Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Obama Keeps Sinking

The latest McClatchey-Marist Poll out today continues to bang a minor chord on the lower register of the political piano, joining with the CBS/NYT Poll of a few days ago (and that one from Obama's friends, no less).
The president’s job approval rating, his favorability, and his rating on the economy have hit all-time lows.  To compound matters, three in four Americans still believe the nation is in a recession and the proportion who thinks the country is moving in the wrong direction is at its highest point in more than a decade.
According to this McClatchy-Marist Poll, the president’s approval rating is at 39% among registered voters nationally, an all-time low for Mr. Obama.  For the first time a majority – 52% – disapproves of the job he is doing in office, and 9% are unsure.
“President Obama needs to reboot his presidency,” says Dr. Lee M. Miringoff, Director of The Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.  “Although numbers like these typically spell doom for an incumbent’s re-election prospects, the Republicans in Congress and eventually his GOP opponent could still provide Obama with running room.”
Translation: he’s doomed, unless the Democrats can successfully demonise the Republican opposition, or they hope that the Republican lead has a melt-down moment, like insinuating ('I didn't say it - someone else did!') that Gardasil causes mental retardation, or making a statement like 'I was brainwashed in Viet Nam'.  (That was the other Romney presidential contender.)

Sure, people can say that Reagan and Clinton pulled out of the slump to be re-elected, but in both cases the economy and national outlook was on the up-swing.  Not so here, with no end of the bad news in sight (on practically any topic, much less the economy).

Update:  Looking further into the poll turns up stronger numbers:
By a margin of 49 percent to 36 percent, voters said they definitely plan to vote against Obama, according to the poll.  Independents by 53 percent to 28 percent said they definitely plan to vote against him.
With that sentiment permeating the electorate a little more than a year before the general election, most Americans think Obama won't win a second term.
By 52 percent to 38 percent, voters think he'll lose to the Republican nominee, whoever that is. Even among Democrats, 31 percent think the Republican nominee will win. . . .
Gov. Rick Perry of Texas continues to lead the field of announced candidates for the Republican presidential nomination, supported by 30 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents.  He was followed by former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts with 22 percent and Rep. Michelle Bachmann of Minnesota with 12 percent.
Others trailed in single digits: Rep. Ron Paul of Texas had 7 percent; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich had 6 percent; business executive Herman Cain had 5 percent, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania had 2 percent, and former Gov. Jon Huntsman of Utah had 1 percent.
Some statistical considerations: the overall poll had a total of 825 respondents (n), but only 317 of them described themselves as Republican or Republican-leaning Independents.  The poll says that the margin of error (ME) overall is +/- 3.0% (which I still hold as optimistic; I'd like to see a higher 'n' for that margin), but for the Republican results the ME increases to 5.5%.  Since the poll is skewed so much to the left, it makes the despairing numbers for Obama even darker.

Note also that these are registered voters, not likely voters (as in Rasmussen, which incidentally has Obama's approval index for today at -21%).  Voters disillusioned with an incumbent are more likely to vote for the opponent, or not vote at all, giving more weight to the opponent's numbers.

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