1. How has the American electorate changed over the last years and what is the possible impact on the forthcoming elections?
Di Matthew Wilson
As President Obama enters his last full year in office, his supporters and critics alike have begun to debate his legacy, seeking to shape the first-draft assessment of “the Obama years.” President Obama has been one of the most polarizing figures in recent American political history, so it is no surprise that judgements of his domestic policy accomplishments diverge sharply along partisan and ideological lines. Even many of his supporters, however, would acknowledge that his domestic policy accomplishments will in many areas fall frustratingly short of the aspirations that they had on his historic election in 2008. (...)
Di Walter Russell Mead
President Obama’s final State of the Union address comes at a time when, for the first time in his administration, the public believes that the nation’s most serious problems involve foreign policy rather than domestic issues, the majority disapproves of the President’s handling of foreign affairs, and 73 percent say they want the next President to take a “different approach” to foreign policy. President Obama, for his part, remains deeply committed to his approach to foreign affairs, is determined to continue on his current course through the end of his mandate, and wants a new kind of foreign policy to be part of the political legacy of his administration. (...)