In an earlier blog post, I noted that Hillary Clinton's 2008 Presidential chances could be tied to how well Nancy Pelosi lead the House of Representatives, and I still think it may have an impact. However, there is something else that came to mind the other day that might have equal, if not more, influence.
If current trends continue, either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic nominee, and John McCain will be the Republican nominee. What do all three have in common? They're all U. S. Senators. It's rare that a Senator becomes President, but with this election cycle of strange and unusual events, it's par for the course.
Since the front-runners/prospective nominees are all from the Senate, the Senate's approval rating could have an impact on each candidate. If the Senate is seen doing something constructive (yes, I know it's the Senate we're talking about here, but let's say for the sake of argument it happens), it would buoy the poll numbers of any of the three I mentioned. Furthermore, if that positive change is lead by one of the three, their poll numbers skyrocket overnight. The downside to it is if the Senate does nothing or does something seen as destructive. Then, the Senate would be the last place Obama, Clinton, and McCain would want to be seen. And taking the lead on a controversial or unpopular piece of legislation? Forget about it!
It's not written in stone that the Senate's approval ratings will definitely impact the 2008 Presidential race, but it would be foolish to disregard it out of hand. Regardless of how you feel about them, the three candidates or presumed candidates are all politicians at heart. They will calculate the impact of certain speeches or certain events and spin accordinly. But, they can't escape the fact that they're all from the same branch of government, and if the Senate goes down, they, too, will go down.