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September 06, 2011

Obama Pollageddon

Two polls out today and not a bit of good news in either one of them for Obama.

First the Washington Post-ABC News poll.

More than 60 percent of those surveyed say they disapprove of the way the president is handling the economy and, what has become issue No. 1, the stagnant jobs situation. Just 43 percent now approve of the job he is doing overall, a new career low; 53 percent disapprove, a new high.


By this time in their presidencies, approval ratings for both Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton — who also suffered serious midterm setbacks during their first term — had settled safely above the 50 percent mark. Both then stayed in positive territory throughout their reelection campaigns.

When ratings for George W. Bush slipped into the low 40s during his second term in office, they remained there or lower for the remainder of his presidency.

Obama does, however, rate better than do congressional Republicans, his adversaries in recent, fierce confrontations on federal spending. Just 28 percent approve of the way Republicans in Congress are doing their job, and 68 percent disapprove, the worst spread for the GOP since summer 2008.

Unfortunately for Obama, "congressional Republicans" won't be the alternative on the 2012 ballot.

And for all the talk about how "congressional Republicans" poll lower than Obama, when respondents are asked, "Who do you trust to do a better job" on key economic issues the GOP is close to or actually leads Obama:

On "Handling the economy " Obama is at 42%, the GOP is at 39

On "Creating jobs" Obama and the GOP tie at 40%

And on "Handling the federal budget deficit" the GOP leads Obama 42% to 39.

The poll sample is 1,001 adults and not registered voters (where GOP usually does better) and breaks down to 33% Democrats, 24% Republican and 36% independent. There's no way to predict what the electorate is going to be next year but you can compare it to the '08 exit polls...39% Democrats, 32% Republican 29%, independent. Clearly the Democratic turnout. If you really think GOP turnout is going to be lower and all the shrinkage goes to indies, good luck with that.

Want some more Obama DOOM? Of course you do.

Obama's job approval rating has sunk to a low of 44 percent, a 3-point drop since July. His handling of the economy stands at a low of 37 percent. And only 19 percent believe the country is headed in the right direction, the lowest mark for this president.

Perhaps most ominously for Obama, a majority of poll takers — 54 percent — think he's facing a longer-term setback from which he's unlikely to recover. Back in January, just 39 percent agreed with that assessment.

Indeed, that 54 percent is virtually identical to George W. Bush's score on the same question in the Nov. 2005 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which was released just months after Bush's widely criticized handling of Hurricane Katrina.

The bold part? DOOM. 54% are basically saying, the guy is done.

That's NBC, the house organ of the Obama administration. They do give it the old college try to find some good news for their guy.

If there's a silver lining for Obama, it's that a combined 70 percent of respondents still find him likeable (though nearly six in 10 say they disapprove of many of his policies). And 50 percent approve of his handling of foreign policy, which Hart says is significant because it suggests that the public doesn't think that everything Obama touches can be viewed negatively.

What's more, in a hypothetical general election contest, Obama leads Texas Gov. Rick Perry by five points, 47 percent to 42 percent. And he leads former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney by one, 46 percent to 45 percent, though that margin is down five points since June.

But for the first time in the poll, more say they'd probably vote for a generic Republican candidate (44 percent) than say they'd probably vote for Obama (40 percent).

Yeah, well, the part where people actually have to chose is over a year away. A challenger is going to have time to define themselves and build support. Obama for the first time in his life is going to have run on his record and it's miserable. It's going to be a lot harder to dazzle people with BS when they have already decided you are a SCOAMF.

Which leads to this interesting internal question from the poll (pdf):

Which of the following two statements comes closer to your point of view?

Statement A: The president and the Congress should worry more about boosting the economy even though it may mean larger budget deficits now and in the future.

Statement B: The president and the Congress should worry more about keeping the budget deficit down, even though it may mean it will take longer for the economy to recover.

Statement A/Worry more about boosting the economy ............ 38%
Statement B/Worry more about keeping budget deficit down .... 56%

If people have decided that keeping the deficit down is a top priority then that bodes well for the GOP and indicates calls for massive spending (the only trick Obama and the Democrats have, well other than "teh RACISM!") aren't going to be well received.

All the caveats...polls are just snapshots and a lot can happen in 14 months away but Democrats better hope this is one hell of a speech he gives on Thursday.

Added: Slublog remembered to dig out the partisan breakdown of the NBC poll: 39% Dems or leaning, 17% independent, 34% GOP or leaning.

digg this
posted by DrewM. at 09:10 AM

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