Pew: Obama’s numbers showing major declines

posted at 12:57 pm on July 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Rasmussen first documented the rapid decline of Barack Obama’s approval numbers, and the rest of the pollsters soon followed suit.  Pew Research, one of the most respected of the national pollsters, corroborates what Rasmussen and others have said for over a month — that Obama has undermined confidence in his administration’s ability to lead, especially on the economy and the deficit.  His dustup with the Cambridge PD didn’t do anything to help, either:

Barack Obama’s approval ratings have suffered major declines. The president’s overall job approval number fell from 61% in mid-June to 54% currently. His approval ratings for handling the economy and the federal budget deficit have also fallen sharply, tumbling to 38% and 32%, respectively. Majorities now say they disapprove of the way the president is handling these two issues. The new poll also finds significant declines over the last few months in the percentage of Americans giving Obama high marks for dealing with health care, foreign policy and tax policy.

Three factors have likely contributed to more negative views of Obama. First, criticisms of the government’s economic policies are mounting. For the first time since Obama took office, as many say the government is on the wrong track (48%) as on the right track (46%) in handling the nation’s economic problems. In May, 53% said the government was on the right track on the economy, while 39% said it was on the wrong track.

Secondly, the latest national survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted July 22-26 among 1,506 adults reached on landlines and cell phones, finds that many of the health care proposals being debated in Congress are sparking negative reactions, especially from those following the debate most closely. By a 44% to 38% margin, more Americans generally oppose than favor the health care proposals now before Congress. Opposition rises to 56% among people who say they have heard a lot about legislation to overhaul the health care system. Concerns about the costs and increased government involvement in the health care system are volunteered most often by Americans critical of the health care proposals.

In May, the administration could still blame the Bush administration for the economy and joblessness.  The stimulus package had only begun to get spent, and Americans gave Obama the benefit of the doubt as joblessness continued to rise.  Two months later and six months into the administration, that patience has disappeared.  The excuses of “I inherited this economy” and especially “I inherited this deficit” have all but expired now, even though the national media never points out the fallacy of the latter — which is that Democrats controlled Congress and the budget for the previous two years.
That’s not the only issue weighing on Obama’s numbers, either.  His misstep on the arrest of Henry Gates by the Cambridge PD cost him significant support as it became clear that Obama should have waited for the facts before declaring that police acted “stupidly” and assigning the incident to latent racism:

Thirdly, Obama’s comments on the arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr. appear to have played some role in his ratings decline. News about the arrest of the prominent African American Harvard professor at his Cambridge home was widely followed by the public and 79% are aware of Obama’s comments on the incident. Analysis of the poll data found that the president’s approval ratings fell among non-Hispanic whites over the course of the interviewing period as the focus of the Gates story shifted from details about the incident to Obama’s remarks about the incident1.  Interviews Wednesday and Thursday of last week found 53% of whites approving of Obama’s job performance. This slipped to 46% among whites interviewed Friday through Sunday as the Gates story played out across the nation.

The overall numbers on Obama’s handling of the incident show negative reaction, 41%-29%. However, his personal numbers remain high, with 74% of respondents saying they like Obama personally, apart from politics. Thus far, anyway, the declining confidence in his performance has not made him unlikable — which has potential for him to ride out his current difficulties, especially if the economy stops declining.

However, even with high personal numbers, those low ratings on the economy and health care will make it increasingly difficult for Obama to get his policies through Congress. They don’t have Obama’s likability, and they can’t afford to be seen passing significantly unpopular legislation and expect to remain in office after the midterms. That will be the dynamic that will play on ObamaCare and cap-and-trade during the recess, and which may help kill both in the fall.


Related Posts:

Breaking on Hot Air

Blowback

Note from Hot Air management: This section is for comments from Hot Air's community of registered readers. Please don't assume that Hot Air management agrees with or otherwise endorses any particular comment just because we let it stand. A reminder: Anyone who fails to comply with our terms of use may lose their posting privilege.

Trackbacks/Pings

Trackback URL

Comments

Comment pages: 1 2

You have a problem with Michelle’s caboose? I’m not sure, but that might make you a ……………..raaaaaacist.

Knucklehead on July 30, 2009 at 1:41 PM

Looks like 2 pigs fighting under a blanket.

saiga on July 30, 2009 at 1:47 PM

The numbers are getting bad not just for Obozo, but also for his party across the board. Check this out.

If this keeps up, next year we will party like it’s 1994!

OneVision on July 30, 2009 at 1:15 PM

As usual, OneVision has some good data. Wow. How quickly things change.

