November's elections are not a referendum on Obama, I argue in this new column for the Financial Times, they are a referendum on the Obama-Pelosi-Reid alliance.

The distinction is important. All things considered, Mr Obama is not polling all that badly. Despite the economy, he is better liked than Bill Clinton or Ronald Reagan at the same point in their presidencies.

But look at polls that ask voters which party they will vote for. The Democrats' performance on this measure is awful: a recent Gallup poll gave Republicans their biggest advantage since the firm started asking the question in 1942.

That particular poll may be an outlier, but the basic point stands. Given the economy, Mr Obama's unpopularity is within bounds. The greater unpopularity of the Obama-Pelosi-Reid alliance is what threatens disaster for the Democrats in November.