I saw this tweet fromJim Pethokoukis and thought it was relevant to campaign planners in 2010.
Gallup has Obama at 47 percent. Tough week
Democrats around the country running for the US House and state legislature seats ought to think long and hard about the implications of Obama job approval settling below 50%. Because the present profile of President Obama's support is far from uniform; it is strongly centered among African Americans and urban liberals.
Let's look at how Martha Coakley's support was distributed across Massachusetts.
Her 47% statewide showing was somewhat deceptive as it was propped up by receiving 78% of the vote in just one Congressional District--the 8th District centered in downtown Boston and Cambridge. Her next best performance was 53.76% in the 7th District, where she resides. It appears she narrowly won the 1st District in far western MA. That's it. (I think Brown scratched out a win in Barney Frank's 4th District due to his close finish in Fall River)
She lost 5 of the 10 House districts in MA by 14 points or worse. This would clearly have been a drag on downballot candidates had it occurred in a general election.
Applying an Obama 47% job approval the same way and one can see that nationally he's likely to be a significant drag in a large number of downballot races around the country.
The argument that liberals and urban dwellers fail to turn out in sufficient numbers--raised by the Coakley camp--is little solace. Perhaps another 50,000 voters in the 8th District would have put Coakley within hailing distance. But the vast swatches of suburban real estate in MA would have still been dark Brown.
In a statewide race an insane plurality in one county or congressional district can be decisive. In a local election, the fact the party is crushing the opposition somewhere else does you no good.
I don't know if causing the rubble to bounce will work for the Democrats. I am , however, pretty confident that a campaign effort focused on base mobilization means they are already writing off plenty of House seats in "red" districts.