By Bonnie Erbe, Thomas Jefferson Street blog
Tomorrow, two states, including my own, will elect governors. President Obama has campaigned for both Democratic candidates, and the question is whether his efforts will pay off for them. At least in Virginia, there's not much hope for Creigh Deeds. According to the Associated Press, even GOP experts agree that Tuesday's elections are hardly an Obama bellwether:
"It's a great overstatement to say this is a referendum on President Obama, but his policies have had a lot of effect on people's thinking," Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, the chairman of the Republican Governor's Association, told CNN on Sunday. "People are worried about jobs. ... Most Americans can't understand why the government keeps spending so much money. They don't see much effect from it."
I would like to add, however, that one reason President Obama slid into office was due to his incredibly lucky timing: Anyone but Bush was going to win the '08 presidential elections.
If President Bush had not mangled his job for eight years, and if the country had not finally awoken to that fact, President Obama would not have been able to win office. As a result, any coattail effect President Obama produces is dependent on anti-Bush sentiment. American voters have very short memories. President Bush has been out of office for almost one year (and if you recall, President-elect Obama started acting like the president even before he took the oath of office, again due to anti-Bush sentiment).
That said, with anti-Bush sentiment waning, President Obama's coattails are frayed and weak.