In Face of Dismal Polls, Democrats Running Away From Washington

President Obama’s carefully crafted cult of personality seems to be crumbling. It seems people have finally stopped drinking the Kool-Aid.

A new ABC poll out this week finds that for the first time that a majority of people disapprove of the way President Obama is handling his job. With their figurehead falling, Congressional Democrats are in the weeds. The same poll finds that likely voters now favor the Republican candidate over the Democratic candidate in a generic ballot poll by a 53 to 40 percent margin. That is the largest GOP lead since ABC first began asking the question in 1981.

The result it that Democrats, who once did everything they could to align themselves with the President, are now doing everything they can to distance themselves from him.

Take his $50 billion infrastructure plan, the latest in a series of big-spending initiatives designed to kick start hiring. Surprise, surprise the plan was met with big cheers amongst the labor-union filled crowd in Milwaukee. But it is receiving much more tepid support among Democratic incumbents in Washington. As Scott Conroy of RealClearPolitics reported , a top campaign aide to a Democratic candidate said of Obama’s plan,

“Nothing translates better to jobs than projects on infrastructure, but that being said, when we have only eight weeks until the election, this is just not what people want to hear,” the aide said. “And I don’t think anybody who’s up for reelection really wants to try to sell this.”

The reason? Because voters have made clear again and again that they are tired of Washington’s addiction to spending. Now, campaigning Democrats are trying to make clear that they have heard the message. Take a recent TV ad for incumbent Rep. Bobby Bright (D-AL) which highlights how he “voted against the bailouts, against stimulus spending, against the massive government healthcare,” and the “trillion dollar federal budget.” Or Jason Altmire (D-PA) who heralds his independence from Washington with an ad saying “I like that Jason Altmire is not afraid to stand up to the President…And Nancy Pelosi.”

These are but a few voices in the growing chorus against Washington spending. But spending is not the only place Democrats are changing their tune. Not too long ago Democratic leaders in Washington were touting their historic healthcare reform, believing it to be a major accomplishment that they could sell to voters in November.

Turns out voters want a refund. But what is more surprising is how quick Democratic candidates have been to offer them one. It seems former President Clinton’s advice to wavering Democrats that, “I think it is good politics to pass this and to pass it as soon as they can…The worst thing to do is nothing,” wasn’t exactly true. Now, the few Democrats who didn’t fall for the Clinton-Obama tag-team sales pitch are doing everything they can to highlight their “no” votes. As Politico reported ,

“[P]arty officials in Washington can’t identify a single House member who’s running an ad boasting of a “yes” vote — despite the fact that 219 House Democrats voted in favor of final passage in March.

One Democratic strategist said it would be “political malfeasance” to run such an add now.”

Quite the contrary Democrats are running ads specifically highlighting how they have been against Obamacare the whole time. Virginia Democrat Glen Nye touting the fact that he “vot[ed] against the healthcare bill because it cost too much.”

This batch of Democrats doesn’t stop there. If they are against the notion of the any new stimulus funds and don’t like their party’s signature piece of legislation might as well disassociate from being a Democrat completely, right? Frank Kratovil (D-MD) uses an add to plug the fact that he is “one of the most independent members of Congress” and Bobby Bright (D-AL) calls himself an “independent conservative.”

Democrats are running from everything. One-time party savior Barack Obama? Nope, want nothing to do with him. Government stimulus in a down economy? Are you nuts, more spending? Historic healthcare reform bill? Ha, we would have never voted for that budget busting Obamacare. Are you a Democrat? No, no. Disregard that (D) by our name, we’re really independently moderate Blue Dogs who just listen to our constituents.

But attempts to shed the Democrat label isn’t the path to winning elections. America needs people in Washington who stand for conservative values regardless of whether the poll numbers tell them that is the way to win this year. Big-government, big-spending policies didn’t succeed at anything beyond burying us beneath a mountain of debt. So voters, don’t be fooled as you watch Democrats flee from a burning building – they are still the one’s who set the fire.

by Brandon Greife, Political Director of the College Republican National Committee