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« News Open Thread | Main | You Know What I Want for Christmas? A Historic Prime-Time Interview at the White House of Lord Barack Obama by Queen Oprah »
November 25, 2009

Polls, Polls, Polls: Rasmussen Says in Hypoethetical Three-Way Match-Up, Independent Lou Dobbs Throws Race to Obama; Obama Continues Falling

Confirmation of Allah's theory -- theory? common sense, I'd call it -- that an independent bid that draws from the right will put Obama back in office from 2013 to 2017. He quotes Groundskeeper Willie: I warned ye.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that if the choice is between President Obama, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and Dobbs, Obama leads 42% to 34% with Dobbs pulling 14% of the vote.

With Mike Huckabee as the Republican nominee, Obama leads 42% to 36%, with Dobbs at 12%.

If Sarah Palin is the GOP nominee, it’s Obama 44%, Palin 37% and Dobbs 12%…

With Dobbs out of the equation, Obama and Romney are tied at 44%, Obama leads Huckabee 45% to 41%, and the president leads Palin 46% to 43%.

Note how close Palin is. Actually, everyone's close (and I imagine Pawlenty and other lesser-known, unpolled names would fare just as well), but it's a bit of good Thanksgiving news for the Palinistas that she's only behind Captain Wonderful by 3 points.

Assuming no third-party bid, I mean.

In other poll news: Yesterday Obama logged his lowest level of support yet in Rassmussen -- 45% support, 55% opposition. That changes slightly today -- 46% to 54% -- meaning that Obama's new normal is the mid-forties, and 40% his likely new bottom.

And, as they say, 40 is the new 30. (Well, I say that. Actually I say 40 is new 26 but no one will believe me.) The rest of the news is bad too:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Wednesday shows that 26% of the nation's voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-one percent (41%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -15. This is the second straight day at -15, the lowest Approval Index rating yet measured for President Obama (see trends).

Seventy-four percent (74%) of African-Americans Strongly Approve along with just 19% of white voters (see other recent demographic highlights from the tracking poll).

Among all voters, just 34% now give the President good or excellent marks on his handling of the economy while 47% say he is doing a poor job in that arena. On national security issues, 42% say good or excellent while 41% say poor.
Sixty-three percent (63%) of voters believe that political correctness kept the military from preventing the Fort Hood shootings.

61% of independents now disapprove of Obama. 61%. That's some serious stuff right there. 38% approve, which is not exactly awful, but it's certainly not good.

Not a poll but a forecast: 2012 is projected to have a very bad unemployment rate of 7.5%.

The unemployment rate will remain elevated for years to come, according to a forecast released Tuesday by the Federal Reserve that addresses for the first time economic conditions at the time of the next presidential election.

It paints a grim picture. Top Fed officials expect the unemployment rate to remain in the 6.8 to 7.5 percent range at the end of 2012 and said it could take “about five or six years” from now for economic activity to return to normal. The jobless rate was 10.2 percent in October. …

The math is simple: The U.S. economy is capable of growing at roughly 2.5 to 3 percent a year, thanks to population growth and technological improvement, and needs to grow faster than that to create large numbers of jobs and significantly improved standards of living.

Following the last recession of comparable depth for example, in 1981-82, gross domestic product growth averaged a 7.8 percent annual rate for four quarters.

In this recession, by contrast, the five current Fed governors and 12 presidents of regional Fed banks expect growth of 2.5 to 3.5 percent in 2010 — which would be enough to bring the unemployment rate down only slightly.

But that's not necessarily doom for Obama. Bear in mind, by that point, people will have adjusted to 10-11% unemployment (17-20% real unemployment) as the new normal. Any improvement from there will be welcome -- and Obama will get the odd "credit" of getting us an unemployment rate of "only" 7.5%. Yes, Obama will be rewarded for his own incompetence, the same he's been his whole life.

He will be vulnerable in this scenario, but hardly doomed. Bear in mind, although the economy was growing in 1996, it wasn't nearly firing on all cylinders, and was still weak-ish. And yet, simply for having a growing economy -- not a barnburner, as we'd later see in 1998-1999 -- Clinton was considered well-nigh undefeatable in 1996.

I gotta be honest: I didn't even vote. It was clear to me fairly early in the season that Clinton's growing, but not hardy, economy was good enough to almost guarantee him a victory in 1996.

We didn't make much of a case for ourselves with Bob Dole, but he was a small factor. As they say, the election was a referendum on the incumbent, primarily, and with a bit of economic growth, people decided they'd stick with what was working.

No one will be happy with a 7-8% unemployment rate. But given an easing of the 11% unemployment rate -- and who knows, maybe it will get up to 12% -- people will be at least appeased. And Obama will have the media crowing about the "economic miracle" of Obama delivering us an economy that hearkens back to the days of bread and honey of the Ford Administration.

Vulnerable in 2012, yes. But we will need a strong candidate, and yes, we will need a lot of those hated moderates and independents people are always telling me apparently don't count in electoral politics. Not saying we need to sell-out to them, but we will need them on board.

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posted by Ace at 05:23 PM

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