Time Is Running Out for Congressional Democrats

Things have looked bad for congressional Democrats for a while, and Hotline editor Amy Walter writes that, while President Obama has ample time to recover from his first-term political bruises by 2012, time is running out for Democrats seeking reelection to Congress:

A series of focus groups in five states conducted last month for the conservative nonprofit group Resurgent Republic found that while independent voters have soured on Obama, they haven't abandoned him completely. The same can't be said of their feelings for congressional Democrats.

In analyzing one such group in Orlando, GOP pollster Jan van Lohuizen concluded that it was two issues, health care and BP's oil spill, that ultimately soured these independent voters on Obama. On health care, van Lohuizen blames the process of the debate more than the substance for turning off independents. As for BP, voters are disappointed that they "don't see strong leadership" from the president.

While Obama could still win these voters back in 2012, van Lohuizen says, they are "pretty well lost" to Democrats this fall.


Finally, we always knew that it was going to be tough for Obama to convey his Internet fundraising prowess to his Democratic colleagues. After all, first-time political donors who got swept up in Obama-mania are not going to be the slightest bit interested in supporting a random Democratic incumbent they've probably never heard of in the first place. But a poor economy combined with a frustrated donor base and the likelihood of an energized GOP 527 effort spells real danger for House Democrats. Their one saving grace is that the National Republican Congressional Committee has been unable to capitalize on its good fortune. If the NRCC doesn't start raising some more money, and soon, it could leave a whole lot of seats on the table this fall. And we suspect that 527 groups like American Crossroads are going to be focusing their fire almost exclusively on Senate races, especially if they are having trouble hitting their fundraising goals.

Read Walter's full column at National Journal.