An Endorsement From Barack Obama Might Be the Kiss of Death This Year

A friend just emailed me with a gloomy outlook for Democrats in this year’s midterm elections. I don’t really have an outlook myself yet, though obviously Democrats suffer from a difficult electoral map, the traditional 6-year blues, and their usual problem turning out voters in off-year elections. But as long as we’re being gloomy, here’s something else to add to the bonfire. It’s an extract from a Washington Post poll graphic showing how voters react to congressional candidates being associated with the Obama administration. It’s not a pretty picture.

Now, if you want some good news, all you have to do is take a look at some of the other numbers in the poll, which makes it clear that most people have no idea what really makes them more or less likely to vote for someone. At the very bottom, for example, you’ll see that virtually no one is willing to fess up that they’re more likely to vote for an incumbent, despite mountains of research showing that incumbency is the single most powerful predictor of electoral success there is. So maybe this is all just a bunch of hooey. But I wouldn’t bet on it.