The Politico has a three-page piece out explaining how Obama is a "drag on Senate Democrats." Republicans believe that Obama, himself, is key to winning the Senate majority. (Page 2)
Yet Senate Republicans believe that Obama remains the key to winning the majority. They mention Obama early and often in fundaising pitches and TV ads, and when a Democratic incumbent or challenger skips an Obama visit to their state — as both Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill and former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine did recently — Republicans make sure to portray the president as toxic for Democrats.
Texas Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said that if Obama’s approval numbers stay low, in-cycle Senate Democrats will keep their distance from Obama and his policies.
With the latest polling by Gallup showing Obama job performance approval at a new low for his 11th quarter and that those low numbers are "weak from a historical perspective," Republicans might just be on the track in their perceptions.
President Obama's most recent quarter in office was his worst to date, and these lower levels of public support could put his re-election chances in peril unless things start to improve in the next few months. Currently, voters say they are more likely to vote for "the Republican candidate" than for Obama for president in 2012, though Obama has generally looked stronger when matched against actual Republican candidates like Mitt Romney or Rick Perry.
Americans' satisfaction with the direction of the country remains at historically low levels, and Americans clearly identify the economy and unemployment as the most important problems facing the United States. Thus, a second Obama term likely hinges on whether there are signs of economic progress in the coming months.
Via the same Politico article linked above, Democrats are betting the farm on Obama's reelection chances getting better once a Republican nominee has been chosen.
“Things will get better for Obama when there is a [GOP] nominee,” said another Democratic insider. “He will be able to show a stark contrast on a bunch of issues, like Social Security, Medicare, infrastructure [spending], jobs [and] taxes. It won’t just be a referendum on Obama, and that will help a lot of Democrats.”
I disagree with this point and find absolutely no predictive value in head to head match up polls yet and I do not believe there will be any predictive value until one Republican candidate is nominated and the party supporters, conservative Independents and/or Independents that have turned against Obama, have one specific GOP candidate to unite behind.
Sure, there will be supporters of other candidates that will refuse to unite behind a candidate they originally were not supportive of but the majority of conservatives will coalesce in support of the eventual nominee in order to remove Barack Obama from the White House in the 2012 presidential election.
I said the other day and I will repeat it here, any GOP nominee will have Obama's own record, now that he has one, to beat him over the head with.
Obama will have to defend his own statement that after 3 years he will own the economy and if it is not better he would be a one term president. (Youtube video of Obama saying it)
Obama will have to defend passing the trillion dollar Obamacare with no Republican support and against the majority of Americans who were opposed to the bill as a whole.
Obama will have to defend the 20 tax increases associated with Obamacare, many of which do not go into effect until after the 2012 election.
Obama will have to defend a $787 plus billion stimulus package that resulted in unemployment being 9 percent or higher during most of his term if not all of it. (The US Unemployment Rate - 1948 to 2010)
Obama will have to defend committing troops to Libya and now Uganda without congressional authority.
Obama will have to defend his massive bailouts. Obama will have to defend his historically high 2011 deficit.
Obama will have to defend the Fast and Furious scandal and the Solyndra scandal.
That is just a portion of Obama's own record and any GOP nominee will be able to exploit each of those weaknesses.
Each of these points can also be used against Senate Democrats when linking them relentlessly to Obama in the 2012 Senate elections.
There are 23 Democratic Senate seats in play and only 10 Republican seats.
Democrats now hold the majority in the Senate with 51 seats, Republicans hold 47 and there are two Independents who generally caucus with Democrats.
The chances of Republicans taking control of the Senate are very good given the high disapproval of Barack Obama and the enthusiasm gap between Republican supporters and Democratic supporters, favoring Republicans with two-thirds of all registered Republicans saying they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting next year, compared to less than half of all Democrats. Added to that Rasmussen finds, in their generic congressional ballot that "The GOP holds a three-point advantage over Democrats for the week ending Sunday, October 16. "
The farther Barack Obama falls in the polls, the heavier of a drag he becomes on vulnerable Senate Democrats, which is perhaps the reason they are attempting to distance themselves from him.