We’ve gone on at some length about the importance of “electability” to Republican primary voters as they scour the field for a winning presidential candidate. We haven’t discussed President Obama’s re-electability.
Let’s be blunt. If it was a stock, it would be a short.
Today marked a new low, with the release of the Quinnipiac Poll of New York State voters. New York is, by Gallup’s measure, the fourth most Democratic state in the country. It gave then-Sen. Obama 63% of its presidential votes in 2008. As recently as two months ago, it gave President Obama a 57% approval rating (38% disapproved).
And then the bottom fell out. Roughly half (49%) of New York State voters now disapprove of President Obama’s performance, 45% approve. Worse, from the Obama campaign’s perspective, the president is now tied with a generic Republican candidate in a hypothetical general election match-up. In New York! Imagine how things stand in, say, Missouri, or North Carolina, or Pennsylvania.
This week, the Obama campaign went public with what everyone knew privately: that they plan to run a relentlessly negative campaign to win re-election. It may well be their only option.