s where he needs to start.
With more than two and a half years left in his term, Obama has already begun to convey a sense of resignation that his largest achievements (except, perhaps, for immigration reform) are behind him.
Thanks for nothing.