WHERE OBAMA STANDS – AT 7:52 A.M. ET: A new Fox poll is confirming the president's problems in the polls, especially among independents:
The president’s job rating has returned to pre-bin Laden raid levels, according to a Fox News poll released Wednesday. Currently 48 percent of American voters approve of the job Barack Obama is doing and 43 percent disapprove. Last month, after the death of Usama bin Laden, it was much more positive: 55 approved and 41 percent disapproved (May 2011). Prior to the raid the president’s rating was split evenly 47-47 (April 2011).
The poll finds similar mixed views on the president’s re-election. Nearly half of voters -- 49 percent -- would vote for someone else rather than re-elect President Obama if the 2012 election were held today. Forty-four percent would vote to give him a second term. These results are essentially unchanged from January, the last time this question was asked, when 51 percent said someone else, and 42 percent said re-elect Obama...
...The number of Democrats who would “definitely” re-elect Obama stands at 55 percent...Fully 92 percent of Republicans would vote for someone else, including 72 percent who would “definitely” vote for Obama’s opponent.
But here is the shocker:
For independents, 33 percent would vote to re-elect Obama, down from a high of 43 percent in April 2009. Just over half of independents -- 52 percent -- would vote for someone else, which is almost twice as many as the 28 percent who felt that way near the start of Obama’s term.
If Obama cannot win back independents, it's hard to see how he can be reelected. And winning them back means an improving economy.
Among Republican primary voters, 23 percent would like to see Romney as the nominee. He is followed by New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani at13 percent and former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin at 12 percent. Businessman Herman Cain and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich both receive the backing of 7 percent. Texas Congressman Ron Paul and former Minn. Gov. Tim Pawlenty both come in at 5 percent. All others receive less than five percent support.
Those numbers can change dramatically as the race for the nomination proceeds. What's startling is the low number for Sarah Palin, who probably has higher name recognition than any of the others. Republicans know her, and I'm afraid they've made their decision. Fair or not, she is just not the favorite she used to be.
As I've said here before, I think Sarah's resignation from the Alaska governorship was a breathtaking mistake, and has done her enormous damage. As a sitting governor, she had a certain aura, and was building a record. As someone who quit after less than one term to become a celebrity, she surrendered the image of authority and responsibility. I hope she remains active, as she's a sparkplug with great values. But there's rebuilding to do, and she's still young.
June 9, 2011