Richard Greene: Democrats now face whole new ballgame

12/14/2013 12:00 AM

12/13/2013 6:37 PM

How quickly the ill winds of political fortune can change things.

Upon the occasion of President Barack Obama’s re-election, Democrats nationally were dizzy with celebration over four more years in the White House and feeling entirely certain of another eight after that.

Really, smug is a better word to describe their confidence. Hillary Clinton seemed about as much an heir apparent as anyone has ever been. The party owed her and her time had come at last.

A bit later they fantasized that even the very red state of Texas could be in play with the illusory ascendency of Wendy Davis to the governor’s office.

So much of the inevitability stemmed from women and the young. Democrats had both segments locked up and that meant there really would not be much of a contest come 2016 and beyond.

Millennials, as 18- to 25-year-olds are known, had favored Obama with 67 percent of their votes. Women rewarded him with about 55 percent of their ballots.

As is often said when a candidate has a commanding lead, it’s his or hers to lose.

Today, there are strong signals throughout the land that such a fate has befallen the party that loves more, bigger and costlier government.

Earlier this month, a study by Harvard University found that the youngest of the millennial generation no longer support the president.

No, it’s much worse than simply not supporting him. A majority of them actually favor throwing Obama out of office.

Since there is no provision for the recall of the president, they won’t have a crack at doing that, but the study reveals how much damage he and his party have sustained from these critical voters.

The cause of this turnaround may be found in Harvard’s summary of their study:

“A solid majority of Millennials disapprove of the comprehensive health reform package. Less than three-in-10 uninsured Millennials say they will definitely or probably enroll in insurance through an exchange if and when they are eligible.”

That’s double trouble, not only for the re-election of those who foisted the shocking law upon the populace, but also for the president’s signature achievement itself.

The whole financial structure of the scheme almost completely depends on healthy young Americans buying into Obamacare so there will be enough money to cover the insurance claims of the rest of the country.

The Kaiser Health Tracking Poll recently measured attitudes among women, and here’s what it discovered:

“Views among women also shifted this month, and for the first time in Kaiser tracking, the share of women with an unfavorable view outnumbered those with a favorable view by a large margin. The gap between unfavorable and favorable views among women is up 15 percentage points since last month.”

National polls currently show that Obama’s overall approval rating among women has, for the first time in his presidency, turned negative.

Yes, I know that memories are short and all may be forgiven by election time. But, if I were a Democrat, I wouldn’t be so sure of that either.

More of what is already happening will continue.

Millions will lose their current health insurance in the coming year. Some because federal powers have declared what they have to be “sub-standard,” even if it’s what they want.

Available replacement coverage will come at a higher cost, including unaffordable premiums, deductibles and copays.

Many others will also lose their doctors because some can’t or won’t accept the onerous terms of Obamacare.

Come next November, a whole new meaning to “lame duck” may be experienced by this president and his whole party. Then, the race for that office in 2016 will be for real.

About Richard Greene

Richard Greene

With long experience in government including 10 years as mayor of Arlington, an adjunct professorship in UT Arlington's School of Urban and Public Affairs and service as President George W. Bush's regional administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency, Richard Greene is an expert on public policy, politics and decision-making on issues facing North Texas.

He has strong opinions about elected officials and those who would like to join them.

Email Richard at mayorgreene@mayorgreene.com.

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