As the midterm elections rapidly approach, the sluggish economy is emerging as a major obstacle to incumbents. Election expert and Cornell University Professor of Government Elizabeth Sanders says that the economy could spell doom for Democratic incumbents, but the economy alone is not to blame for incumbent woes.
“Midterm elections are almost always bad news for incumbent parties, especially the second midterm. Obama's approval rating is low: 41.5 for October, according to Gallup, though up just a tad from early September when Isis was on its beheading rampage, the Iraqi leadership was dysfunctional, and the U.S. was doing nothing to stop ISIS. Bush's wasn't much lower at a similar time. So this is rather ominous for the Democrats, on top of the normal midterm loss expectation.
“A president, I think, simply can't manage multiple wars and pay attention to the economy and the complex domestic institutions he's responsible for. So it's no wonder that in year six, all the chickens have come home to roost and the president's party seems doomed to pay the price of the endless, costly, cycle of wars that demand precious attention stolen from domestic policy implementation.
“One must also add that the extraordinary amount of fundraising presidents now believe necessary, in the wake of the deterioration of the campaign finance regulatory system and Citizens United, is also extremely time-consuming. Obama has made more presidential fundraising trips than any previous president. He could barely stay home to deal with ISIS and Ebola.
“In short, today's presidency is both a self-made, and inherited web of unsolved problems. The public is so disillusioned they may gamble on electing more Republicans, even though one is hard-pressed to think of reasons why GOP control of Congress would be an improvement.”
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