Is it the "liberal crackup"? No peaches and cream for the GOP, but the fact is, Obama has been all about Obama, and downticket doesnt look so good...Hillary is old and used up.
One of the Democrats’ most veteran strategists warns that the party is “in decline” and “at considerable risk” when President Barack Obama is no longer on the scene.
“Since Obama was elected President, the Democrats have lost nine governorships, 56 members of the House and two Senate seats,” Doug Sosnik, the political director in Bill Clinton’s White House, writes in a new memo.
While Republican branding problems get the lion’s share of attention, the Democratic Party’s favorability rating has declined by 15 points since Obama took power. A Pew Research Center survey this January showed that the Democratic Party was viewed favorably by 47 percent of Americans, down from 62 percent in Jan. 2009.
With the likelihood of gridlock and near-record-low confidence in public institutions, Sosnik expects 2014 to bring the fourth change election in the past eight years.
“Obama not only got elected by running against the party establishment, but he has governed as a President who does not emphasize his party label,” writes Sosnik. “It’s hard to be a change agent if you are lugging around a party label in an era where voters are so strongly disaffected from our institutions.”
These memos are read closely by an influential community of insiders in the political and business worlds. In this one, Sosnik outlines several challenges facing his own party:
• Obama’s personal popularity does not easily translate for other candidates. The president is not building the Democratic Party’s institutional apparatus in a way that it will thrive when he’s gone.
• The losses in the 2010 midterms gave Republicans control of the redistricting process, which will be in effect until after the 2020 census. This gives the GOP a structural advantage in keeping the House.
• Millennials, born 1981 to 1994, and Generation X’ers, born 1965 to 1980, are voting Democratic, but a plurality identify themselves as independents — which makes them less reliable.
If Hillary Clinton does not run, Sosnik fears that Democrats will be left with a thin bench of top-flight presidential contenders in 2016.
Looking to 2014, Democratic base groups also tend to turn out at lower rates for midterms than presidential elections.
In terms of actual policy making, Sosnik believes that it will be “almost impossible” for Obama to effectively engage Congress.
“Obama’s victory last November was a great political achievement, but the fact that he didn’t set out a clear policy agenda for a second term left him without a clear mandate to govern over a politically divided Congress,” he writes.