The incumbent looks smaller than previous sitting presidents, as did Jimmy Carter. His efforts in the Oval Office have not been generally understood as successful. There’s a broad sense it hasn’t worked. And Democrats don’t like him, as they didn’t Jimmy Carter.
This continues as one of the most amazing and underappreciated facts of 2012—the sitting president’s own party doesn’t like him. The party’s constituent pieces will stick with him, having no choice, but with a feeling of dissatisfaction. It is not only the Republicans who have been unhappy this year. All this will have some bearing on the coming year.
Anecdotal evidence suggests some truth to this assertion. Like the Athena of punditry, I live in a very blue island and find many of the incumbent’s erstwhile supporters less than satisfied with his performance in office, with one Democratic friend dubbing his party’s standard bearer a “failure.” Seems Noonan has had heard similar complaints.
We see this in polls showing Democrats dispirited about voting in 2012. A December 14 poll showed Republicans far more enthusiastic than Democrats. Yet, Obama’s approval remains strong among Democrats. Perhaps that approval is only lukewarm? Or reflects his recent battle with House Republicans over the payroll tax rate?
Whatever the case, there do seem to be many dispirited Democrats in blue enclaves. So, what’s your view? Is Peggy right? Do you have a sense from talking to your Democrat friends that they don’t make care for the incumbent President of the United States?