I'm fairly certain we've covered virtually every single one of the damning statistics highlighted in this clip, but seeing them all spliced closely together -- and juxtaposed against Obama's own words -- is a powerful indictment of this presidency:
When President Obama cast himself as the 2012 "underdog" earlier in the week, I couldn't help but chuckle. He's a well-funded incumbent with the media on his side, after all. That being said, it might be fair to say that he's an underdog against reality heading into the next election. Obama's problem is that the unforgiving economic indicators underscored in the video have translated into grim poll numbers for his re-election effort. A brief survey of the latest damage:
(1) Obama's job approval plummets to a new low in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll:
Obama’s approval rating — while not significantly different from a month ago — is at a new career low, his disapproval number at a new high. In all, 42 percent approve of the job he is doing, while 54 percent disapprove. Barely more than a third of independents give the president positive marks, as 60 percent now disapprove, a new high. For the first time, fewer than half of moderates approve of the way Obama is handling his job.
(2) Americans are decidedly underwhelmed by Obama's performance on the economy, according to CBS News:
Sixty-nine percent say the president has not made real progress on the economy, which voters overwhelmingly cite as their most important issue. Twenty-five percent say he has made real progress. Perceptions are not improving. The percentage who said Mr. Obama has made real progress has dropped 10 points from a survey 13 months ago, when 35 percent said he had made real progress. Just 35 percent of Americans approve of Mr. Obama’s handling of the economy, and his approval rating on the issue has been below 40 percent since February. Fifty-three percent disapprove of his handling of the economy.
(3) Voters in Obama's home state now give him mixed marks, as the president's Prairie State approval dips below 50 percent:
Illinois’s registered voters were split almost evenly on the President’s job performance: 49.81 percent approved while 46.23 percent disapproved, a statistical tie with a margin of error: +/- 2.3. The President retains strong support in Chicago, his adopted hometown, where 78 percent of registered voters approved the job he’s doing. But registered voters have turned negative in Downstate Illinois (where only 39 percent approve) and in the five suburban collar counties surrounding Chicago (43 percent approved, 55 percent disapproved).
Obama's 2012 victory in Illinois is all but assured, but his erosion of support could hurt certain down-ballot Democrats -- like whomever runs to fill retiring Democratic Congressman Jerry Costello's seat next year. A plugged-in Illinois source tells me winning the district is "reachable" for the GOP, and suggests that the party's 2010 Lt. Governor candidate, Jason Plummer, could mount a strong campaign for the seat.
It should go without saying that Barack Obama should never be counted out of an election. Getting elected is, arguably, his greatest life skill. This reality alone should temper Republican confidence and stiffen conservatives' resolve. Obama will eventually lock horns with a flawed opponent, which will ease his task. Alas, actual Republicans are more beatable than generic ones. Even so, with the sitting president openly admitting that average Americans are worse off than they were before he took office, almost any opponent will have a pretty good shot at ousting him next year.