November 5th, 2009
By Toby Harnden, UK Telegraph
Obama can choose to ignore the voters at his own peril
The most ominous aspect of Tuesday’s election results for Mr Obama was that huge numbers of the young people and minorities who voted for him a year ago stayed at home while independent voters swung heavily to Republicans.
That meant that Democrats lost two Obama states – Virginia by a whopping 18-point margin and New Jersey, a party stronghold where the President himself campaigned furiously at the last minute. It also signalled that the coalition of voters that gave Mr Obama his historic victory in 2008 may well have been a one -off.
Just under two thirds of voters said Mr Obama was not a factor in their vote. But there was a very strong anti-incumbent sentiment and the economy was an overwhelming factor.
Democrats do not need to be reminded that they are the incumbents in control of the White House and both houses of Congress and that Mr Obama, despite his persistent blaming of his predecessor George W. Bush, now owns the American economy – literally, to an increasing degree, as well as politically.