While former President Barack Obama has maintained a place of prominence within the Democratic Party, it appears that he might be losing his hold over progressive voters.
According to reports, Obama’s endorsement was not enough to help Tameika Isaac-Devine win a mayoral race in Columbia, South Carolina.
“They voted with their pocketbooks”
President Joe Biden carried the region comfortably in last year’s election — but that did not translate into a victory for the former president’s pick in the race.
Republican Daniel Rickenmann won the election by four points, which has been interpreted by many pundits as the latest signal that the GOP is on pace to score major victories across the nation in next year’s midterm races.
For his part, the winner of the race told Fox News that his victory signals a Republican message that resonates among voters.
“I think people are very concerned about where they are today and their lives and their businesses and they voted with their pocketbooks,” Rickenmann said.
That motivation appears to have been more powerful than the endorsement of Obama, who has solidified his status as a member of the liberal elite since leaving office in 2017.
Obama’s influence appears to wane
Obama ultimately endorsed Joe Biden, who served as his vice president, though he never seemed enthusiastic about the Democratic nominee’s political ambitions, reportedly advising at one point against underestimating “Joe’s ability to f*** things up.”
In less than a year since Biden took office, the nation has experienced a period of decline, including economic uncertainty and cratering approval ratings for the president and other administration officials.
As a result, the Democratic Party appears to have become notably less popular among voters as Republicans have won a series of off-year elections in Virginia and elsewhere.
One recent survey indicated that Democrats trail Republicans by 10 points in a generic ballot, which represents the GOP’s biggest advantage in four decades.
That sentiment seemingly applies to Obama, who also campaigned for Democrat Terry McAuliffe in Virginia’s recent gubernatorial election. Republican Glenn Youngkin ultimately won that race in what has been widely described as a brutal defeat for Democratic Party politics in general.