The surest sign that Obama’s presidency is going to turn out to like Bill Clinton’s is that he is already becoming a drag on the Democratic ticket, a state of affairs Clinton took a full six years to realize.
Obama followed around Democratic candidates Jon Corzine of New Jersey and Creigh Deeds of Virginia like a puppy for months during their gubernatorial campaigns. The President made two visits to Virginia to stump for Deeds and three to New Jersey to rally for Corzine, including stops in Newark and Camden two days before the election. On Sunday, Obama exhorted New Jersey crowds, “I want everybody in this auditorium to make a pledge that in these next 48 hours, you will work just as hard for Jon as you worked for me.”
In yesterday’s off-year elections, both candidates were soundly defeated.
In New Jersey, Obama beat McCain by a 16% margin in 2008; this year, the Republican beat the Democrat by 5%, for a 21-point reversal. This, despite the presence of a third-party candidate who took votes away from the Republican and a five-to-one Corzine-to-Christie spending ratio.
In Virginia, Obama beat McCain by 6% in 2008; this year, the Republican beat the Democrat by 18%, for a 24-point reversal. In both Virginia and New Jersey, independents—who voted heavily for Obama and other Democratic candidates in 2008—voted for the Republican candidate in 2009 by a 2-to-1 margin.
Meanwhile, Obama never showed his face in upstate New York’s 23rd congressional district, where Democratic candidate Bill Owens squeaked past Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman with a victory in Tuesday’s special election. Obama didn’t directly endorse liberal Republican Dede Scozzafava, but she received heavily publicized support from ACORN, Obama’s pet community organization, which helped solidify her lack of popularity and set in motion events that led to her withdrawal the weekend before the election. read more »