Barack Obama is still very much proud of his presidential legacy, which includes promise-breaking Obamacare, the Trump-trashed Iran Deal, and the slowest economic recovery since WWII — and he'll gladly tell you all about it, even if he's supposed to be talking up some other person who his party really needs to win to grab some of that federal power back.
The former president has found himself once again having to do some of the heavy-lifting for his politically inept party, flying out to the University of Nevada Monday night to try to help a struggling senatorial candidate win a seat that was supposed to be a shoe-in in the Era of Trump. BuzzFeed News provides some oddly familiar context:
It’s a pattern that began in Massachusetts back in early 2010, when Obama flew to Boston to save a special election that had come out of nowhere to nearly kill Obamacare's chances in the Senate. Here in Nevada, the Trump moment that was supposed to sweep Sen. Dean Heller away seems instead to have kept the Republican senator alive in Nevada, a state Hillary Clinton won two years ago.
BuzzFeed notes that Obama for some reason ended up feeling compelled to devote "much of his speech on a long defense of his own presidency," with some good old fashioned "condemnation of Republican governance" thrown in for good measure.
The booming Trump economy, suggested Obama, is really a booming Obama economy, just a couple of years too late. "When you hear all this talk about ‘economic miracles’ right now, remember who started it," he said, in a line that sure comes off as a bit defensive.
Meanwhile, all of Trump's mean talk about the FBI is anti-American, said Obama, sounding more like "how some tin-pot dictatorship works" than the country Obama famously pledged to "fundamentally transform" all those years ago.
The big race in Nevada between Republican Dean Heller and Democrat Jacky Rosen is one of the six or so "tossup" seats that will decide who ends up controlling the Senate when the smoke clears in a few weeks. According to Real Clear Politics' average of the key polls, Republicans currently "safely" hold 50 seats, though one of those, Tennessee, may be more precarious than previously thought, according to a recent poll. To have a shot, Democrats will need to win Tennessee, or another "safe" seat like Texas, and then win all six of the "tossup" seats, including in Nevada.
But Nevada is looking increasingly unlikely to go the Democrats' way. The three most recent polls show Heller with the lead, including the most recent poll (Emerson) that gives him a solid 7-point advantage. Recent NY Times/Siena and NBC/Marist polls both gave Heller a 2-point advantage.
Another Senate swing state with some unwelcome news is Indiana, where the tossup seat may now be leaning Republican, at least according to Republicans' internal polling. The Washington Examiner reports: "The survey of 800 likely voters, conducted Oct. 14-17, showed Braun with a 44-40 percent advantage over Donnelly, who voted against Kavanaugh's confirmation after a nasty partisan battle that saw his nomination rocked by uncorroborated allegations of sexual misconduct."