Free Markets, Free People

Some worrying poll numbers for Obama

The consensus appears to be that the Oval Office speech last night fizzled. It didn’t accomplish what the administration and, I’d guess, the Democrats hoped it would. That is show a commanding president in charge of the situation who reflects confidence and leadership.

None of that desired above were evident. Interestingly, the left is savaging the speech just as much as the right. No one apparently felt good after that one.

Which brings us to a poll that’s quite interesting – the USA TODAY/Gallup poll about political viability. By that I mean futures for both the president and the Democratic Congress. And if the poll is to be believed (and I see no reason it shouldn’t), the future isn’t so bright the Dems need shades:

The criticism hasn’t driven down Obama’s overall job-approval rating, at 50% in the new poll, the highest since January. But it may be affecting his standing in other ways. By 51%-46%, the registered voters surveyed said Obama didn’t deserve re-election.

Enthusiasm about voting in the midterm elections fell, especially among Democrats. Just 35% of Democrats say they are “more enthusiastic about voting than usual,” the lowest level in more than a decade and 18 percentage points below that of Republicans.

The poll, of course, doesn’t reflect the mood of voters after the “big speech” so those “overall job-approval rating” numbers may not remain at 50%. But the future is reflected in the enthusiasm, or lack thereof and the doesn’t “deserve re-election” numbers that the poll reports.

If you’ve lost your base, which is how I interpret “enthusiasm” numbers – i.e. how enthused your base is about what you’re doing and will they get off their duffs and vote to keep you going – then you’re pretty much done. Because you can count on a whole lot of independents not being too enthused about Democrats either, as other polling has shown.

And, when you have a 5% gap in “doesn’t deserve to be re-elected”, that’s fairly significant and gives Dems and idea of the job they have in front of them selling this guy the next time.

That all supposes that events keep going the way they have for the past few months. I have little doubt they won’t. And then, for good measure, some international event, of which a number are building, will burst over the horizon and into the news, complicating this administration’s fuzzy focus even more.

Some would describe all this ineptitude and chaos we’re witnessing to be a teachable moment for the voting public – next time pay attention to qualifications. The only problem with that is you are supposed to learn something from teachable moments, and to do that, you have to survive them.



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22 Responses to Some worrying poll numbers for Obama

  • the future isn’t so bright the Dems need shades

    I believe you must be referring to these fine shades, worn by, well, “Democrats everywhere” isn’t fair, but Democratic leadership and college professors, certainly. (Yeah, you meant it slightly differently, but this is fun too.)

    • Ah yes, an awesome invention.  You know, as an offering to help I called the White House and let them know they could borrow my “Somebody Else’s Problem” field generator to put around the spill, but they assured me they already had one up and operating.
      Since there is no link to it –

      An SEP is something we can’t see, or don’t see, or our brain doesn’t let us see, because we think that it’s somebody else’s problem…. The brain just edits it out, it’s like a blind spot. If you look at it directly you won’t see it unless you know precisely what it is. Your only hope is to catch it by surprise out of the corner of your eye.

      The technology involved in making something properly invisible is so mind-bogglingly complex that 999,999,999 times out of a billion it’s simpler just to take the thing away and hide it……. The “Somebody Else’s Problem field” is much simpler, more effective, and “can be run for over a hundred years on a 9Volt battery.”

      This is because it relies on people’s natural predisposition not to see anything they don’t want to, weren’t expecting, or can’t explain.”

  • > a teachable moment for the voting public

    No.  A teachable moment supposes the learner is rational.  And anyone who was rational would not  have voted for someone with a shady past, poor credentials, lack of a leadership track record, and obvious signs of being very VERY left of the average American.   

    I saw this guy as an empty suit the first time I saw him on television, and personally could not see how anyone in their right mind  could ever vote for him.  Voters are feeling down now, but someone else with flash, promise and a silver tongue will make them do it again.   American character is now lost.

    • There were a varity of factors in play in 2008. Bush was unpopular, the MSM was lying through its collective teeth, McCain was a lousy candidate and the financial crisis broke.

      Zero carried the young and minorities and the idiot left, along with sufficient swing voters to win. But just before the financial crisis (which is sorta Bill Clinton’s gift to Zero) McCain (McCain!) managed to almost pull even with Zero.

