There was something missing from a campaign event where President Obama spoke on Sunday–a crowd. Even in Pennsylvania where there is a hotly contested governor’s race, the president couldn’t fill half the arena at Temple University–and that was all he had to do because organizers, likely fearing empty seats, had already put up curtains to cover the half not being used.
— Nicholas Trainer (@NicholasTrainer) November 2, 2014
There is no question Obama has been a real drag on many members of his own party running for office this year. Even he admits it, saying that he’s not on the ballot, his policies are.
But when you look at what’s happened to the number of Democratic seats in Congress since Obama took office, the news is even worse.
President Obama took office after the 2008 elections with 257 Democrats in the House of Representatives. At the moment, there are only 199 members of his party left — a net loss of 58 seats.
To put that number in perspective, the 58 seats already lost by the current president even tops the 46 lost by Richard Nixon amidst the Watergate scandal.
On the Senate side, the same trend is confirmed. Following the 2008 elections, the Democrats held 59 Senate seats. Expectations are that they will have between 45 and 50 following next week’s elections, a decline of 9 to 14 seats. Nixon’s Republicans lost six seats over the same time frame.
To be fair, President Obama had more seats to lose than Nixon, but the percentages are about the same. And the numbers are worse than any other recent two-term president including Bill Clinton (-47), George W. Bush (-17) and Ronald Reagan (-16).
How big a setback this is for Democrats in the long run and how much ground they can regain in 2016 remains to be seen. The GOP will have the load of Senate seats to defend in the next go-around and Obama will not be on the ticket.
But, at least for this cycle, Obama and his policies are a drag of historic proportions.