Obama faces difficult midterm elections

(Posted October 3, 2010) Obama and the Democrats face a tough uphill fight in the midterm elections slated for November 2.  The Democrats now trail the Republicans in the polls and the rosy glow surrounding Obama has faded as the morning-after realities of governing have undermined the appeal of his soaring rhetoric.  The summer has not been kind to President Obama either.  First, there was the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that raised questions about his administration's competence and sense of responsibility, then the economy began to show signs of slipping back towards another recession, and then his apparent flip-flop over the building of a mosque near Ground Zero in New York.   As the oil spill situation dragged on for week after week, Obama's approval ratings fell below the 50% for the first time since his election.   Despite some important legislative victories on the financial reform of Wall Street and the extension of benefits for unemployed workers, Obama's ratings are hovering around 45% while the radical anti-government populism of the Tea Party movement continues to find followers.

None of this is especially surprising since his planets weren't looking particularly good when I last took a look at them in early May.  At that time, I thought the combined effects of both the transits and his Jupiter-Rahu dasha period would tend to make 2010 an uphill battle for him.   I pointed out that his Rahu minor period starting from February 2010 and running until June 2012 would likely not be easy since it was placed in his 8th house and hemmed in between Pluto and Uranus in horoscope. 

From a transit perspective, I had expected Obama would get more benefit from the Jupiter aspect to his Mercury in July and early August.  To be sure, this did coincide with the successful passage of the financial reform bill as I thought it might.   But this transit was not strong enough to support the US economy as a whole, as government data continues to show stubbornly high levels of joblessness and no turnaround in sight for the beleaguered housing sector.   And the fixing of the Gulf oil spill only came in fits and starts.  I was partially correct in expecting some fix of the problem in early June as Jupiter and Uranus conjoined on his Midheaven (unequal 10th house cusp).   That roughly coincided with the initial rough capping of the broken well that significantly reduced the flow of leaking oil.  But this cap proved to be inadequate and the permanent cap for the well only came in September.  

The Mercury retrograde cycle that began in mid-August also caused some problems for Obama as he apparently flip-flopped on the building of a mosque at Ground Zero in New York.  This was more evidence that he not only lacked a firm sense of leadership, but that he was out of touch with the country as a whole as polls showed that most Americans did not approve of the mosque.  Mercury turned retrograde on August 20 at 25 degrees of sidereal Leo -- exactly conjunct his equal 8th house cusp symbolizing embarrassment and scandal.  It only made matters worse that this was a few degrees from his natal Mars, a malefic planet representing upset and frustration. 

So what lies ahead for President Obama and the Democrats as they head into these crucial midterm elections?  Most polls show them losing control of the House of Representatives and perhaps retaining control of the Senate.  The planets for early November do not seem to favor Obama, although I would acknowledge a certain level of ambiguity here.  Transiting Ketu is conjunct his natal Venus and this is often coincident with a time of change and disruption.  Ketu is usually malefic planet although we should note that he got married to Michelle at the time of the previous Ketu-Venus conjunction in 1992.  Well, that was definitely a change (Ketu) to his love life (Venus)!

Transiting Jupiter will aspect his natal Mars at this time, and that is another influence that could go either way.  Jupiter is a benefic planet, and its aspects with Mars often signify times of powerful decision-making, often involving the spending of money.  Perhaps the aftermath of the election prompts a new round of stimulus spending?    He does look to be energized at this time, as if it may be close and he will be doing his share of cajoling, horse trading, and arm-twisting to get out the Democrat vote.

The Mars transit to his Moon also speaks to an intense day of action and reaction, and suggests a close outcome.  He will definitely be a busy and anxious man on November 2 as the future of his legislative agenda will hang in the balance from this outcome.

More worrying for Obama and the Democrats, however, is the close 45 degree aspect from the Rahu-Pluto conjunction to his ascendant.  This does not look positive and may indicate that is will be compelled through external circumstance to make adjustments.  While Rahu can sometimes tilt towards the positive, its teaming up with Pluto here makes it more malefic.  The aspect to the ascendant creates the sense that Obama will be at the mercy of forces larger than himself.  It definitely leans towards a significant change in the status quo.  Since the Democrats control both the House and Senate, it seems unlikely that they will control both after this election. 

For an added perspective on this question, take a look at the Republican House Leader John Boehner's horoscope.  We don't know his birth time, but just the birth date chart shows a very favorable Jupiter to Mercury aspect.  It's hard to reconcile this transit with a Republican disappointment. 

Overall, I would say there isn't much chance of the Democrats pulling off some miracle win in the race for the House.  They could still win the Senate, although perhaps with a much reduced majority.   Unfortunately, it is hard to extrapolate from Obama's horoscope what the various planetary influences might mean in terms of electoral races that do not directly involve him.  Here I am assuming that a mixed result of a loss of the House and a win in the Senate mirrors the mixed nature of his chart. 

After a brief look at his horoscope, I expect Democrat Senate Leader Harry Reid will likely lose his seat.   Barbara Boxer of California appears to have a stronger chart and will likely win re-election.

Looking ahead to 2012, I think President Obama's chances of re-election are quite good.  While it is difficult to be definitive without studying the challenger's horoscope, Obama's chart looks quite positive for Fall 2012.  Transiting Jupiter aspects his ascendant while Rahu conjoins his Midheaven.  These sorts of contacts are usually found in the charts of people who are successful in their efforts.