Can you imagine what the Dems numbers would be like if the MSM featured what Matt Lauer got from Ms. Malkin recently?

Or if the dollar and interest rates went on the course predicted by Dick Morris?

BTW, I hate to see the nation suffer but getting rid of the marxists and helping my hedge funds would be some consolation. So I pray for the best.

IlikedAUH2O on July 30, 2009 at 1:49 PM

I cannot make that pledge. Not now. Too soon. I still have an overhwleming desire to punch them all in the face, even my dear mother.

myrenovations on July 30, 2009 at 1:33 PM

I’ve posted this link before, but it always delights me:

http://www.theonion.com/content/video/obama_win_causes_obsessive

guntotinglibertarian on July 30, 2009 at 1:50 PM

Tell that to Mary jo.

bloggless on July 30, 2009 at 1:13 PM

Mary Jo is unavailable.

cjs1943 on July 30, 2009 at 1:50 PM

saiga – exactly. Right now the health insurance business runs for the benefit of big unions and big employers. They’ve optimized the pooling of risk so that they pool only pooled risk themselves.

Anything that’s done to fix this is going to raise costs for someone.

JEM on July 30, 2009 at 1:50 PM

People are afraid to say something else.

the_nile on July 30, 2009 at 1:46 PM

That’s not necessarily true. When I was living in New Orleans, I liked C Ray Nagin and he actually was sorta okay when his biggest job was to toast Rex and Zulu as they passed during the Mardi Gras parades. He was a perfectly affable guy that everybody liked. New Orleans government was/is so corrupt, it isn’t like he was running on a platform of cleaning up the city.

Then Katrina hit. He was definitely the wrong man for the job but people still liked him even though they were extremely critical of the way the post-storm city was being run. The cautionary tale is that his likeablity (and absentee ballots collected by ACORN) were enough that he even won re-election to a second term.

highhopes on July 30, 2009 at 1:52 PM

The Gallup Poll just confounds me:

http://www.gallup.com/poll/113980/Gallup-Daily-Obama-Job-Approval.aspx

31% of conservatives approve of Ogabe’s performance?
21% of Republicans approve?

Who the hell are these people?

No surprise he is at 79% among non-whites and 66% among the under-29 cohort: these are the people least likely to know anything about the Constitution and American exceptionalism.

guntotinglibertarian on July 30, 2009 at 1:55 PM

Looks like 2 pigs fighting under a blanket.

saiga on July 30, 2009 at 1:47 PM

My theory is they’ve housed a couple of Guantanomo Uighers under her skirt.

guntotinglibertarian on July 30, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Ogabe is just trying to show the nation he is an average guy.

Sit around in the yard having a beer with the guys; a kids playset in the background; liveried servants bringing out plates of canapes, finger sandwiches, caviar and a bowl of pate. Then a bowl of spring water in which to rinse the hands, ending with a reading of Niebuhr.

See? Ogabe: regular guy.

Bishop on July 30, 2009 at 1:57 PM

To listen to media coverage…

BuckeyeSam on July 30, 2009 at 1:32 PM

Holy moley!

It’s the kind of thing people would normally ignore, but with SRM relentlessly gushing about her physical appearance, it’s almost impossible not to rebut it, so to speak.

petefrt on July 30, 2009 at 2:00 PM

Then Katrina hit.

Katrina was George Bush’s fault.

And yours, for not using compact flourescent lightbulbs.

Seriously, Katrina was George W Bush at his worst: first responders did a great job of saving lives and it was the state and city that screwed things up, but Bush never once spoke up and defended himself against all the hysteria.

Worst communicator evah.

guntotinglibertarian on July 30, 2009 at 2:00 PM

You get the idea. It is not just about the filthy liar it is the whole package that Obama voters ushered into office. I’m not ready to move on until they prove themselves capable of redemption by doing the right thing in 2010.

highhopes on July 30, 2009 at 1:44 PM

I hear you, but we can’t wait til 2010.
If enough libs are willing to admit they were wrong now, his further tanking poll numbers my prevent them from getting anything at all done. that would be good.
We have to be the adults. (I miss getalife)

redshirt on July 30, 2009 at 2:00 PM

Me love that Medvedev photo!

baldilocks on July 30, 2009 at 2:01 PM

See? Ogabe: regular guy.

Bishop on July 30, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Maybe a little mirror with some white powder on it and a big fat dube to relax the tensions.

farright on July 30, 2009 at 2:03 PM

See? Ogabe: regular guy.

