Will these numbers puncture the Beltway consensus is that Barack Obama is invincible in 2012? If not, behold invincibility, defined down:
Washington Post/ABC News (whose polls are not typically known for their GOP-favorable outcomes):
By 2 to 1, Americans say the country is pretty seriously on the wrong track, and nine in 10 continue to rate the economy in negative terms. Nearly six in 10 say the economy has not started to recover, regardless of what official statistics may say, and most of those who say it has improved rate the recovery as weak.
Among all Americans, Obama and Romney are knotted at 47 percent each, and among registered voters, the former governor is numerically ahead, 49 percent to 46 percent.
Overall, about six in 10 of those surveyed give Obama negative marks on the economy and the deficit. Significantly, nearly half strongly disapprove of his performance in these two crucial areas. Nearly two-thirds of political independents disapprove of the president's handling of the economy, including -- for the first time -- a slim majority who do so strongly.
Forty-eight percent of people questioned say they approve of how the president is handling his duties in the White House, down six points from late May. An equal 48 percent say they disapprove of how Obama's performing, up three points from late last month. The poll indicates a slight deterioration among Democrats and independent voters, with the president's approval rating among Democrats down three points to 82 percent and down five points among independents to 42 percent.
Forty-eight percent say that another Great Depression is likely to occur in the next year - the highest that figure has ever reached. The survey also indicates that just under half live in a household where someone has lost a job or are worried that unemployment may hit them in the near future.
Most voters still believe President Obama is more liberal than they are, while just one-out-of-four say they share the same ideological views as the president.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that 54% of Likely U.S. Voters think Obama is more ideologically liberal than they are, while only 13% view him as more conservative. Twenty-four percent (24%) say their political views are about the same as the president's.
Dave Weigel snarks, "Can he kill bin Laden again?"
Now, none of this is to suggest that President Obama is destined to lose next year, either. He will have several significant advantages (massive war chest, immense campaign skills, and the ultimate bully pulpit) heading into his re-election push. But by the same token, he's not a shoo-in, and a lot can happen over the next 18 months.
Guy Benson is Townhall.com's Political Editor. Follow him on Twitter @guypbenson. He is co-authors with Mary Katharine Ham for their new book End of Discussion: How the Left's Outrage Industry Shuts Down Debate, Manipulates Voters, and Makes America Less Free (and Fun).
Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography
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