Articles by Karl Rove
The president's job approval numbers are lousy, no Democrat in a competitive Senate race polls regularly above 50%, GOP enthusiasm is high, and independents are trending Republican. The midterm environment is terrible for Democrats—yet each passing day provides evidence as to why a GOP Senate majority is still in doubt.
On Monday President Obama appeared at a $100,000-a-person fundraiser in D.C. to support his party's efforts to keep the Senate. It was his 84th fundraiser this election cycle. He's certain to have more before Nov. 4.
Two new polls this week are the latest indications that Barack Obama's presidency is in perilous shape. The Sept. 7 Washington Post/ABC survey found 52% feel it has been more of a failure while only 42% believe it has been more of a success. A record 55% say Mr. Obama is not a strong leader, only 38% believe he has done more to unite the country while 55% say he has done more to divide it.
The Sept. 7 Wall Street Journal/NBC poll reported that more people—67%—believe the country is on the wrong track than at this point in any midterm election in two decades. Mr. Obama's 40% approval is lower than Bill Clinton's in 1994 and his own in 2010, when Democrats suffered massive midterm losses.
President Obama has recently shown that his understanding of the economy and world is very different from that of most Americans.
At his afternoon news conference last Thursday, for example, Mr. Obama hailed the report of 4.2% second-quarter economic growth. "Companies are investing," the president said. "Consumers are spending. Over the past four and a half years, our businesses have now created nearly 10 million new jobs. So there are reasons to feel good about the direction we're headed."
Except Americans don't. In the Aug. 4 Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, only 22% said they thought the country is headed in the right direction while 71% said it is going in the wrong direction.
Labor Day is the unofficial start of the fall campaign season, so it's a good time to assess the GOP's chances of winning the U.S. Senate.
Republicans have two advantages. Many Senate races are in red-leaning states, and the GOP has put its A-Team on the field. In every primary the more electable Republican won the nomination, and that's likely to hold true in New Hampshire on Sept. 9 when Scott Brown is heavily favored.
The indictment on Friday of Texas Gov. Rick Perry on charges that he abused his powers is an outrageous—but not unprecedented—abuse of prosecutorial power. And it may come back to haunt those responsible.
The indictment itself caused a storm of denunciation, including by liberals. Former Obama senior adviser David Axelrod dismissed it as "pretty sketchy." Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz said this is "what happens in totalitarian societies." The Washington Post, Boston Globe and New York Times were critical.
Barack Obama believed his legacy as president would be that he ended the Iraq war. It looks increasingly that his legacy could be that he lost it. By their admission, President Obama and Vice President Joe Biden inherited a war that had been won. In 2011 Mr. Obama said America was "leaving behind a sovereign, stable and self-reliant Iraq," and Mr. Biden proclaimed Iraq "one of the great achievements of this administration."
Mr. Obama then committed a massive error in judgment by withdrawing all U.S. troops. That allowed the rise of the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham, or ISIS, the world's most formidable, merciless and dangerous terrorist army.
Unlike 2010, when the big story was the epic gains of Republicans in the House, this year's midterms will mostly be about the Senate. And this summer has been unkind to Democrats hoping to keep the upper chamber.
Two weeks ago the New York Times reported that Montana Democrat John Walsh plagiarized much of his 2007 Army War College master's thesis. Montana's two largest papers have called for him to end his campaign.
You have to give a tip of the hat to America's Cynic-in-Chief. Every time you think he has scraped bottom, he sinks still lower.
Take President Obama's most recent political gambit. Knowing Democrats cannot win the midterms on his record and having long ago foregone a positive agenda, Mr. Obama and his party are now claiming in every conceivable setting that Republicans will impeach him if the GOP wins this fall. First lady Michelle Obama led off this attack at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser last Thursday in Chicago, warning that if Democrats lose this November, there will be more "talk about impeachment."
In politics, candidates want to be on the offense, pressing their agenda and attacking opponents. But sometimes the best offense is a good defense that sets the record straight and flips the issue. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did this superbly last week, showing why he is likely to win in Kentucky in November.
His Democratic opponent, Alison Lundergan Grimes, appeared in an ad sitting with a retired miner who wanted to know why Mr. McConnell "voted to raise my Medicare costs by $6,000. How are my wife and I supposed to afford that?" He and Ms. Grimes then stared at the camera for five seconds, before Ms. Grimes said, "I don't think he's going to answer that."
Liberal columnists and Democratic strategists have taken to arguing that ObamaCare is working and no longer a political negative, implying that Democratic candidates should tout it on the campaign trail. Republicans should pray they do, assuming the GOP knows how to respond.
As presidential scholar George Edwards III observed in his 2012 book "Overreach," the Affordable Care Act is "perhaps the least popular major domestic policy passed in the last century."