Free Markets, Free People

Obama handling of economy garners 36 percent approval

Another indicator poll.  Again, these polls, at this point, are much more valuable than the horse race polls at this point.

They indicate the mood of the public.  They tell you what is bothering them (or what is pleasing them).  They allow you then to consult electoral history to get an idea of what these sorts of indicators usually mean.

So, to Gallup:


The one issue that Obama gets a majority approval on is really not even on the radar screen for most Americans.  Terrorism is there but unless there’s a big event involving America, it’s not a major issue for this campaign.

Next comes education.  What Obama gets there is a passing grade – barely.  But again, that’s not a top issue in this campaign.  Nor are foreign affairs.

Immigration is important in certain regions of the country and he’s doing poorly there.

But his worst job approval comes in the three top issues for 2012.  Jobs, the economy and the budget deficit.

In all three categories Obama’s is dismal.  His disapproval rating is very high.

While most of the issues above pertain to the country, the jobs and economy categories are much more personal in nature.  They have a great impact on individuals.  And it is individuals who vote.  Right now, only 37% of voters think he’s doing a good job creating jobs (and 58% think he’s doing a poor job), 36% approve (60% disapprove) of his handling of the economy and only 30% (64% disapprove) of his handling of the budget deficit.

That means he now “owns” the economy.  And note the percentages of approval he gets are just about the same percentage of those who self-identify as Democrats.

So, what must Obama do?  Well here’s Gallup’s advice:

Nearly six in 10 Americans approve of Obama’s handling of terrorism; however, that is where majority approval of the president ends in the current poll. He earns his lowest issue ratings on the economic issue areas tested in the survey, with approval on the federal budget deficit the lowest at 30%, and his approval on the economy not much higher, at 36%.

While Obama’s issue ratings are largely unchanged from where they have been over the past year, that stability may be a problem given his overall job approval rating is 45%. Historically, presidents who won a second term had near-50% job approval ratings or better prior to the election. To move closer to that range, Obama may want to focus singularly on raising his approval rating on the economy, as with previous presidents it seems to have been the issue approval most closely linked to overall job approval.

However, Team Obama wants to do anything but focus on the economy since doing so would also focus on how poorly it has performed and provide an opportunity to the GOP to point out why (policy, etc.).  He wants nothing to do with that sort of focus.  Thus the alternate campaign of distraction characterized by “small ball” where Obama et al try to divert attention from these issues to irrelevant issues that have no real bearing on these issues but capture the media’s attention and are exploitable by the Obama campaign.

Result?  Well, we’ll see.  I don’t believe he can hide from this forever.  And as the election nears, it will become more and more difficult to avoid these issues (and more obvious if he attempts it).  He’s eventually going to have to explain the 8.3% unemployment rate, the failure of the stimulus, the dramatic increase of the deficit (to no avail) and the planned trillion dollar deficits for the future. 

And when that happens, and since its obvious the public now charge him with responsibility for the economy, it’s unlikely his ratings are going to improve.


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16 Responses to Obama handling of economy garners 36 percent approval

  • Did the respondents misread the question thinking it was “Facilitating Terrorism”?
    Are Americans that clueless? If so, all that blather about “Having an adult discussion about <pick a topic>…” are just so much flatulence.

  • It is gob-smacking his numbers are as good as they are…
    until you consider the stupefying level of economic ignorance displayed (with disgusting pride) by some of the commenters.

  • The stimulus was a success and the deficits were inherited from Bush.  That is all you need to know.
    Now, if the voters don’t buy this then Obama has problems.  There are plenty of reasons not to buy this ‘framing’ or ‘narrative’ but you can pretty much not count on getting any of that from the MSM.

  • Creating Jobs?
    How many of those polled realized it’s a nonsensical question?

  • What exactly is it about this guy that makes him so allegedly likeable?     I don’t see it, at all.

    • How could you not like prancing unicorns and pots of gold at the ends of rainbows?
      Ya know, other than it being complete bullshit.

    • Quite! I doubt many of us ever met a narcissist we’ve liked, and this guy set the bar!

  • I strongly disagree with your first statment. Horse race polls are much more valuable to me and many Americans! They give better information and help us in placing an informed and hopefully winning wager. In today’s economy many of us depend on our “tax free” track winnings to supplement our incomes. Keeping up with Obama polls has never made me a dime!

  • It’s starting to look like the 1980 race.
    If the movable voters think that Romney is ready for duty, they’ll move to him.
    In Rasmussen, for about three years now, Obama’s “strongly approve” number stays around 25% or lower. So he’s hardly a “beloved” figure. His “strongly disapprove” number has similarly stayed around 40% or higher for those same three years.

    • On the other hand, the October Surprise could be a war. Wars rally the public behind the president. Not sure it would work, though.

  • That’s why the horse race polls are questionable at best.  A guy getting disapprovals in the 60s on the most important categories leading up to the election is not in a close race.  It flies in the face of history and logic.