It’s not quite as bad as it looks, but it’s plenty bad. Since last month, he’s down 13 points among Democrats, nine points among liberals, and 18 points among voters 18 to 29.
No public option, no peace?
Pollster John Zogby: President Obama is now firmly between a rock and a hard place. Democrats want a strong healthcare reform bill with a public option. Republicans and more conservative Democrats do not agree. If Obama fails to get a bill that his base supporters want, the entire Democratic Party risks alienating them; especially 18-29-year-old First Globals, who could very quickly become disenchanted with politics. Obama needs to enter the fray in a very public way, which may mean knocking heads with both wings of his own party.
He’s actually up slightly among likely voters in the last 10 days — coincidentally, while he’s been on vacation and off the television screen — but it’s the monthly trend that’s an eye-popper. Doesn’t this foretell a shift left, to win back Democrats, when he finally returns to D.C.? He’s already lost any little amount of trust conservatives and right-leaning independents might ever have had in him; just too much government, too soon, and no compromise “health-care co-op” is going to change that. All it’ll do is leave the left feeling they can’t trust him either, which means no money or organization next year and no one except wary centrists even somewhat pleased with health care. The smartest available move, it seems increasingly to me, is to push for a public option, make the left happy, and then throw the full weight of your propaganda machine into convincing centrists before the midterms that government health care is a genius idea. Sure, it’ll mean sacrificing a few Blue Dog seats to the GOP next year, but it looks like that’s a fait accompli anyway. And even if Republicans take back the House, they won’t have a veto-proof majority (or even control of the Senate) that they’d need to repeal ObamaCare, so the deed will be done. If you’re Barry O, you might as well get what you want, keep part of the public excited about you, and take your chances.