Gallup: That electoral map for Obama in 2012 starting to look grim

posted at 1:25 pm on February 23, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

That’s not quite what Gallup explicitly says in its analysis, but it’s a rather inevitable conclusion when one sees the graphic presentation of the results.  Barack Obama lost eleven points in his approval ratings on a state-by-state basis in 2010, and now the floor has Obama in danger of losing the next election.  Bear in mind when looking at the legend that the “average” approval rating for Obama was 47% — and that Obama had a 50% or better rating only in the dark-green states:

Obama’s overall average approval rating in 2010 was 47%, down 11 percentage points from the 58% he recorded in his first calendar year in office. For purposes of this state-by-state analysis, Obama’s average is calculated for the calendar year, and is therefore slightly different than the yearly average calculated beginning with his inauguration on January 20, 2009.

Broadly speaking, residents of 20 states gave Obama an approval rating within three percentage points of his national average (between 43.8% and 49.8%). Twelve states plus the District of Columbia had average approval ratings above that range, and in 18 states, approval fell below it.

The graphic is striking.  Obama only gets majority approval for his performance on the West Coast and the Northeast — and not even all of those areas.  He holds his home state of Illinois and his birth state of Hawaii, both unsurprisingly, but between the coasts there exists a vast land of either indifference or outright disapproval.  Traditional Democratic states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania are wavering.  The entire interior West has become outright hostile.  More than half of the states have shown a double-digit decline in approval for Obama.

Presidents can win re-election with overall approval ratings below 50%, but that usually requires either a credible third-party challenge or an extraordinarily poor challenger.  The economy would have to significantly improve to move these numbers in the direction where Obama can feel safe, and that seems unlikely to happen while Obama continues to press for regulatory adventurism.

Obama has a year at best to turn this around.  He won the 2008 election at the peak of Bush fatigue by seven points nationwide.  Continuing erosion in his standing puts the White House within the grasp of the GOP, especially if they nominate a credible candidate who can attract a “big tent” of those discontented with Obama.


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

Can I vote early?
Like today?

UncleZeb on February 23, 2011 at 2:14 PM

Figure out which candidate matches your views the closest and vote in the primary. As a voter, it’s the most potent and important support you can give your man (or woman).

gryphon202 on February 23, 2011 at 2:18 PM

No way Obama is in positive territory in Mississippi. All we have to do is win FL, NC, PA, OH, and IN. These are all states that hate Obama; we just need to put up a ticket that won’t shoot us in the foot the minute we’re out of the gate, eg Palin, Newt, most likely Romney.

IR-MN on February 23, 2011 at 2:19 PM

…we just need to put up a ticket that won’t shoot us in the foot the minute we’re out of the gate, eg Palin, Newt, most likely Romney.

IR-MN on February 23, 2011 at 2:19 PM

So who are you inclined to vote for in the primary?

gryphon202 on February 23, 2011 at 2:20 PM

I would not encourage anyone to get overconfident with these findings. Especially with how fast I see Hot Air posters declare Republican candidates as unacceptable, RINOs, or just “never going to happen”, and how quickly they embrace the newest candidate du jour in desperation.

We lose the Supreme Court and slightly under 1/2 of the Judiciary if we don’t win this election, by the way.

scotash on February 23, 2011 at 2:21 PM

So Ed why did you not have enough courage to write what you were thinking and instead beat around the bush about it. are you afraid of the backlash from someone’s supporters?

unseen on February 23, 2011 at 2:21 PM

1. This is an interesting snap shot but doesn’t tell us anything about how the map will look in the fall of 2012. Remember in March 1991 George H.W. Bush was at 90% approval, the highest ever recorded by Gallup, and he got 39% of the vote in November, 1992.

2. Being cautious and nominating a candidate that has relatively low negatives among independents is a losing strategy, both for politics and policy. Moderates or independents are (mostly) low information voters who have not thought about the issues. Trying to be all things to all people confuses these people. You need to have bold colors and stand for a few pinciples. But you also need to offer a positive agenda, not just criticism of Obama.

