Midterm Baggage: Obama’s Endorsement A Curse For Democratic Candidates In 2014


An explicit endorsement by President Barack Obama is far more likely to cast a pall over the campaign of any Democratic candidate seeking office this year than to help them get elected, according to the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey.

According to the results of the 1,000-person survey, released Wednesday, 42 percent of voters said they would be less likely to vote for a candidate if that candidate had received an endorsement by Obama. That’s nearly double the proportion of voters — 22 percent — who said they’d be more likely to vote for an Obama-endorsed candidate.

NBC News/ Wall Street Journal poll

The same survey also saw Obama’s general approval rating drop to 41 percent — the lowest point, using the same polling methodology, of his entire two-term Presidency.

Obama’s not the only one with an image problem, though: Tea Party candidates fared equally poorly in the same survey, with 21 percentage points separating those who said they hold a negative view of the movement from those who view it favorably. That kind of negativity may indicate that national progressives have been successful in portraying Tea Party candidates and their supporters not as small-government Constitutional conservatives, but as reactionary legislative obstructionists with a sinister social agenda.

Personal Liberty

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.

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