President Obama says the midterm election will, in effect, be a referendum on his policies. Somebody needs to tell him that's the last thing the Democratic Party wants.
You could hear Democrats' teeth gnashing from Key West to Juneau after President Obama weighed in on the upcoming 2014 midterm elections while speaking at Northwestern University about the economy.
"I am not on the ballot this fall," said Obama, talking up his economic accomplishments. "Michelle's pretty happy about that. But make no mistake: These policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them."
He's dead right. Which is why every Democrat who's running for office this time around is trying to put distance between his or her candidacy and the incumbent second-term president's extraordinary list of failures.
Even former Obama senior adviser David Axelrod was nonplussed by Obama's statement. "It was a mistake," he admitted to NBC's "Meet the Press."
We try not to be in the political prognostication game. But it's hard to be optimistic about Democrats' chances this year, especially in the Senate, where they hoped to keep control, with the albatross of Obama's policies hung around their necks.
Because of Obama, Democrats appear to be suffering an epic electoral meltdown. As IBD's John Merline reports on today's front page, our most recent IBD/TIPP Poll finds that 53% of Americans now call Obama's presidency a failure — including half of those who live in states that voted for Obama in the last election. Just 41% say Obama's presidency has been a success.
Citing a recent Gallup Poll, the Washington Post's Dan Balz notes, "Among Republicans, 58% said they would be sending a message of opposition to the president, while just 38% of Democrats said they would use the election to send a message of support for Obama."
In short, the Obama-induced enthusiasm gap spells big political trouble for Democrats. A Boston Globe headline sums it up: "Democrats running for office ditch Obama ties." Yes, as fast as they can. Kentucky Democratic Senate candidate Alison Grimes even ran a commercial declaring, "I am not Barack Obama."
In particular, desperate Democratic Senate candidates — including six incumbents in red states that must face a howling, anti-Obama electorate this fall — are pretending they never supported The One.
But as Democrats sowed, so shall they reap. As Obama says, "every single one" of his policies is on the ballot.
Whether it's wildly unpopular ObamaCare; a useless $1 trillion stimulus; continued high unemployment; a bungled response to Ebola; the IRS, Benghazi and Fast and Furious scandals; the Mideast debacle; being outmaneuvered by Russia and China, or any number of other failures, Democrats now must explain why they helped Obama put his failed agenda in place.