Bruce E. Gronbeck, professor of Political Communication at the University of Iowa, said:
As always, that depends, especially in bi-elections on local conditions. In my own state (Iowa), with its aging population, the basic soundness of its state budget, an unemployment rate two-thirds of the national average, and signs of renewed growth, there's much less to be gained by distancing Democrats from the DC gang than there might be in other states. In the second gubernatorial debate last week, Gov. Chet Culver was able to — rather convincingly, even — project a positive future aided by help that the federal government provided. Challenger and former Gov. Terry Branstad struggled to counter Culver's messages.
Whether enough Democrats can weave their ways through citizens' so-so and negative opinions about national legislation in Obama's first two years to hold the House and key governorships, of course, is a question that will stay open until Nov. 2. Culver has still not closed the gap in public polling that he faces.
Justin Raimondo, editorial director of Antiwar.com, said:
I don't think this election is about Obama.
It's about crooks with "friends in Washington" who get bailed out, while honest Americans sink. It's about people who worked all their lives and are now seeing the value of their homes collapse, while in the radius of Washington, DC, the real estate market is — still — booming. It's about people feeling helpless as they're thrown this way and that, while the worst among us rise, confident and in control. It's about not having a paved road outside your house, and watching the lights go out every time we have a storm, while the Pentagon announces that Iraq finally has reliable electricity and we're building an embassy bigger than the Vatican.
It's about a lot of things, or maybe one big thing — but it isn't about Obama. So let Joe Machin distance himself from whomever. In the end, if this goes on, Manchin will have to distance himself from a lot more than one man.
Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, said:
Yes, if they started early enough.
It is a little late to announce that one barely knows the man after voting for his massive spending explosion and power grab over various industries.
Those candidates who voted against Health Care and Cap and Tax have an argument.
The problem is that any Democrat who voted for Pelosi has already cast the vote that made everything possible.
Tough to take off the uniform quickly enough and convincingly.