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July 29, 2011

Let It Bleed? Debt Limit Fight May Be Hurting Obama

Liberals almost always immediately say "But Congress' approval is even lower!"

Yes, but people tend to like their own Congressman -- they tend to reflect the district's leanings, even if those diverge from the national average political leaning -- and so "Congess" is never on the ballot.

Just one Congressman is, who usually is more or less in tune with his district.

But Obama is on the ballot it in 2012. Not an abstraction called "The Executive Branch," but the actual person Barack Hussein Obama.

So if Obama's winning this debate, how come he's losing this debate?

President Obama’s approval ratings have plummeted as the debt limit fight in Congress has dragged on. According to a Pew Research Center poll released today, Americans disapprove of Obama’s handling of his job as president by a 48 – 44 margin. As recently as June 19th, Pew found that Americans actually approved of Obama’s job as president by a 46 – 45 margin.

These findings echo Gallup’s Weekly Job Approval numbers which showed last week tied Obama’s worst showing ever in that poll at 43 percent approve, 48 percent disapprove. As recently as June 19th Gallup found that Americans approved of Obama’s job as president by a 47 to 45 margin.

Of course those Gallup numbers are now outdated; the new numbers are worse, 40/50.

But correlation isn't necessarily causation. Is there any evidence that it is Obama's refusal to cut spending which is partly driving his fall?

There is. Today's Gallup poll reported...

Forty percent of Americans approve of the job Barack Obama is doing as president in Gallup's three-day rolling average for July 26-28, a new low for him by one percentage point. His overall approval rating essentially matches his recent rating for handling the debt ceiling negotiations.

!!!

I didn't know that. Did you know that? No one seems to be reporting this. For all the claims of "Republicans being blamed," you'd think someone would report that only 40% of the country approves of Obama's handling of this issue.

Given that this is hurting Obama, Trump and Dick Morris seem right in saying the Republican Establishment types (who I sided with yesterday, but am reconsidering) have more leverage than they are crediting themselves for.

Obama is basically flacking for the liberal Democrats in Congress right now. They want to run on ever-increasing government spending; they will not countenance a cut.

But Obama's political best play is not the same as theirs. These Congressional liberals come from blue states and super-liberal districts; they're not running in a national election, in a country that prioritizes spending cuts over most other agenda items.

In these circumstances, it may be best to do as the Tea Party Brinskmanship Brigade advises and just slow play this, letting Obama bleed and bleed, until he breaks with liberal Congressmen and starts negotiating something closer to the Republican position.


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posted by Ace at 03:49 PM

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