Relying on exit polling in the NJ and VA gubernatorial races yesterday, ABC News has concluded that yesterday’s overwhelmingly negative results for Democrats should in no way reflect on the sheer beauty and grace that is President Barack Obama (emphasis mine):
The gubernatorial elections in Virginia and New Jersey looked less like a referendum on Barack Obama than a reflection of their own candidates and issues. Still, the two Republican victories, in predominantly Democratic New Jersey and in purple Virginia, had to smart.
Just under half the voters in Virginia, 48 percent, approved of the way Obama is handling his job, rising to 57 percent in New Jersey. Most in both states, in any case, said the president was not a factor in their vote.
Perhaps most striking were economic views: A vast 89 percent in New Jersey and 85 percent in Virginia said they were worried about the direction of the nation’s economy in the next year; 56 percent and 53 percent, respectively, said they were “very” worried about it.
Wait, what’s that?
No voters had a problem with Obama, but they were still sufficiently worried about the direction of the national economy to put Republicans in charge of their states?
What ABC doesn’t acknowledge is that voters are worried about the direction of the national economy PRECISELY because of Obama and the vigorously anti-capitalist policies he’s implemented as President. Obama’s popularity is declining in national polls PRECISELY because he’s embarked on a personal odyssey to expand the reach of government, borrow beyond our ability to repay, penalize profits, and generally demonize businesses who should otherwise be busy making things and hiring people.
To me, voters in NJ and VA had such a huge problem with Obama that they installed Republicans in state leadership positions as a firewall against his destructive policies.
Sure, voters obviously had problems with Democrat challengers too, but at least in part, that’s because these challengers were understood by voters to be extensions of Obama himself (or wasn’t that the idea of Obama’s face showing up on all that Corzine and Deeds advertising?).
Referendum on Obama? Who knows. Perhaps the better question is whether Blue Dogs up for re-election in 2010 view it that way.