Obama’s Bad N.Y. Poll Numbers May Portend Landslide Defeat

COMMENTARY | A Quinnipiac Poll released Friday shows President Barack Obama with a 49 percent disapproval to 45 percent approval rate in New York.

That’s right, gentle readers. Your eyes do not lie, nor has your humble correspondent made a mistake. That is New York where the president is down in the polls.

If there is one truism in modern American politics, New York, along with California, is a reliable blue or liberal state. Both U.S. senators from New York, Gillebrand and Schumer, are reliable left-wingers. The governor, Andrew Cuomo, is a reformer, but still a Democrat. While the South used to be “yellow dog democrat” country, the northeast is certainly that in this year of grace 2011.

Explanations for Obama’s nose drive in New York are as many and variety as the people making them. Certainly popular discontent over the debt ceiling fiasco is part of it. And liberals in New York, as everywhere else, think he betrayed their left-wing cause by not raising taxes or pushing for government-run health care.

The main problem may just be Obama fatigue. People have become tired of the lecturing, the talking down, and the air of superiority the president seems to exude with every breath he exhales. They yearn for a human being to be president again. If it’s a tough-talking man from Texas or a hockey mom from Alaska, then so be it.

Another question arises: If he can’t make it there, can he make it anywhere?

The conventional wisdom is that no matter what, Obama will carry New York. But what if the conventional wisdom is wrong? What if Obama has managed to break the division of the United States between red and blue America, but not quite the way he imagined?

In living memory, Ronald Reagan carried 49 states, including New York, in a presidential contest in 1984. Before that, Richard Nixon managed the same feat in 1972. What if we are in for another blowout in 2012?

The effects of such an election would shatter political assumptions built up over the last 20 or so years: that presidential elections are always fought on the margins, that it is a game of persuading people in swing states to swing over to one’s sides. But a blowout would mean a political realignment would by necessity transpire, the Democratic Party would have to adapt or die, and the Republicans would have to learn the lessons of victory and govern accordingly.

In short, 2013 may be as different from the years previous as any year in history.

Source: Obama Approval In New York Crash Dive, Quinnipiac University Poll Finds; But Voters Back Pres Over Unnamed Gop Challenger, Quinnipiac Poll, August 12, 2011

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