Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Swing State Blues Making Obama See red!

American voters in pivotal Battleground States redrew the electoral road map President Obama followed to victory in 2008, by electing Republicans in six Governorships in key swing states across the country yesterday. Wisconsin, Ohio, Iowa, Michigan, New Mexico and Pennsylvania are making Obama sing the blues, as all their Governor’s Mansions turned red, and marking dangerous ground the President must traverse in 2012. Losing control of these key states combined with negative voter opinion, point to a rocky road Obama needs to travel, if he wants to renew his lease at
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue

Results for Minnesota and Connecticut are still incomplete, and could provide the GOP with two more victories, once the final votes are counted and confirmed. Earlier today, the tight Florida Governor’s race ended, when Alex Sink conceded the race to Republican challenger, Rick Scott. Nevada, which Obama won in 2008, retained the Governorship for the Republicans, by electing Ryan Sandoval.

As outlined in an earlier article, Obama is seeing his path to an Electoral College victory become increasingly difficult. States which turned red yesterday account for 80 Electoral votes. Additional red states Obama won in 2008 but will likely flip back to the GOP are Florida, Indiana, North Carolina and Virginia, worth 66 EVs.

Exit polling data from yesterday indicate Obama has a serious problem with key voting groups he cobbled together in 2008 to win the White House. A week after he took office, Obama’s overall approval rating was 66% - a reflection of the good will from his historic victory as the nations first African-American President. Now however, his approval is 45% overall, with only 40% of Independent voters expressing approving, down from 62% in January 2009. The data also suggests voters are not merely just concerned with the economy, but generally disapprove of Obama’s policies.

The President does have the time and the ability to improve his fortunes, however. He still retains fairly high personal approval ratings. Should he move towards the center, working with the newly elected Republican House Majority in solving the nations problems, he could see his situation improve.

At this afternoon's press conference, he sounded reflective and signaled he was willing to work with the GOP. However, the issues he mostly focused on for compromise were centered around Energy policy. He gave no indication of going along with a major revision to his Health Care bill, suggesting he would merely consider modifications from the GOP. Obama also seemed willing to discuss ideas on how to get America's unemployed working, but offered no specifics, again indicating he was open to ideas.

Overall, he seemed pensive and bit contrite, but would not acknowledge Americans disagreed with him on policy, only that they were misinterpreting his intentions. There was no real indication of any movement towards the center. It may be too early to see a shift, but in light of yesterday's results, should he remain to the left of the American voter, his road to re-election will continue a difficult one.

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