Former President Bill Clinton’s popularity and power as a campaign endorser is surging — while President Obama is becoming increasingly unwelcome on the stump, a top campaign strategist who advised President George W. Bush says.
And Clinton's political heft may become an important factor in the Colorado primary for the Senate seat currently held by Michael Bennet, who has Obama’s support — while Clinton on Tuesday endorsed his opponent, state House Speaker Andrew Romanoff.
“It has to be a source of some frustration and teeth-gnashing for Obama’s inner circle that Bill Clinton has become a more popular campaign surrogate and endorser than their boss,” former George W. Bush adviser Mark McKinnon writes for The Daily Beast.
Clinton’s backing helped Rep. Mark Critz win in Pennsylvania and Sen. Blanche Lincoln triumph in Arkansas.
But Obama’s backing couldn’t help Sen. Arlen Specter in Pennsylvania, Gov. Jon Corzine in New Jersey, or Senate candidate Martha Coakley in Massachusetts.
Clinton’s favorable rating is now at 51 percent, higher than Obama’s. In fact, a survey recently released by Public Policy Polling showed that 48 percent of likely voters say support from Obama would make them less likely to vote for a candidate, notes McKinnon, vice chairman of Public Strategies.
Obama’s support among independents has plunged from 63 percent early in his presidency to around 47 percent today, according to The New York Times. And Rasmussen Reports found that 57 percent of voters feel Hillary Clinton is qualified to be president, compared to just 51 percent for Obama.
Ominously for Democrats, Obama’s approval rating stands at just 40 percent in the 60 most vulnerable Democratic House districts.
“So it won’t be a big surprise if Democrats, particularly in swing districts, prefer for Obama to stay in D.C. come fall,” McKinnon observes.
“But Bill Clinton will likely be in huge demand, as will Sarah Palin, his Republican counterpart, who has become a heavyweight endorser as well.”
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