Here’s why. Galston is right about Obama’s popularity. Obama was “upside down” in the “RealClearPolitics” average of presidential favorable/unfavorable poll ratings from June 2013 to early last month. Now Obama’s ratings are once again on average positive, just as they were leading into the 2012 election (which Democrats won).
Galston attributes Obama’s ratings going “rightside up” to an improving economy. But that’s not how people living the economy see it. The “RealClearPolitics” average on the country’s “right track-wrong track” course remains strongly “wrong track” by 64% to 27%, with the economy remaining the top concern.
As conservative Ed Rogers said last week in the Washington Post:
if the labor force participation rate today were the same as when Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be more like 9%, instead of the official 4.9% the Obama administration tries to sell. And, oh, by the way, . . .why is it that about 19 million more people are on food stamps today than when Obama took office?No, it’s not the economy that’s boosting Obama’s ratings. It’s Trump. Trump is driving most Democrats, many independents, and even some Republicans behind the president. Trump makes Obama look better. People frightened by the prospect of a Trump presidency are more willing to ignore the current president’s shortcomings.
Of course, Obama won’t be on November’s ballot, it will be Hillary Clinton. But here, we have further confirmation that the FBI is unlikely to indict Clinton. We earlier pointed to the contradiction between FBI’s James Comey saying he wanted a “prompt” investigation of Clinton’s misdeeds and Attorney General Loretta Lynch asserting any such investigation would be “thorough,” meaning delay until past the election.
Now Comey has lined up behind his boss. Today, he says of the investigation, "The urgency is to do it well and promptly. And 'well' comes first."
So increasingly, Trump = President Clinton.