Feb. 13, 2016 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Can Truman Strategy Work for Obama in 2012?

Among women, he’s down to 49 percent from 56 percent; among young voters, down to 52 percent from 66 percent; moderates, down to 49 percent from 60 percent; and even liberals, down to 75 percent from 89 percent.

The only good news for Obama is that Congressional Republicans are viewed more negatively than he is. His hope has to be that their presidential nominee can be closely tied to them.

The Washington Post poll shows confidence in Congressional Republicans to make good economic decisions is just 18 percent.

Almost all polls indicate that the public still blames former President George W. Bush more than Obama for the country’s economic plight — 52 percent to 32 percent in the latest Quinnipiac University survey.

On policy, the Marist-McClatchy poll showed voters believe far more in Obama’s policies than in the GOP’s.

Sixty-nine percent of voters favor reducing deficits by increasing taxes on those making more than $250,000 a year, including 51 percent of Republicans, 68 percent of independents and even
43 percent of tea party adherents.

Sixty-two percent favor eliminating tax breaks for oil and gas companies, including 53 percent of tea party supporters.

In 1947, Truman proposed a very liberal “fair deal” agenda including richer unemployment, Social Security and public employee benefits, public works programs, a higher minimum wage, price controls and aid to farmers. The GOP rejected almost all of it.

Obama is signaling he’ll call for infrastructure building, patent reform, trade agreements and continued payroll tax cuts. I hope he also goes big on tax reform. Whatever he proposes, Republicans are sure to oppose most of it.

His hope has to be that Republicans nominate a candidate associated with the tea party — which has support from only 20 percent of voters, according to the Pew Research Center — or that they choose someone so unacceptable that the tea party runs a separate candidate.

What Obama can’t count on is that the GOP candidate will be so confident of victory that he says nothing, as Thomas E. Dewey did in 1948. Obama will have to fight, and I’d guess the election will be ugly.

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