Polls: Obama Approval Down Across the Board as Swoon Continues

Posted: Jul 23, 2013 4:50 PM

If he's hobbled in hopeless California, it would follow that the president is limping along nationally, wouldn't it?  Yes it would.  McClatchy's latest national poll measures an Obama approval "plunge:"

Stung by Americans’ persistent worries about the economy and a capital gripped by controversy and gridlock, President Barack Obama is suffering his lowest job approval numbers in nearly two years, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.  The plummeting numbers – still higher than those of Congress – come after weeks of rising gasoline prices, revelations about domestic spying and turmoil in the Middle East. The disappointing results come as the White House this week looks to turn the national conversation back to the economy. Obama will deliver the first of a series of speeches Wednesday aimed at offering his vision for boosting economic growth ... Overall, the poll found Obama’s job approval at 41 percent last week, a sharp drop from April’s 50 percent and his worst showing in the poll since 39 percent in September 2011.

The survey shows Obama approval underwater by nearly 30 points among independents (30/59), and upside-down overall on national security (41/48), and the economy (37/56).  Congressional Republicans are mired with terrible numbers, thanks in no small part to (35/56) disapproval among their own partisans.  By a two-to-one margin, Americans say the country is on the wrong track.  Meanwhile, the typically Obama-friendly WaPo/ABC News poll -- the Zimmerman trial portion of which we broke down yesterday -- also tracked some erosion, though the president's numbers remain stronger compared to most other polls.  Nevertheless, the survey contains some pretty dismal data.  Ed Morrissey summarizes:

On the economy, Obama is underwater at 45/49 just as he goes on a talking tour about the subject … without any policies to push.  That’s down from 48/48 two months ago, and 50/47 at the beginning of the year.  He gets a weak split on immigration, 43/44, down from 46/41 in May and 49/43 in February.  Speaking of which, the country isn’t terribly impressed with his preferred comprehensive immigration reform from the Senate.  That only gets a 46/44 support, while taking the piece-by-piece approach in the House wins by more than 20 points at 53/32.  Even Hispanic voters split relatively evenly on the latter option, according to the analysis from pollster Langer Research. John Boehner won’t run many electoral risks by going one step at a time.  Perhaps this might explain the relative bounty of approval that Congress reaped from respondents in this survey? Finally, ObamaCare still proves to be unpopular as its due date approaches.  It’s nearly back to its all-time low in this series at 42% approval (39% in 2009 was the low-water mark for WaPo/ABC), and 49% opposing. 

Obamacare's unpopularity isn't news (though the flagging support among moderate Democrats might be).  The most interesting data pertains to immigration.  Obama's approval on the matter is just 43 percent, while the much-celebrated -- and fatally flawed -- Senate reform bill only garners a 46 percent support mark from the general public.  By 21 percentage points, voters say the House should employ a piecemeal approach by breaking up the upper chamber's comprehensive bill into smaller pieces and considering each separately.  Which, by the way, is exactly the path House Republicans appear to be pursuing.  (My strategic advice to Boehner's conference is here).  In any case, the negative polling news isn't over the White House, as Democratic pollster PPP is teasing some less-than-stellar forthcoming results:

Never fear, Obama has a bold plan to turn things around: Another pivot, featuring more speeches, inspirationally packed with...no new policy proposals.  ABC News keeps it real: "It’s a tough sell, given how often the president has launched similar campaigns in recent years."  Years?  How about recent months?

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