CNN Poll: Obama's Approval Rating is Upside Down Again

Posted: Mar 20, 2013 10:05 AM

He's down to 47/50 -- underwater with men and women alike and every age group except for young voters, among whom he still doesn't hit 50 percent approval.  The president retains dominant high marks with Democrats, but has sunk to 41/53 among independents.  CNN's nationwide survey of adults fortifies other recent findings that Obama's standing has dipped considerably since his re-election.  Perhaps he once again overestimated his own ability to outmaneuver the enervated Republican opposition.  The (ongoing) sequester show certainly didn't help matters, and the GOP may be in the process of retaking the high ground on "balance."  Ed Morrissey suggests that The One's slumping job rating may be among the least of his worries:

His standing on the issues is even shakier. Overall, 54% of respondents disagree with Obama on “issues that matter most to you,” with only 44% agreeing. On specific issues, it’s even worse. Obama just spent weeks insisting that the sequester would be a disaster and that Americans wanted a “balanced approach” to budgeting rather than spending cuts. Only 31% agree with him on federal budgeting after that campaign, with 67% disapproving (although Republicans do even worse at 19/79). Obama only edges House Republicans on the issue by a single point, 47/46, a dissipation of the bully pulpit advantage. Respondents also rebuke him for not engaging enough with Republicans, with 56% saying he should be doing more.

The Republican Party -- unsurprisingly -- is still significantly upside-down (38/54), though that's not too far off from the (42/50) rating they drew in the CNN's poll in the aftermath of the GOP's historic 2010 sweep.  Democrats' favorability has receded from its recent high water mark (52/43) to slightly inverted at (46/48), which is precisely where they were in November of 2010.  This new survey also asks a series of questions about gun control, public zeal for which is fading.  By a 55 percent to 43 percent margin, a majority says the government should impose "no" or only "minor" restrictions on gun ownership, as opposed to "major" limits or a total ban.  In December, the numbers were roughly reversed (46/52).  Is it any wonder that Democrats are in full retreat over controversial elements of Dianne Feinstein's gun control package?  One final note, circling back to the sequester: Fully 64 percent of Americans say they've been mostly or entirely unaffected by the small budget reductions called for in the Budget Control Act.  Only 11 percent say they've been impacted a "great deal." The sky hasn't fallen for the vast majority of Americans, which may explain why certain Democrats are exhibiting a sick desperation to revive the public's fears.  More on this later...