The Obama slide continues

Karl Rove:


Mr. Obama's slide over the past year has been led by independents (whose support is down 17 points since last January), seniors (down 19 points), those making $60,000 to $90,000 a year (down 19 points), Republicans (down 23 points) and conservatives (down 24 points).

On the generic ballot, a measure of party strength, Republicans lead Democrats by five points in National Public Radio's latest poll and by eight points in Rasmussen's latest survey.

These numbers are worse than Democrats faced at this point in 1994. If Democrats fare better this year than they did 16 years ago, it will likely only be because they have fewer open seats to defend and because they are taking their challengers more seriously than they did in 1994.

One of Mr. Obama's first reactions to last week's Massachusetts debacle was to install his 2008 campaign manager as an über-election czar for Democrats. But the White House tried to boost Democrats running for governor in New Jersey and Virginia last year. They lost anyway.

It probably didn't help Democratic morale when the White House complained it was blindsided by Mr. Brown's victory. Politico reports the White House had the Democratic Party spend $2.2 million on surveys and focus groups in just a 10-month span last year. That money was supposed to let Team Obama see these things coming.

Mr. Obama's problems are not political management, but policy. They won't be solved by faux fiscal restraint, mini-ball proposals for the middle class, and angry pretensions to populism.


Mr. Obama is now calling for a spending freeze to save $15 billion for fiscal year 2011. That's nice, but it freezes in place a 24% increase in discretionary, nonsecurity domestic spending. The president would also exempt from a freeze the $512 billion that has yet to be spent from last year's stimulus package. To present such a proposal as a serious attempt at restraining spending is to reveal a low opinion of the intelligence of ordinary Americans.


The 24% increase is a number you do not see much in most of the media, but it is the key to why so many in the Tea Party Movement oppose Obama and his policies. The opposition is on substance and not style. The pass the health care bill the Democrats put forward would have further increased the spending and the taxes and the government control of our lives. It may not be personal with everyone, but the opposition is real and the politics.


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