Bad News, Worse Redux

Another article that I have had saved to write on is this one by Kimberly Strassel of the Wall Street Journal.

Julian Castro is no Barack Obama. And for that, Democrats have themselves to blame.

The focus of this week's Democratic convention was President Obama. Lost in the adulation was the diminished state to which he has brought his broader party. Today's Democrats are a shadow of 2008—struggling for re-election, isolated to a handful of states, lacking reform ideas, bereft of a future political bench. It has been a stunning slide....

...Democrats in 2006 also claimed the Senate, with savvy victories in states like Montana and Virginia. The party thumped Republicans in gubernatorial races, winning in the South (Arkansas), the Mountain West (Colorado), and in Ohio (for the first time since 1991). A vibrant candidate Obama further boosted Democratic ranks in 2008.

By 2009, President Obama presided over what could fairly be called a big-tent coalition. The Blue Dog caucus had swelled to 51 members, representing plenty of conservative America. Democrats held the majority of governorships. Mr. Obama had won historic victories in Virginia and North Carolina. The prediction of liberal demographers John Judis and Ruy Teixeira's 2004 book, "The Emerging Democratic Majority"—lasting progressive dominance via a coalition of minorities, women, suburbanites and professionals—attracted greater attention among political analysts.

It took Mr. Obama two years to destroy this potential, with an agenda that forced his party to field vote after debilitating vote—stimulus, ObamaCare, spending, climate change. The public backlash, combined with the president's mismanagement of the economy, has reversed Democrats' electoral gains and left a party smaller than at any time since the mid-1990s.

Of the 21 Blue Dogs elected since 2006, five remain in office. The caucus is on the verge of extinction, as members have retired, been defeated in primaries waged by liberal activists, or face impossible re-elections. The GOP is set to take Senate seats in North Dakota and Nebraska, and maybe to overturn Democratic toeholds in states from Montana to Virginia. There is today a GOP senator in Massachusetts. Republicans claim 29 governorships and may gain two to four more this year.

It's even worse than that, as today's Susquehanna Poll indicates.

Two percentage points separate President Obama and Republican nominee Mitt Romney in a state poll conducted for the Tribune-Review, even though the campaigns largely are ignoring Pennsylvania and concentrating on other battlegrounds.

Obama polled 47 percent to Romney's 45 percent among likely Pennsylvania voters, with 6 percent of voters undecided and 44 days until Election Day, according to the survey by Susquehanna Polling & Research. The survey of 800 voters, conducted Sept. 18-20, has a margin of error of 3.46 percentage points.

Obama's EPA policies are on the verge of doing something that Mitt Romney's campaign so far has not been able to do on it's own - put Blue Pennsylvania in play along with coal rich purple Ohio and Virginia!

The announcement that 1,200 coal-mining jobs have been eliminated across central Appalachia has sparked renewed cries that Obama administration policies are crippling domestic-energy production and jobs -- and is already factoring into the 2012 presidential race.

Alpha Natural Resources announced Tuesday its plan to cut the positions and scale back coal production by 16 million tons annually -- which would result in eight mine closings in Virginia, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Four-hundred workers will be laid off immediately, though the company reportedly may try to re-hire some of the 1,200.

Coal is HUGE in West Virginia, western Pennsylvania (where the Logical Husband's family is from), Virginia and eastern Ohio.  These areas are also very conservative Democrat enclaves.  The President has worked very hard (as Ms Strassel noted above) to alienate these conservative Democrats.  While they have long sided with Democrats on many social issues, when their (and their families) jobs are on the line, they are pragmatic and if they see that the Democrats are lining up against King Coal (as they are currently) they have no problems voting for those who will protect their jobs. 

The Democrats "big tent" of 2006 has shrunk under the Obama Administration.  It is incumbent on Team Romney to do all that they can to woo these disenfranchised Democrats.  If they do, they will reap a very big Electoral College reward.   The magic number is 38.  Let's see if Team Romney can capitalize on it.


Written by LL.