On Tuesday night, Republican Scott Brown defeated Democrat Martha Coakley for the Senate seat in Massachusetts. The first time a Republican won a Senate seat in that state since 1978. In the past couple of months Republicans have also won the Governor races in Virginia and New Jersey. All of these are impressive wins in states where the majority voted Obama in the president election.
President Obama also campaigned in all of these races for the Democratic candidate. These elections are important to note because not even Obama himself could rally the troops to come out with Democratic victories. This may be an example of unpopular Democratic and Obama policies. If a Republican can win a Senate seat in Massachusetts, every other Democrat should be shaking in their boots about the upcoming elections in November.
According to a Rasmussen poll of likely voters, Obama’s approval rating at the beginning for his presidency was at a high of 65 percent. Now, the rating has fallen to a dismal 48 percent. Independents have fled Obama faster than President Hitt from a budget cut announcement. Obama’s low approval percentage can be contributed to the poor economy and high rate of employment, but I believe other factors are in play as well.
Several issues have pushed independents away. The health care bill has been an atrocious mess of over 1,000 pages with little transparency and is completely incomprehensible to the average American. The United States debt has continued to rise from bailouts galore. Terrorists are being tried on U.S. soil instead of in Military Tribunals. He has also angry some in his own party with decisions like sending more troops overseas and not closing Gitmo.
I believe Obama supporters are wising up and beginning to understand the hope they were promised was mere rhetoric. In essence, the “change” he spoke about was ambiguous and different for everyone. It could have meant changing the environment, healthcare, or the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Now people are realizing that this “change” has not come and Obama is not the popular figure he once was.
If President Obama wants to bring his approval rating up, he should move his policies more towards the center. This will bring back the Independents and very possibly a few of the liberal Republicans. If he doesn’t, he may see his opportunity for a legacy fade away.