The midterms not only dealt a big shock to the Democrats, but also sent a message to President Obama. According to the new POLITICO "Power and the People" poll, only 26 percent of the public believes he will now be re-elected as President in 2012.
This difference of expectations could mislead the president if he is listening to the Beltway chatter – right here in D.C. he may just find a lot of comfort in this assessment by insiders , and that may lead to actions that don’t fully adjust for the sea change that has occurred among the general public.
This big difference can partially be explained by the different ways that the two groups see the economy and the world today. Seventy percent of D.C. elites admit that they have been affected less than the average citizen when it comes to the economic downturn. The elites see the Tea Party as purely a fad (70 percent). In contrast, those who say that the President will not be re-elected see the country as headed in the wrong direction by 82 percent, the economy in the wrong direction by 81 percent and overwhelmingly want repeal of healthcare at the top of the agenda. Among the quarter of the public that sees his re-election as probable, they see the economy turning around by nearly 3 to 1. They are the outliers of the electorate, suggesting that the President has a lot more work to do to get back on track for a second term.
It'll be definitely be big-time trouble for Obama, if he listens to the Washington Democratic leadership. Both Pelosi and Reid seem to be clueless, when it comes to knowing what mainstream America is thinking. They both staying in the leadership positions, even though they lead their party to historic losses.
If Obama has any shot at all to becoming a two-termer, he must move to the center, just like Clinton did after 1994 mid-terms.