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June 22, 2009

Tick, Tock: 39% Now Blame Obama for Economy, a 12 Point Jump in a Single Month
Politico: "Obama's Poll Numbers Start to Wilt"

39% is about the size of the conservative and conservative-leaning segment of the electorate, so this means the conservatives and leaners have soured on Obama. Perhaps not surprising, but it is nevertheless good news. Maybe we haven't made enough headway with true moderates/mush-heads yet, but at least we finally have everyone on the team back on the team.

The mush-heads aren't going to be terribly difficult to flip, either. They are pretty non-ideological, so our ideological arguments won't work on them. But Obama's ideological arguments won't work on them either. Their sympathies turn on simple circumstance -- what is the current economic health of the nation? -- and with unemployment projected to remain high, they'll be increasingly unimpressed by Obama's pecs and "first-rate temperament."

Despite signs that the recession gripping the nation's economy may be easing, the unemployment rate is projected to continue rising for another year before topping out in double digits, a prospect that threatens to slow growth, increase poverty and further complicate the Obama administration's message of optimism about the economic outlook.

The likelihood of severe unemployment extending into the 2010 midterm elections and beyond poses a significant political hurdle to President Obama and congressional Democrats, who are already under fire for what critics label profligate spending. Continuing high unemployment rates would undercut the fundamental argument behind much of that spending: the promise that it will create new jobs and improve the prospects of working Americans, which Obama has called the ultimate measure of a healthy economy.

"Our hope would be to actually create some jobs this year," Obama said in an interview with The Washington Post in the days before taking office.

For those following Rasmussen's "Presidential Approval Index," it turned negative for the first time over the weekend at -2, and now stands at minus one. Once again I don't put much stock in it, because the measure is new and sort of gimmicky and I don't have any feel for what the historic average of the rating is.

Thanks to AHFF Geoff.

Oh: And 43% want ObamaCare to go forward, now.

The percentage of people who think (at the very least) it should be put on hold until the economy improves? 44%.

Politico: I wonder when David Axelrod will shout them into changing their headline.

Eroding confidence in President Barack Obama’s handling of the economy and ability to control spending have caused his approval ratings to wilt to their lowest levels since taking office, according to a spate of recent polls, a sign of political weakness that comes just as he most needs leverage on Capitol Hill.

The good news for Obama is that his approval ratings — 57 percent in a Gallup tracking poll over the weekend — remain comfortably high by historical standards for presidents.

But the trend lines among a variety of polls over the past several days are unmistakable: Independents and even some Republicans who once viewed him sympathetically are becoming skeptical, and many people of all stripes are anxious about economic and fiscal trends.

Obama’s approval rating has dipped below 60 percent on other occasions according to Gallup, but while those slumps lasted only a day, this one appears to be more persistent.


Andrew Kohut, director of the Pew Research Center, said the Obama administration should look at the results of the center's recent poll and others “as a warning sign” but added that the new numbers were “not an indication of a loss of fundamental political support.”

“The real driver is not the president’s personal popularity,” which remains robust, Kohut said, “but faith in him to deal with the nation’s number one problem” — i.e, the economy.

"Unsustainable," a pundit recently called the divergence in Obama's personal support and the lower support for his actual policies. Eventually the two will come into sync, and it won't be at the higher level of personal approval Obama currently enjoys.

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posted by Ace at 02:12 PM

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