OH DEAR, OH DEAR, HOW LOW WILL THIS GO? – No matter what President Obama does, his numbers remain weak. The latest from the world of political math, via CNN:
Washington (CNN) -- President Barack Obama's disapproval rating has reached a new high of 55% while the number of Americans who think he is a strong leader has dropped to a new low, 48%, according to a CNN/ORC poll released Tuesday.
And a familiar pattern in public opinion on Obama again asserts itself: Americans don't like his track record on major issues while they continue to like him personally. Nearly eight in 10 respondents say Obama is likeable; large majorities believe he is compassionate, hard-working, and has a vision for the country's future. Three-quarters think he fights for his beliefs.
But only 39% approve of how he is handling unemployment, and just 36% approve of the way he is handling the economy, not surprising when more than eight in 10 think the economy is in poor shape.
Opinion on Obama's economic track record is mixed, however. While fewer than one in 10 (9%) think his policies have made the economy better, about four in 10 (39%) credit them with preventing the economy from being even worse than it is today. On the other side, 37% say Obama has made economic conditions worse. Fifteen percent think his policies have had no effect.
Overall, 55% now say they disapprove of how he is handling his job as president. That's one point higher than the 54% disapproval rating he routinely hit in polls taken in July and August. Forty-three percent now say they approve of how Obama is handling his job overall. That is not an all-time low for him; he hit 42% a year ago. Six in 10 say Obama has fallen short of their expectations.
COMMENT: And so the Dems are pursuing a classic political strategy when a president up for reelection is unpopular. They're arguing that the alternative to the guy is far worse. The scare campaign against any Republican candidate is already starting, with the classic argument that the GOP will take away your Social Security.
Rasmussen today is reporting numbers similar to CNN's:
Overall, 45% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president's performance. Fifty-four percent (54%) at least somewhat disapprove.
These are poor numbers, but, as we've noted in response to earlier polls, they're not hopeless. Other presidents have come back from numbers like these to win reelection. But Obama has demonstrated a unique, almost exciting way to remain unpopular. I think that people have simply lost confidence in him, and the confidence factor is enormous in politics. Ronald Reagan remained politically popular because people, even those who had disagreements with him, had a certain confidence in him. That confidence just doesn't exist with Obama.
September 14, 2011