November 12, 2010

REVERSING THE REFERENDUM:

Map narrows for Obama reelection (JONATHAN MARTIN | 11/11/10, Politico)

Last week’s midterm elections saw the trio of conservative-leaning states Obama captured in 2008 — Virginia, North Carolina and Indiana — return to their Republican tendencies while more traditional swing states also broke sharply toward the GOP.

Perhaps most worrisome for Democrats, Rust Belt and Midwest states that had been trending toward the party even before Obama’s election saw Republicans pile up victories. In places such as Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin, where the president won with double-digit margins two years ago, the GOP captured offices up and down the ballot and demonstrated that they remain politically competitive in those states. [...]

Democratic consultant Paul Begala noted that of the eight states that went from red to blue between 2004 and 2008 on the presidential level, Democrats won either the governor’s race or a Senate race in just two of them — Nevada and Colorado — during the past two years. Combined, those two are likely to deliver just 15 electoral votes in 2012.

“If Obama holds the Kerry states and carries only the states in which Democrats prevailed in 2010, he loses,” Begala said.

What many in the party believe — and more now are willing to voice publicly — is that 2008 may have been a referendum on President George W. Bush and that Obama’s victory was owed in large part to exhaustion with the outgoing administration.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at November 12, 2010 6:12 AM
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