The good news for Obama admirers? He's back at 51 percent overall approval in this survey -- as opposed to quite a lot of early 2013 polling. The bad news? His approval rating is upside down on virtually every major issue:
Economy: 44% Approve, 54% Disapprove
Federal Budget Deficit: 38% Approve, 58% Disapprove
Taxes: 46% Approve, 52% Disapprove
Illegal Immigration: 44% Approve, 50% Disapprove
Gun Policy: 45% Approve, 52% Disapprove
Health care policy: 44% Approve, 54% Disapprove
Social Security and Medicare: 44% Approve, 52% Disapprove
Pre-election, I was always keen on analyzing the economic approval numbers -- which remain rather weak, for a number of reasons. Obama has always fetched (and richly earned) terrible numbers on deficits, so that's no surprise. And the drumbeat of bad Obamacare news has almost certainly contributed to the his ten-point healthcare gap. But what most interests me here are the stats on guns, immigration and taxes. The president is in the midst of an impassioned -- an often demagogic -- gun control effort, during which he's attempting to claim the political and moral high ground. But after months of beating the drum on behalf of The Children, he's seven points under on the issue. Similarly, as Washington gears up for a high-stakes immigration fight, the most prominent advocate for comprehensive reform draws pretty measly numbers on the topic. Part of this could be attributable to the president getting hit from both sides: Reform advocates may think he hasn't done enough, fast enough; opponents see him as the face of amnesty. Regardless, this dynamic reinforces how complex and difficult the politics of this issue can be. Finally, within the context of the president's belated budget release this week, the question of tax increases has again reared its head. His proposal presents some modest, and laudable, entitlement reform ideas -- which Obama will only embrace if Republicans agree to raise taxes again. The public isn't enamored with the president's position on either issue set, it appears.
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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