Free Markets, Free People

Poll: Majority feel Obama changed country for the worse

I continue to hear the left bravely or blindly asserting that Obama’s fine and will pull off re-election with relative ease.  I even hear that on the right from some.

My political gut says no.  It’ll be close.  No one is really that enamored with Mitt Romney.  However, in the end, it will be Romney.

Why do I speak with such apparent certainty?  Well, as I’ve mentioned in the past, there are certain types of polls I keep an eye on.  They could be characterized as “temperature” polls I guess as in taking the temperature of the nation.  Direction of the country is one I like to watch.  Here’s another for example:

Two-thirds of likely voters say President Obama has kept his 2008 campaign promise to change America — but it’s changed for the worse, according to a sizable majority.

A new poll for The Hill found 56 percent of likely voters believe Obama’s first term has transformed the nation in a negative way, compared to 35 percent who believe the country has changed for the better under his leadership.

The results signal broad voter unease with the direction the nation has taken under Obama’s leadership and present a major challenge for the incumbent Democrat as he seeks reelection this fall. 

Two points.  One the poll is of “likely voters” which is a much stronger and accurate demographic than “registered  voters”.  Secondly, the 35% of satisfied likely voters pretty much mirrors the percentage of Democrats in the US.  What that says to me is independents are overwhelmingly dissatisfied with the president.

That’s not good news for the Obama campaign.

Then there is enthusiasm, something we talk about because it is an intangible that is critical to any election.  It is critical to any GOTV effort.  Those that are more enthusiastic about the election for whatever reason (love their candidate, don’t like the other candidate, etc.) are more likely to make the effort to vote and be receptive to a GOTV effort.

That too seems to be running against Obama:

Independent of voter opinions about how the country has changed, The Hill Poll found an overwhelming majority of voters — 89 percent — view the choice between Obama and Romney as important in terms of the future impact on the country.

Almost half (47 percent) say they are paying more attention to this year’s election than the 2008 vote. Republicans are generally paying more attention than Democrats — 56 percent to 44 percent — to the 2012 campaign compared to 2008.

The Hill, which conducted the poll, wants you to believe that independents, which they also identify as “centrists”, are pretty evenly split over the two candidates.  But their 56/35 finding doesn’t support that assertion. 

People are not happy with the current situation in the country (with good reason) and for the most part think 4 years is enough time to change it if a president is capable of doing so.  It hasn’t happened.  In fact, for at least 14.9% of the working population it has gotten worse (as reflected in the U6 unemployment/underemployment number).

That’s a huge number. 

What Obama doesn’t have going for him this time is a ground swell of naiveté that bought into the nebulous “hope and change” mantra.  He most likely won’t have the youth turnout he had (enthusiasm down badly).  He very likely won’t have the squishy Republican vote (the Peggy Noonan vote) he had last time.  The “white guilt” vote has, for the most part, been assuaged.  A black president was elected and got his chance.  Add those in with his loss of the independent or swing voters, and the margins become very thin. 

Obviously the swing states, as usual, will determine the outcome.  But even in the swing states, the margins are razor thin (with Romney leading in many), and that, again, is not a good sign for an incumbent four months out.

This particular temperature check seems to bolster the political gut feeling (a collection of such temperature checks and other rumblings here and there) that this is an incumbent in deep trouble and probably doesn’t yet know the extent of it.

When emphasis is turned on to his record, my guess is the numbers get worse … for him.

Stay tuned.


Twitter: @McQandO

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11 Responses to Poll: Majority feel Obama changed country for the worse

  • The Hill Poll found an overwhelming majority of voters — 89 percent — view the choice between Obama and Romney as important in terms of the future impact on the country.

    THAT is the killer number of those cited.  No blase voters this time.  And no muddled picture, even with Romney as the candidate.
    Bad Luck Barry has a record now.  Nobody with a functioning brain likes it.  Back to you, Erp.

  • “The “white guilt” vote has, for the most part, been assuaged.  A black president was elected and got his chance. ”
    And Morgan Freeman stabbed him in the political back last week – ‘not the first black President’, making clear Obama’s momma was about as white as you can get without wearing your bed sheets.  Hard to say if that attitude spreading won’t discharge some of the voltage of the black community too.
    Shocking reality

    • Freeman didn’t stab Obama in the back.  He still supports Obama and bemoans all the “unfair” attacks on him.  Incidentally, Morgan Freeman’s skin tone is not as dark as the typical sub-Saharan African, so I’m guessing he has some white ancestors.  Does that mean his argument is one of cultural identity, that “real” black Americans have parents who are both black and both lived under the yoke of racism, or something like that?  If Obama isn’t “black”, then when Freeman accused the “tea party” of being racist for opposing Obama, does this mean they are only half racist or something?
      Curiously, Freeman sounded quite a different note in 2005.  I’m getting the impression that the man shoots from the hip and doesn’t have a coherent grasp on these things.
      I prefer not to know the political or religious opinions of entertainers.  If it’s someone whose talent I admire, there’s a strong chance I’ll hate such opinions.  Usually they’re attempting to portray themselves as being for “the little people” and mouthing populist platitudes–which are usually quite at odds with the reality of how they became successful.  Sometimes it’s not collectivist rot, but simpleminded platitudes which they somehow think are “deep” because they are famous and/or have portrayed deep thinkers as actors.
      I enjoy Morgan Freeman’s films, for the most part, but I have no regard for his political acumen, since he stated that the “tea party” was racist.  As long as there have been political parties, there have been groups which strongly opposed leaders of the other parties.  Either Freeman is ignorant of history (willfully, perhaps), or he knows better but calculated that playing the race card was an effective way to do damage to people he doesn’t like.
      I’d rather not know anything of his opinions and just watch his damned movies.

      • “I’d rather not know anything of his opinions and just watch his damned movies.”
        Ah, Eliot, you are a dreamer.  🙂
        To many of them think the fact that they’re rich and can act makes their opinion worth something.

  • The only poll that counts is the one on the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.

    • After which I hope the only speeches Obama gives are to Michelle, blaming Bush for his defeat.

  • Two words: preference cascade.

  • In all polls go ahead and add about 2-3% to the anti Obama group. That is because people lie to pollsters so as not to seem racist or too right wing.  I know that the pollsters supposedly adjust for this, but they never seem to adjust enough.