Obama Poll Numbers Dropping
The latest NPR poll, conducted by Democrat Stan Greenberg of Greenberg Quinlan Rosner and Republican Glen Bolger of Public Opinion Strategies (Disclosure: My wife is COO) finds President Obama’s approval barely over the majority mark and serious doubts about his health plan.
The pollsters found 53 percent approving of the president’s handling of his job, while 42 percent disapproved — the narrowest gap of the Obama presidency to date. Most of the approving group said they approved strongly, and an even greater majority of the disapproving group said they disapproved strongly.
Poll respondents liked a Democratic statement on solving health care problems better than a Republican statement (51 percent to 42 percent). However, when asked about the plan now moving through Congress, a plurality of 47 percent was opposed and 42 percent said they were in favor, based on what they had heard about the plan so far.
In another part of the poll, respondents were asked which of two statements on the economy came closer to expressing their view. The first statement: “President Obama’s economic policies helped avert an even worse crisis and are laying the foundation for our eventual economic recovery.” The second statement: “President Obama’s economic policies have run up a record federal deficit while failing to end the recession or slow the record pace of job losses.” A plurality preferred the second statement, 48 percent to 45 percent. A majority on both sides said they agreed strongly (2 to 1 among those preferring the first statement; 3 to 1 among those preferring the second).
Obama’s approval is still double that Bush had when he left office. Then again, Bush’s popularity was historically low and Obama started with very high favorables. The RealClearPolitics aggregate had him at 63.3 percent approval and 20.0 percent disapproval on January 27.
One of the things noted in the “Morning Edition” discussion of the NPR poll was that the Right Direction/Wrong Direction numbers were still very much in Obama’s favor. But look at the graph:
The numbers have been on a straight line since last summer — long before Obama was elected, much less took office. So I’m not sure that’s anything to write home about.
The bottom line here is that, as was to be expected, Obama’s approval has declined as he’s been forced to make tough decisions. He abdicated his signature program, health system reform, to the Congress, which is much less popular than he is and appears ready to botch it. His massive stimulus package, passed with very little Republican support, is viewed as a boondoggle.
The Republicans are still unpopular — even with other Republicans:
Still, the Republicans are likely to pick up some low hanging fruit in the 2010 midterms by virtue of buyer’s remorse over Democrats traditional Republican districts and continued slides in Obama’s approval could exacerbate that trend.
More NPR poll graphics [PDF].