Rasmussen “passion index” down to -8

posted at 2:22 pm on July 9, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Yesterday, we noted that the Rasmussen “passion index” dropped two points when their survey took place completely after June’s unemployment numbers.  Normally I would not revisit a rolling poll the very next day, but the survey has shown an even greater change than yesterday’s.  The difference between strongly approving and strongly disapproving of Barack Obama’s job performance slipped three points overnight, bringing it to -8 and showing an accelerating decline in Obama’s overall support:

The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday shows that 30% of the nation’s voters now Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Thirty-eight percent (38%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of –8. The President’s Approval Index rating has fallen six points since release of a disappointing jobs report last week (see trends).

Thirty-nine percent (39%) now give the President good or excellent marks for handling the economy while 43% say he is doing a poor job. Those are by far his lowest ratings yet on the economy …

Overall, 51% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President’s performance so far. Forty-eight percent (48%) now disapprove.

That’s now within the margin of error, showing a virtual dead heat on Obama for the first time ever.  The decline has been rapid since the July 2nd announcement of the unemployment numbers, as their graph shows:

If anyone wanted to know when Barack Obama began to own the recession, it seems to have been July 2nd, 2009.  Four months after getting almost $800 billion in “stimulus” funds, millions have lost their jobs, and Obama keeps piling up the debt.  The erosion can be seen in Obama’s approval numbers on the economy, where he has also sunk below 0 in the overall differential.

Scott Rasmussen says this is less about Obama personally and more an indication how his presidency rides on the economy:

However, the real message in these numbers has less to do with politics and more to do with the fact that this President’s fate will be determined by the economy. … So, when you’re thinking about the potential impact on the 2010 elections, the key question is what will the economy be like next year at this time. If the economy recovers, jobs are being created, and GM is doing well, the President’s numbers will be up. If the economy is still struggling, unemployment is high, and GM is seeking more bailout money, then the President and his party will have a difficult fall.

More and more, the numbers reflect the fact that people don’t believe that the economy will get better or that jobs will recover — and that pessimism directly conflicts with Obama’s promises of recovery.  If it doesn’t get better fast, people will conclude that Obama is an economic charlatan, and that will doom the Democrats in 2010.

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