Bishop on July 30, 2009 at 1:57 PM

Oh… I get it. This is his outreach to ‘typical white people’?

Cody1991 on July 30, 2009 at 2:03 PM

Me love that Medvedev photo!

baldilocks on July 30, 2009 at 2:01 PM

Have you seen this?:

http://massbackwards.blogspot.com/2009/07/obama-snubbed-by-russian-pols.html

guntotinglibertarian on July 30, 2009 at 2:04 PM

Some weeks ago the Obama delegates in the press made a big froufrou over “wanting Obama to fail”.

I don’t want Obama to fail – that is, blunder into some catastrophe that (at best) hobbles the country for decades.

The problem, of course, is that the Pelosi/Obama policy agenda is exactly such a catastrophe. By most reasonable measures they’re not stumbling blindly into disaster, they’re pursuing it with every bit of malice at their control.

So, in order to save Obama from failure, it’s desirable that he be neutered. Quick, public humiliation, legislative deadlock for a year, and substantive loss of Democrat initative in 2010.

JEM on July 30, 2009 at 2:05 PM

Is that the sound of bubbles I hear…?

tree hugging sister on July 30, 2009 at 2:06 PM

I’ve posted this link before, but it always delights me:

http://www.theonion.com/content/video/obama_win_causes_obsessive

guntotinglibertarian on July 30, 2009 at 1:50 PM

It is delightful.

myrenovations on July 30, 2009 at 2:09 PM

let me see if i have this right, that’ll be one bud light, one heini light and an old english 800, be right up

rjoco1 on July 30, 2009 at 2:11 PM

Oh… I get it. This is his outreach to ‘typical white people’?

Cody1991 on July 30, 2009 at 2:03 PM

Yeah, those of us who are so scared of people who look different from us that we cross the street when we see Michelle Obama coming down the sidewalk.

guntotinglibertarian on July 30, 2009 at 2:11 PM

However, his personal numbers remain high, with 74% of respondents saying they like Obama personally, apart from politics.

Translation: I’m not a racist!!

mankai on July 30, 2009 at 2:12 PM

guntotinglibertarian – yes, but remember Michael Brown? The guy was utterly tone-deaf and Bush showed the same blind loyalty to failed subordinates that we saw with Rumsfeld, Gonzales, etc.

I said then and I’ll say now that if I’d been President I’d have grabbed Brownie by his jacket, chucked him onto Marine One, and dropped him outside the Superdome with a bottle of water and a radio.

JEM on July 30, 2009 at 2:12 PM

guntotinglibertarian – yes, but remember Michael Brown? The guy was utterly tone-deaf and Bush showed the same blind loyalty to failed subordinates that we saw with Rumsfeld, Gonzales, etc.

I said then and I’ll say now that if I’d been President I’d have grabbed Brownie by his jacket, chucked him onto Marine One, and dropped him outside the Superdome with a bottle of water and a radio.

JEM on July 30, 2009 at 2:12 PM

Honestly, I think Katrina was a disaster on such an unprecedented scale that there was little anyone could have done after the fact that would have been much better than what was actually accomplished.

What still amuses me about the whole thing is how the MSM media fell hook-line-and-sinker for the hoax that babies were being raped and murdered in the Superdome.

Showed what racists they really are: they accepted it because, well, of course, that’s what black people would do under those circumstances.

Had it been a stadium full of middle-class whites ,that story never would have gotten traction.

But nobody called the MSM on it.

guntotinglibertarian on July 30, 2009 at 2:17 PM

Is that the sound of bubbles I hear…?

tree hugging sister on July 30, 2009 at 2:06 PM

Let’s not overreach here. We are at the “Captain is that an iceberg?” stage.

highhopes on July 30, 2009 at 2:18 PM

with 74% of respondents saying they like Obama personally
People are afraid to say something else.

the_nile on July 30, 2009 at 1:46 PM

They are merely trying to be polite. They won’t give an honest answer because then they will be treated like that nice women who called into the police about those two men breaking into the Cambridge house.

Sapwolf on July 30, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Bush had high personal numbers for a long long time. Even after his approval numbers began to decline, most Americans said they liked Bush as a person.

Look where that got him. In fact Bush had better personal numbers than Clinton did.

Terrye on July 30, 2009 at 2:19 PM

Bush had high personal numbers for a long long time. Even after his approval numbers began to decline, most Americans said they liked Bush as a person.

Look where that got him. In fact Bush had better personal numbers than Clinton did.

