Matt Vespa

The recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll surely doesn’t bode well for the Obama administration, which promised hope and change on a platter back in 2008. Seventy-one percent of Americans feels that the country is going in the wrong direction. President Obama’s job approval has dropped to 40 percent–and only 42 percent approve of how he’s handling the economy. Approval on foreign policy, an area where this administration polled somewhat strongly, fell to 36 percent among Americans.

Regarding the economy, Carol Lee of the Wall Street Journal said earlier this morning on MSNBC’s Morning Joe that “there’s a total disconnect” between reality and rhetoric on Obama’s economic agenda:

CAROL LEE, WSJ: If you look at what the president is saying, his messages publicly, there's a total disconnect between, clearly, what the American public feels and what he is saying is going on in the economy. On Friday he came out and said things are getting better. And clearly, people don't feel that way. The president was campaigning -- raising money in California -- a few weeks ago and he was saying people feel better than they did five years ago. And some of the folks who were interviewed, who participated in this poll explicitly said that they don't feel better than they did five years ago, and so I think what the White House has to contend with is how you match the president's rhetoric and how he's approaching the public on this issue with more what you're seeing in this poll, which is that people are not feeling good about the future -- the 79% of people who think their kids' future is not going to be better than their own.

But where there is a connection shouldn't make any supporter of the president hopeful as the 2014 midterms approach since these numbers are eerily similar to Bush's in 2006 (via Roll Call/ Stu Rothenberg):

The new survey, conducted July 30-August 3, showed Obama’s approval at 40 percent, with 54 percent disapproving of his performance.

Since Bush’s late July 2006 job ratings stood at 39 percent approve/56 percent disapprove, the new Obama numbers bear an even more uncomfortably close resemblance to Bush’s.

As I noted in the column, foreign policy has become a significant problem for the president — and therefore for his party — in the midterms.

The new NBC News/Wall Street Journal survey found Obama’s job performance on foreign policy as a weak 36 percent approve/60 percent disapprove — by far his worst numbers in that area.

While Congress — and Republicans in Congress — remain unpopular, the bad news for the president in the survey continues to raise the possibility the midterms will be more “about” President Obama than about anyone or anything else.


Matt Vespa

Matt Vespa is the Web Editor and Community Manager at Townhall.com. He previously worked for CNS News and was the recipient of Americans for Prosperity Foundation's 2013 Andrew Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Activism and Investigative Reporting.