Donald Lambro

WASHINGTON -- President Obama can certainly identify politically with what has been happening to the nation's capital meteorologically, being hit hard by a blizzard of unwanted storms.

But as Washington dug itself out from under a massive snowfall that shut down the government, Obama and the Democrats remained buried under a blizzard of icy polls showing increased voter unhappiness with their job performance.

Last week's Gallup Poll showed the president sinking to new lows on his handling of the economy and health care, both drawing the approval of only 36 percent of Americans. Sixty percent disapprove of his approach on health care, while 61 percent don't like how he's handling the economy. Among independents, just 29 percent approve of his economic policies.

The numbers were as bad, if not worse, for the Democratic-controlled Congress, with a Washington Post/ABC News poll showing more than seven in 10 Americans disapproving of the job it is doing.

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That spells bad news for Obama and his party in November, because the Post/ABC survey showed Republicans making a political comeback from its devastating losses in 2008. When Americans are asked how they would vote in the midterm House elections, they are split right down the middle, 46 percent to 46 percent. Democrats had led the GOP by 51 percent to 39 percent four months ago.

Significantly, registered independent voters, who will likely decide the outcome of this fall's elections, now say they will vote Republican by 51 percent to 35 percent.

This represents a dramatic change in the political landscape from just a year ago and underscores my earlier reports in this column that the GOP is poised to pick up as many as 30 House seats, possibly closer to 40, and anywhere from six to eight seats in the Senate.

The economy remains the dominant issue that is driving voters away from Obama and the Democrats and toward the Republicans. The latest jobless numbers have only further deepened dissatisfaction with the president's economic-stimulus program. The only thing it's stimulated is more government spending and increasing federal debt.

As Obama's poll numbers have fallen, the administration has frantically escalated its claims that its jobs program is working. Vice President Joe Biden said the stimulus was "responsible for over 1 million jobs so far," either saved or created.


Donald Lambro

Donald Lambro is chief political correspondent for The Washington Times.