  • “After the last President, who weakened the US with two ineffective wars, causing the world to no longer fear US power, who ran massive deficits during a low unemployment bubble economy, whose de-regulation of big finance helped support a massive ponsi-like scheme by big money, and whose diplomatic ineffectiveness marginalized the world, you have the gall to fire cheap shots at Obama who is trying to handle a problem that the government really can’t solve (this is beyond the scope of government capacity) just because, well, I’m not sure what your problem is.  It sounds like “this is a horrible problem so let’s just blame as much of it on Obama as we can.”   Pathetic partisan hackery.  Oh well, he’s almost certain to get re-elected, so be ready to keep whining for seven more years”

  • McQSome would describe all this ineptitude and chaos we’re witnessing to be a teachable moment for the voting public – next time pay attention to qualifications.

    This presupposes a few things:

    1.  That there are clear, simple alternatives with clear, unmistakably linked outcomes.  “I did X, and Y happened BECAUSE I DID X.”

    In politics (or, for that matter, any complex system), an the linkage between action and outcome may not be so obvious, either because the outcome ocurs long after the action; there are several actions that contribute to an outcome; and the cause of the outcome is subject to debate.  Further, the desirability of the outcome is subject to debate: some people think that Y was good, others think it was bad.  Finally, especially in politics, people lie about actions, linkages and outcomes.

    2.  That people are logical and, when actions, linkages and outcomes are presented to them, will evaluate them dispassionately.  “I did X, and Y happened BECAUSE I DID X.  Therefore, I will only do X again if I want Y to occur again.”

    3.  That learning a lesson (i.e. not repeating a mistake) is more desirable than saving face or scoring political points.  “I did X, and Y happened BECAUSE I DID X.  Now, Y was pretty damned bad.  However, I can’t admit that because my opponents will take advantage of it.  So, I must continue to do X – and praise the advisability of doing so – because I can’t let people know that I fouled up.”

    In this particular case, there is plenty to prevent people learning their lesson:

    1.  Imeme IS inexperienced.  So was President Lincoln.  On the other hand, Sheriff Joe is quite experienced (a legend in his own mind, shall we say?).  Anybody want to put that addle-pated fool in charge of ANYTHING???  So, it does not follow that experience —> competence.

    2.  People do not think logically with regard to politics.  I think we need only look at the comments section of this or any other blog to see evidence of this.  People have their own sacred cows and bete noirs that they will defend or villify even in the face of the most unassailable arguments and facts.

    3.  A lot of people were adamant that Imeme would be competent.  They staked their pride on this: “See how smart I am?  I’m voting for HIM because he’s so smart and intellectual and cool and competent!” Asking them to admit that they were fools for this laughable belief is only a notch or two below asking them to renounce their religious faith (or whatever substitute liberals have).

    In short, don’t look for “teachable moments” for the left, any more than you should look for jackasses to learn calculus.  It’s just not their thing.

    • I agree with a lot of what you say, but I think people can learn.  I’ve known or heard collectivists who FINALLY got it, and became fine thinking people.  Many of our fellow countrymen were ill-informed (sure, their fault), and they relied on the MSM.  They are taking lessons from that, too.

  • Rasmussen had him at a new low today, with 42% overall approval among likely voters. The overall disapproval is 57%. Those are daily tracking numbers that bounce up and down, but that’s the low so far in his presidency.

    More troubling is todays strong approval/strong disapproval, which is at 24% strongly approve, 44% strongly disapprove, for a difference of -20 by that measure. That bounces around too.

    His overall approval has stayed at 46-47% for about six months. The strong approval has stayed down mostly arount 25-26%, the strong disapproval around 42%.

    So his support has been soft, with plenty of room to fall. He could make his way down to 35% overall approval quite quickly, for instance. But given how poor his performance has been, the non-strong support (the difference between the strong at 26% and the overall at 46%) has pretty much stayed with him and given him what has to be the benefit of the doubt.

  • There is a critical mass…tipping point…PONR…pick your cliche…at which Obama cannot really recover.  Obama in particular, who is not a Bill Clinton, will simple be done in practical terms.  He may linger.  He will not learn.  He will not recover.
    Time to go.

    • Unfortunately, he can do a lot of damage before Jan. 2013.  Apparently, he’s asking the Congress to pass cap ‘n’ tax during the lame duck session.  This tells me that, at the very least, he knows that the vote will be political suicide, so he’s doing it AFTER the elections so that members don’t have to go home to their states and districts and explain why they did it even while asking to be reelected.  At worst, he’s assuming that the dem majority will be a thing of the past, and so he’s asking the dems to give a great big “F*CK YOU!” to the country on their way out.

