Michael Barone: Obama's Coalition Falling Apart

Tuesday, 01 Apr 2014 10:55 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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President Barack Obama is facing a crisis going into the November midterm elections as his strong support from wealthy liberals, millennials, and Hispanics has evaporated.

"It's still true that Republicans are having a hard time assembling a majority coalition, but the Democrats' majority coalition seems to be breaking down," Michael Barone wrote in Real Clear Politics.

While declaring that Democrats need the "top-and-bottom coalition" to win elections, Barone added, "Now in the sixth year of the Obama presidency, with his job approval stuck below 50 percent, there are signs of strain."

Obama has angered many Hispanics by opting not to push ahead this year with an immigration bill that would provide a pathway to citizenship for millions of immigrants who entered the United States illegally.

Although it was considered a "top priority" for the Hispanic caucus, the administration feared that some Democrats would not support the immigration measure and that Republicans were needed to get the bill passed, Barone wrote.

The net result has been that Obama has plunged in popularity polls among Hispanics since his 2012 victory, including one Gallup survey that saw his job approval rating among Hispanics drop 23 percent while the Pew Research Center showed his approval rating had fallen to 47 percent, Barone wrote.

The president's problems with the Hispanic community have been compounded by Obamacare's Spanish website, CuidadoDeSalud.gov, launching two months late, frustrating thousands of uninsured immigrants and citizens who wanted to receive healthcare insurance.

Obama has also done little to give the millennials a reason to vote for Democrats in November or in 2016, according to Barone.

Instead of providing jobs for young adults, Princeton political scientist Julian Zelizer said that the 2009 stimulus package gave money to protect the jobs of public employee union members, according to Barone.

"The public employee unions, after all, give lots of money to Democrats. The millennials, the chumps, just give them votes — or did," wrote Barone, who is also a senior political analyst at The Washington Examiner.

He also claimed that young healthy people are getting the short end of the stick under Obamacare while being forced to sign up for health insurance to help pay for the sick and elderly. "Evidently, Obamacare's architects were focused on whom they could pay off rather than whom they were gouging."

His column also said "green gentry liberals" may have been upset that a cap-and-trade bill aimed at reducing carbon emissions that passed the House in 2009 was never put forward in the Senate due to fears it could hurt too many "Blue Dog Democrats."

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