Tags: Barack Obama | Midterms | Democrats | Senate | Obama | Senate

National Journal: Dems Didn't Run Far or Fast Enough From Obama

National Journal: Dems Didn't Run Far or Fast Enough From Obama
(Jonathan Ernst/Reuters/Landov)

By    |   Thursday, 30 October 2014 09:10 AM

In anticipation of Democrats losing control of the Senate, White House officials are implying that candidates should have tied themselves more closely to President Barack Obama, but according to the National Journal, "this is pure delusion."

"Obama is the main reason Republicans are well-positioned to win control of the upper chamber next Tuesday. And Democrats' biggest strategic mistake in this election is that most candidates didn't run away far and fast enough," wrote Josh Kraushaar, political editor of the National Journal.

"Given the president's rock-bottom approval numbers in the many Republican-friendly Senate states that Democrats needed to win — as well as the reality of a worsening political environment for the party as early as last winter — that distance was a downright necessity. But a host of Senate candidates failed to create it, and the party is likely to pay the price in Senate seats."

The Journal named Sens. Mark Udall of Colorado and Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire as two examples of vulnerable Democrats in swing states who didn't do enough to distance themselves from Obama.

And in red states held by Democrats, the magazine said, the limited criticisms of the administration's policies on Obamacare and the Keystone XL pipeline were not sufficient to convince voters of a true distinction from Obama.

There have also been deficiencies in the way the Democratic candidates in Kentucky and Arkansas have conducted their campaigns. In the first instance, Alison Lundergan Grimes found herself in difficult territory by trying to appease both liberals and conservatives. In Sen. Mark Pryor's race, he relied too much on attacks against his opponent's conservatism and a misguided assumption about the strength of his own personal brand.

"To be sure, in a nationalized election, even those who break from an unpopular president often fall victim to his political problems. The biggest victims in the 2010 wave election were House Democrats in conservative districts, most of whom voted against the president's healthcare law. Their opposition did little to help them. But in Senate races, where candidates' personal brands play a bigger role, there's more opportunity to create space," the Journal said.

"This year's midterms are shaping up to be a referendum on President Obama's management, giving anxious voters an opportunity to express their frustration about everything from the president's handling of healthcare, growing terrorism threats, an Ebola scare, and a broken immigration system, among others."

The Journal concluded by saying "Democrats should have recognized that the president was falling out of favor with the public and inoculated themselves a long time ago. Instead, many bought the White House's spin, and are at risk of going down with a sinking ship."

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Politics
In anticipation of Democrats losing control of the Senate, White House officials are implying that candidates should have tied themselves more closely to President Barack Obama, but according to the National Journal, "this is pure delusion."
Midterms, Democrats, Senate, Obama, Senate
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2014-10-30
Thursday, 30 October 2014 09:10 AM
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