      • Unfortunately, he can do a lot of damage before Jan. 2013.  Apparently, he’s asking the Congress to pass cap ‘n’ tax during the lame duck session. 

        >>>> If they do that, they have no business to  cry about the “consequences”

        Whatever they may be.

  • 1) Those poll numbers could actually be overstated by folks who don’t want to be too harsh on the first African-American president.
    2) Pres. Obama may come out looking better in the media once he has a real enemy to attack with enthusiasm…a GOP led Congress. Plus then he can have a great excuse for “voting present.” He might even get re-elected in 2012 if he’s lucky and nothing happens on a presidential issue like foreign policy. People might decide that gridlock is a good thing, and let’s let the guy stay on.

    • Those are unlikely circumstances, but it’s possible. The clincher will be some foreign policy fiasco. You can just feel it building.

      • I agree on the foreign policy fiasco. That will be the Jimmy Carter trifecta.
        Or a double-dip – I don’t think he could blame the GOP for that in 2011-2012.

  • I think that people like to give a president the benefit of the doubt. George Bush had big support for quite a while after 9/11 and got a lot of benefit of the doubt. By 2004 voters would consider replacing him but the Democrats offered them the odious John Kerry.

    I don’t think that people feel comfortable, however, being expected to give a president the benefit of the doubt or face being called names. In today’s Rasmussen poll one thing that surprised me was Obama’s numbers with voters unaffiliated with either party. Only 12% of them strongly approve, while 52% strongly disapprove; that’s a -40 and more than a four to one strong disapprove to strong approve. That’s a pretty serious number.

  • Obama is losing the left because he is simply not nearly left enough, he never had the right, and the center goes where the wind blows, which is blowing against Obama as a result of the Gulf gusher. Before the Gulf spill, Obama came back to or above 50% because the economy feels better to most people.

    Looking at the 2010 Congressional polls shifting, we may be witnessing something akin to an inversion of the South Park Republican dictum, “I hate liberals, but I really fuc*ing hate conservatives.”

    The base always pushes candidates to the edges in primaries, on both sides, which is a problem in itself, but I think the purity tests in the Republican party, and the Tea Party activism in the primaries, is going to make a lot of Republican candidates unelectable in the general elections.  Case in point, Harry Reid. He should have been an easy knockoff, his supporters are the opposite of enthusiastic, as they should be (he kind of sucks as a Senator, and really sucks as a Majority Leader), and Republicans would have been extremely ehthusiastic to knock out another ML. But what happened? Sharron Angle took the primary, and Harry Reid’s prayers have been answered. He gets to play the underdog, since she comes in with an 11 point lead, and he has so much ammunition and money to put behind it, that by the time this race is over, Angle is going to become a poster child or non-electability.  Don’t think so? Ask Sue Lowden, or her physician, Dr. Poultrycare.

    Sad thing is, I think the anger is appropriate, just misdirected. Congress doesn’t suck because of ideology, it sucks because off the payoff system that will engulf even the staunchest Tea Partiers, once they get into the Show.

    I actually like Angle’s so-called crazy idea of letting young people opt of Social Security, but young people don’t vote, and old people (which I hear Nevada has a few) DO vote, and they REALLY don’t like the idea of someone derailing their gravy train.

    But hey, it’s not like I am always correct.

  • The poll numbers I can’t wait for, happen on November 2nd.

  • I am pretty sure I alluded to both sides pushing toward the edges in primaries, but my point stands, the Right is the side that is going to be using purity tests to advance unelectable candidates to the general election.

    Another example is Charlie Christ, who was pushed out so hard by the right, he will almost certainly caucus with the Dems, and he was a shoe-in for Republicans, now a likely winner for Dems.

    Yes, both sides have purity tests, one side is going much farther than the other in their use.

  • How childish of people to be so intolerant and impatient-and rhe white liberals who are also part of the white privileged class need to realize that Obama did indeed inherit a mess and Republicans are sabotaging whatever positive things he is trying to do. So you just give up on Obama because ow he’s now he is no longer your great black hope. Spare me pleaseM he is not an empty suit he needs to tell all of you to go to hell!!!