Nearly every fundamental measure — with the notable exception of the country’s demographic shifts — favors the Republicans in 2016. The public overwhelmingly believes the country is headed in the wrong direction (23/69, a historic low in Bloomberg’s national poll). President Obama’s job-approval rating has been consistently underwater, with the opposition intensely rejecting his policies. Any economic growth has been uneven, with more Americans pessimistic than optimistic about the future. The public’s natural desire for change after eight years of Democrats in the White House benefits the opposition. Meanwhile, the party’s likely standard-bearer has been saddled with weak favorability ratings of her own, with her email scandal dragging down her trustworthiness in the minds of voters. This is not the environment in which the party in power typically prevails.
That was all true even before the terrorist attacks in Paris ratcheted up national security as a dominant issue heading into the presidential election. Obama, who dismissed ISIS terrorists this week as “a bunch of killers with good social media,” is badly out of step with American public opinion on the crucial issue. This week’s ABC News/Washington Post survey showed 59 percent of Americans believe the U.S. is “at war with radical Islam”—a phrase most Democrats resist using.