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Oct. 17, 2014

Democrats Run From Obama, but Can the GOP Ride the Wave?

Obama is so toxic that most Democrats want voters to believe they hardly know him.

The November midterm election is now less than three weeks away. Barack Obama is so toxic that most Democrats want voters to believe they hardly know him, didn’t vote for him and will steadfastly oppose his agenda. Republicans, meanwhile, are making things harder on themselves than need be. So which party will come out on top?

Democrats are running like mad from Obama, who in his narcissistic fervor said recently, “Make no mistake: [My] policies are on the ballot. Every single one of them.” And Michelle Obama doubled down on BO’s assertion: “Make no mistake, Barack Obama’s last campaign was not 2012. Barack’s last campaign is this year – 2014.” They are correct, of course, but Democrats would do most anything to divert voters from that inconvenient truth.

Alison Lundergan Grimes, the Democrat trying to unseat Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Kentucky, refused on multiple occasions to say whether she voted on Election Day for Obama – for whom she was a delegate at the 2012 Democratic National Convention. At first, she insisted, “You know, this election, uh, isn’t about the president.” Uh, yes it is.

She then tried to cloak her cowardice as somehow courageous. “I am not going to compromise a constitutional right” for a secret ballot, Grimes pontificated, “in order to curry favor on one or the other side, or for members of the media.” Translation: “Obama’s job approval rating in Kentucky is just 31% and I really don’t want a sound bite of me admitting I voted for him.”

By the way, as political analyst Jonah Goldberg observed, Grimes is hiding behind “a right she eagerly waives to tell people she supported Hillary Clinton in the primaries.”

Another Democrat in a tight, red-state race tried simply ignoring the question. “Did you vote for Barack Obama?” a reporter asked Michelle Nunn, who is running for Senate in Georgia. She remained silent and walked away, effectively pleading her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.

But forget secret ballots and votes cast – some Democrats are willing not only to deny the president three times, but to brag on their opposition.

West Virginia Democrat candidate Natalie Tennant wants voters to know she’s going to “make sure President Obama gets the message” that she opposes his war on coal. Grimes has dishonestly taken a similar line. Endangered Senate incumbents Mary Landrieu (D-LA) and Mark Begich (D-AK) boast of bravely fighting the president’s oil drilling policies. Arkansas Sen. Mark Pryor, whose seat is also in serious jeopardy, declares his resolute opposition to Obama’s gun control agenda.

The government’s response to Ebola is also causing heartburn for Democrats. Bruce Braley, running for Senate in Iowa, said he was “greatly concerned … that the administration did not act fast enough.” Responding to such withering criticism, White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest commended Braley as someone “willing to speak truth to power.” File that under “Endorsements You Don’t Want.”

Not to be outdone, Colorado’s Mark Udall was practically rattling his saber when he said, “Let me tell you, the White House, when they look down the front lawn, the last person they want to see coming is me.”

Settle down, tough guy. We’re sure the Secret Service would immediately step in should they see someone striding across the White House lawn.

In truth, these Democrat incumbents all faithfully voted in lockstep with the Obama agenda, be it financial regulations, the nuclear option for Senate confirmations, or ObamaCare. There’s no reason to think Democrat challengers wouldn’t also fall in line in Harry Reid’s Senate.

So will Republicans take advantage of Democrats’ plight in order to win the six seats required to control the Senate? Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia all loom as potential pickups, though a Republican sweep of those states is highly unlikely. Tellingly, however, the GOP’s biggest problem this cycle has been securing seats it already held. Georgia, Kansas and Kentucky have all been tougher battles than necessary. And with Kentucky being the seat of GOP leader Mitch McConnell, that’s a wake up call for the establishment.

An election win for the GOP will require unity and strategy. That means the “establishment” has to embrace conservatives and the party must advance a reason to win your vote. All they have to do is choose to ride the wave.

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