I received a campaign letter from Michelle Obama the other day. This is especially surprising because I am a registered Republican; hardly a likely prospect to contribute to her husband’s reelection efforts.
“Every day I learn about the challenges and the struggles—the doctor bills they can’t pay or the mortgage they can no longer afford,” said the text. The “fairness” theme, a socialist meme, was expressed. “American prospers when we are all in this together, when hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded, when everyone—from Main Street to Wall Street—does their fair share and plays by the same rules.”
The fact is, however, America has not been prospering for the last four years during which Barack Obama has been President. And everyone knows it. The U.S. sovereign debt rating was downgraded for the first time while he occupied the Oval Office. Federal spending (25% of GDP) is the highest since World War Two. Federal debt (67% of GDP) is the highest since just after the end of World War Two, and the nation has experienced, not only the longest recession, but the highest unemployment since the 1930s.
In the first nineteen months of his time in office, Obama added more federal debt than was amassed by all U.S. Presidents from George Washington to Ronald Reagan.
I have two theories about the November 6 election. (1) That it will be an overwhelming defeat for Obama or (2) that it will be so close we could see a situation comparable to the Bush-Kerry election in 2004. Had Kerry won, the vice president would have been John Edwards who was carrying on an affair during that campaign and who currently faces jail for misuse of campaign funds.
Obama’s Achilles’ heel is, of course, Obamacare. As Robert Bluey of The Heritage Foundation notes, recent polls indicate that 53% of Americans favor repeal and more than half (57%) say that the Supreme Court should strike it down as unconstitutional. Fully 60% of physicians believe the law will have a negative impact on overall patient care.
The Congressional Budget Office revisited Obamacare this past week and concluded that 20 million Americans could lose their employer-sponsored health benefits and 49 million more Americans could become dependent on government-sponsored health care. Projecting through 2022, Obamacare could cost as much as $2.134 billion and the employer-mandate penalties could hit $221 billion.
There’s another reason why Michelle Obama was writing to me last week. As Karl Rove noted in a Wall Street Journal March 14 commentary, “Many of Mr. Obama’s 2008 donors are reluctant to give again” to his campaign. “As the Obama campaign itself reported, fewer than 7% of 2008 donors renewed their support in the first quarter of his re-election campaign, well below the typical renewal rate.
The Obama campaign and the Democratic National Committee are burning through current donations so fast that the White House has told this year’s congressional candidates that they will not receive any funding support for their campaigns because Obama needs all the money.
While Obama’s 2012 campaign is already showing signs of stress, other issues will impose great pressure. Unemployment affects most American families either directly or because some member of the family or a friend is unemployed. Even the unemployed vote!
The price of gasoline continues to rise and there is nothing the White House can do to reduce it. Releasing oil from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve that exists for use only in an emergency will not do it and Americans are well aware that this administration has opposed or thwarted every effort to drill for more oil on federal lands. The failures of “green energy” companies that have cost Americans billions in loan guarantees are well known. A President who hypes “algae” as an energy solution will be seen as a fool and/or a complete charlatan.
Recent polls indicate how close the 2012 election may be. Obama has lost ground among female voters. In a head-to-head match-up with Mitt Romney, women voters back Obama 49%, but that is seven points lower than 2008. A Rasmussen poll found that 59% of likely voters asked whether Obama is more liberal or more conservative than they are answered that he was more liberal. Of these likely voters, 65% who are also union members thought Obama was more liberal than themselves.
Polling firms have been asking Americans to self identify themselves as conservative or liberal for decades. In February 2012, Gallup polling revealed “that in every single state with the exception of Massachusetts” conservatives outnumbered liberals. The Battleground Poll conducted by George Washington University in collaboration with Democrat and Republican polling organizations found that 58% of Americans described themselves as “very conservative” or “somewhat conservative”, while only 37% described themselves as “very liberal” or “somewhat liberal.”
A conservative campaign message will win in 2012 and this explains why the Republican primaries are all about candidates striving to describe themselves as a “true conservative.”
Even the mainstream media show indications of less Obama support. When even The Washington Post rejects Obama’s lies about U.S. oil reserves, as it did on March 15th, it suggests there may be a growing, wider level of disenchantment with the man they embraced in 2008.
Obama will lose in November. It may be a very close election or it may be an overwhelming rejection, but the polling numbers and the state of the economy will be the deciding factors.
Memo to Michelle Obama: The “fairness” message is not working. The appalling failures—“stimulus” anyone?—of Obama’s first term will ensure that there will be no second term.
© Alan Caruba, 2012