How Obama Can Win | The New Republic
Americans turned against the GOP en masse at the end of the Bush administration and never turned back. Republicans won the midterm elections in part by simply escaping public wrath against Democratic-controlled Washington, and in part by exploiting a much smaller, older, whiter electorate than you’d see in a presidential year. But very high-profile, very crazy Republican rule in the House of Representatives has rekindled and actually deepened the public’s distrust.
Today’s CNN poll is quite striking. In October of 2010, both parties were viewed about as favorably by the public (Democrats stood at 46% favorable/47% unfavorable, Republicans 44/42.) The Democratic party today is about the same — 47% view it favorably, 47% unfavorably. But the Republican Party’s favorability has collapsed — 33% of Americans view it favorably, 59% unfavorably. That -26% favorability gap is lower than the party’s rating before the 2006 election (-14%) or the 2008 election (-16%.) The GOP is completely toxic.
Now, one should caution that the Republican nominee will probably be able to distance himself a bit from the Congressional party. But Obama’s strategy has to revolve around reducing his opponent’s distance from the party. Today’s story by Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin, suggesting that Obama’s campaign plans to personally discredit Mitt Romney, suggests a campaign decision that’s not just morally questionable but politically questionable as well.
The Obama campaign seems to have cast about for the last election in which a president with mediocre approval ratings, stopped at 2004, and decided it should therefore do the same thing Bush did. It certainly helps that they may — may; I still think Romney is highly vulnerable — face a Republican nominee with a record of extreme flip-flopping. But the far more straightforward message for Obama seems to me to be painting his opponent as, well, a Republican. That’s an easy case to make!
Why is Chaitred, surprised, that is the Obama, M.O, at least in 1995,
and in 2004, it’s also the way the Dems held Ted’s seat in 1994.