The Washington Post has bad news for Democrats seeking to distance themselves from Obama in hopes of staying in office: It won't work. To the point, the Posts's Chris Cilizza, in an article on "The Fix," cites the problems plaguing West Virginia Democrat Nick Rahall:
He's a Democrat running for reelection this November in a district where President Obama won just 33 percent of the vote in 2012. And he's trying to run as far away from President Obama as possible. But, it's not working.
Earlier this month, Rahall -- in an attempt to argue his independence from the national Democratic party -- told The Hill newspaper that he "probably" supported George W. Bush more when the Republican was in the White House than he has supported President Obama.
Rahall's claim, it turns out, isn't true. While he may not vote in line with the president every time, PolitiFact points out Rahall still supported the Obama agenda 21 percent more than the most pro-Obama Republican. Rahall's efforts to distance himself from an unpopular president aren't new, and, as Cilizza points out, the results of his fruitless attempt won't be new either.
As evidence, Cilizza referenced former North Dakota Congressman Nick Pomeroy, a Democrat who was in office for 20 years despite the relatively conservative bent of his state. In 2010, Pomeroy ran an ad touting his support of former President George W. Bush's Medicare prescription drug plan, and still lost by 10 points to his Republican challenger.
No matter how much or little you support the president of your party, you will be forced to own that president by the opposing candidate/campaign. It's what Democrats did to Republicans sitting in swing districts and states in 2006 and what happened to Pomeroy, Gene Taylor (Miss.) and lots of other Democrats like them in 2010.
According to Cilizza, the final lesson "for most candidates, especially in the House, is that there just is no way to run away from your president."
That may prove to be devastating news for Democrats in November.