Terrye on July 30, 2009 at 2:19 PM

I probably should have clarified this comment by stating it was in response to Ed’s mention of Pew’s high personal numbers for Obama and how that might help him in the future.

Terrye on July 30, 2009 at 2:21 PM

By the way, I heard that it was Crowley who originally suggested patching things up over a beer.

He may have meant it as a joke or maybe he said “Well, maybe I will call gates and get him to meet me for a beer” or something and obama pounced on it…seeing a photo op for himself.

But I am glad to hear that Crowley is taking his posse with him, so that he doesn’t get tricked into admissions of guilt later on… as a result, the love-fest at the white house won’t generate all that much capital for Obama. All gains from the beer event will be gone in 24 hours.

GeorgiaDoe on July 30, 2009 at 2:21 PM

Sapwolf on July 30, 2009 at 2:19 PM

They can call me, I’ll be glad to give them an honest answer.

FlyoverJ-HawkFan on July 30, 2009 at 2:22 PM

Sapwolf:

I think that is true. To be honest, I think the remarks about the Gates/Crowley incident will hurt Obama more in terms of how people feel about him personally than any other way. A lot of people thought Obama was a good man, even if they did not agree with him…that incident clearly shows another side to him. I think it will help erode those numbers over time.

Terrye on July 30, 2009 at 2:23 PM

Dude, where’s the SWAGGA!

Alden Pyle on July 30, 2009 at 2:24 PM

Terrye on July 30, 2009 at 2:23 PM

The good thing also, is that people might be starting to wake up to what a radical he really is. You know, the stuff we knew about when he was running for Prez.

FlyoverJ-HawkFan on July 30, 2009 at 2:25 PM

Looks like 2 pigs fighting under a blanket.

saiga on July 30, 2009 at 1:47 PM

Close, but no cigar…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yn5pbHxvChU

probably…not pc

Laura in Maryland on July 30, 2009 at 2:34 PM

Here is an economic data point for you.
-
The machine shop next to me has sailed through every recession (’79, ’87, ’91, ’99 ) with plenty of work, except this one.
-
They are down to one man, cleaning machines.
No parts are currently being turned or milled.
-
Business owners across America are positioning for the worst
possible situation.
-
This recovery may take many months. If H Care or Cap and Crap pass, it won’t recover.

esblowfeld on July 30, 2009 at 2:53 PM

However, his personal numbers remain high, with 74% of respondents saying they like Obama personally, apart from politics.

Wow, that’s a mystery! How do you like a guy who lies every time he opens his mouth? How do you like a guy who plays the race card? How do you like a guy who uses thuggery as a political strategy? How do you like a guy who can’t even speak without a teleprompter? Hope the boss’s book makes a dent in this stat.

Christian Conservative on July 30, 2009 at 2:53 PM

And only 11% of conservative Republicans find favor with the Messiah while 43% of conservative Republicans still LIKE Obama regardless of they find favor or not.

The definition of ocgnitive dissonance.

technopeasant on July 30, 2009 at 2:58 PM

That’s gotta put a dent in the ‘ol ego…

Wyznowski on July 30, 2009 at 3:08 PM

I almost feel bad for the guy except that he brought it all on himself. Americans are a proud people and they don’t take kindly to being deceived or talked down to. They want the truth, even if they might not like it. This man is a disappointment and the more he does, the more people realize it. I don’t expect these numbers to improve at all. Not with his attitude.

Also, I wish they wouldn’t release these polls so often, it just makes him want to go make another speech. That’s another thing people don’t like…seeing the president on TV for one reason or another EVERY single day. When does he get any work done?

scalleywag on July 30, 2009 at 3:11 PM

GeorgiaDoe on July 30, 2009 at 2:21 PM

Since alcohol is a diuretic, faster than that.

chemman on July 30, 2009 at 3:15 PM

scalleywag on July 30, 2009 at 3:11 PM

He didn’t become President to work he became the precedent because he thought it would be a great thing to do.

chemman on July 30, 2009 at 3:17 PM

VDH thinks Obama’s just a couple of gaffes away from never getting his mojo back. And we haven’t even had the 2009 Racial Healing Beerup yet.

Jim Treacher on July 30, 2009 at 5:54 PM

Maybe the people saying they like Obama ‘personally’ but not his policies, is the fear of people who don’t want to appear ‘racist’ to pollsters, for ‘not liking’ or ‘not approving’ the first ‘biracial’ or ‘african american’ President.

eaglewingz08 on July 30, 2009 at 6:42 PM

Comment pages: 1 2