Rich Galen

There was almost no good news for President Barack Obama in the CNN/ORC poll released earlier this week.

As the President giggled and played rock, paper, scissors with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the G-8 Conference in Ireland, the bloom appears to have begun to come off the Obama Rose as far as the American people are concerned.

This is just one poll taken last week (Tuesday through Thursday), so it might not signal a trend, but it certainly won't generate confidence in the West Wing.

Let's go to the tape.

In overall approval, the President was +8 in May's poll, 53-45. But in the most recent poll the President's approval rating has dropped to 45-54 or -9.

That's a negative shift of 17 percentage points in one month.

Every Democrat who has been pointing to the President's fairly steady approval numbers as evidence that his goodwill among his base has an insulating property to protect him against the NSA snooping, the IRS, the Benghazi problem, the DoJ collecting reporters' phone records and targeting Fox's James Rosen, Syria, Turkey, and maybe even a Kryptonite asteroid that could have the Earth in its sights.

On what are known as the "issue handling" questions (Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling...):

The Economy: 42-57 (-15)

Foreign Affairs: 44-54 (-10)

Deficit/budget: 34-64 (-30)

Immigration: 40-56 (-16)

NSA/Surveillance: 35-61 (-26)

I didn't leave out the good issues. That's the whole list.

On the "Do you consider the President to be honest & trustworthy" question the result was 49-50.

That's only minus one so it doesn't look so bad. But a month ago that result was 58-41 (+17). So, it represents an 18 percentage point drop.

Let's put the actual numbers aside and look at the potential effects of a weakened President on the 2014 mid-term elections. If Obama continues to sink in popularity and trust then Democrats running for election or re-election in the House or Senate will grow wary of being seen with or heard supporting the President.

Even a weak President can raise enormous sums of money, but we may see him doing more events for the Democratic House and Senate campaign committees and the Democratic National Committee than for individual candidates.

The committees can move a lot of money around, but there are limits on how much they can donate to an individual campaign and it's an inefficient funding method.

If the President's numbers are still in the tank this autumn when campaign season gets cranked up, Republican candidates will demand that their Democratic opponents defend Obama.


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.

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