Americans with their eyes on national politics are more likely to intend their midterm votes as messages of opposition to President Barack Obama than as support, according to Gallup. Almost a third of voters, at 32 percent, are using their ballots as a Bronx cheer for the White House, compared to the 20 percent sending love letters.
That telegram of derision earned by the current chief executive is slightly higher even than the 31 percent who used their 2006 midterm votes as nastygrams to President George W. Bush. For those reading the political tea leaves, it's a hint that the president's party could get a whupping in the elections, as the Republicans did during that election, handing the Democrats six Senate seats and 31 seats in the House. "The similarities between the 2006 and 2014 midterms are striking," notes the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza.
Adds Gallup's Jeffrey M. Jones:
The president is always a major factor in midterm elections, with his party typically losing seats in Congress. And it is clear, based on his lower approval ratings and that more voters say they will be voting as a means of showing opposition rather than support for the president, that Obama is more of a liability than an asset to Democratic candidates this year.
To be sure, a plurality of voters (46 percent) intend no message to the president of any sort, either because they're focused on local issues, or because they accidentally wandered into a polling place while looking for a public pisser.