Obama, Fla Dems face tough climate in 2010
Last time President Barack Obama visited America's biggest battleground state, our unemployment rate was nearly two points lower and his approval rating in Florida nearly 20 points higher. It was February, and he was in Fort Myers touting the $787 billion stimulus package.
Today as he visits a new solar energy plant southeast of Tampa, the political climate is a lot chillier. Unemployment has risen, anxious seniors have spent months fretting about the health care debate and independent voters have increasingly soured on the president.
It could all add up to problems for Democrats in the midterm elections.
"I always worry during the off-year elections. Turnout will be half what it was in the presidential," said Democratic consultant Jim Kitchens, noting that Republicans tend to have a significant turnout advantage in non-presidential years. "I also think you've got the Republican base fired up against the administration. ... Any Democrat in a congressional district where there's a Republican opponent I think is in danger, even a no-name Republican."