3. Re-elections are by and large a referendum on the incumbent. The challenger simply has to be acceptable. In rare circumstances a weak challenger will help form a more positive impression of the incumbent. One example was John F. Kerry. George W. Bush’s approval rose significantly after John Kerry was nominated, largely because people rejected Kerry as an individual and so wanted to justify to themselves voting for Bush.

Ted Torgerson on February 23, 2011 at 2:23 PM

Aside from NH, I don’t see any Obama state from 2008 that is below average. The people who loved him in 2008 still love him. The people who didn’t love him still don’t love him.

So I don’t really see how this is bad news for Obama.

angryed on February 23, 2011 at 1:54 PM

I see Indiana, Colorado, Maine, Florida, and Pennsylvania as being just off the average as well. Though, I remember Nate Silver saying that 47% is the approval cut off. Below that and you have no chance in hell in getting re-elected. I don’t remember if the approval has to be the election year or the year before.

Apologetic California on February 23, 2011 at 2:23 PM

gryphon202 on February 23, 2011 at 2:20 PM

I think you like Palin? All I want is an electable, full spectrum conservative. Simply give me that and I’m all on board.

IR-MN on February 23, 2011 at 2:24 PM

this map shows to anyone but an idiot that there is no reason, non what so ever to nominate a NE rino for POTUS. We can’t win those states. We shouldn’t even try. Use the conservatives and GOP in those states as fundraisers. Tap into their money but do not give them a seat at the table. the way to win is to nominate someone tha tis loved and respected in flyover country. someone that can play well in the Upper Midwest, someone that has the south and west in their back pocket…

Nominating a Mitt or a Christe is a plan for defeat. the only way we win is by nominating a Conservative.

unseen on February 23, 2011 at 2:24 PM

I think you like Palin? All I want is an electable, full spectrum conservative. Simply give me that and I’m all on board.

IR-MN on February 23, 2011 at 2:24 PM

may I suggest GOv Palin. 80%+ approval as governer able to win over a room full of Long Island liberals in 1 hour. Has the conservative vote locked up waiting to campaign for her. An unstoppable force. She could lose the entire northeast and walk away with the POTUS…..

unseen on February 23, 2011 at 2:26 PM

Wait until gas hits $5.00+/gal EVERYWHERE and the economy crashes as a result.

2012 will be a ‘rat blood-bath.

CPT. Charles on February 23, 2011 at 1:31 PM

You’re assuming the chaos and blood in the streets won’t prompt a “military suspension of the electoral process for the good of the nation”…

The more I find out about what is going on, the more worried I am…

dominigan on February 23, 2011 at 2:28 PM

Romney? Huckabee? Daniels? I assume these are who you are referring to.
Kataklysmic on February 23, 2011 at 2:09 PM

I would stop assuming, if I were you. We’re talking about the 800 lb. mama grizzly gorilla in the room.

Vyce on February 23, 2011 at 2:13 PM

Cool. You and the mouse in your pocket don’t have to vote for her in the primaries.

Kataklysmic on February 23, 2011 at 2:38 PM

I personally dislike the electability pressures on people. Let voters vote.

Then, just back the winner.

AnninCA on February 23, 2011 at 2:44 PM

and now the floor has Obama in danger of losing the next election

In danger of losing the next election? His fate as a one term president should be sealed by now, no matter if he actually earns a Nobel Peace Prize between now and November 2012.

How Obama has any chance to be reelected is beyond my finite comprehension.

pugwriter on February 23, 2011 at 2:50 PM

The Repubs could nominate a DOG and he’s got my vote. ANYTHING BUT ZERO !

teacherman on February 23, 2011 at 2:57 PM

Is that the old count or the new count? IIRC, those dark greens are pretty much the same places losing seats from the census.

cthulhu on February 23, 2011 at 1:41 PM

New count. You need to add 6 to your numbers: 3 for Delaware and 3 for D.C.

steebo77 on February 23, 2011 at 2:58 PM

Proud to be in an outright disapproval state. All we need now is a viable candidate to oppose him. Right now we have too many Ferris Buellers…

Mr_Magoo on February 23, 2011 at 3:18 PM

New England

Hey… don’t speak for the great state of New Hampshire, which I’m proud to say is in the “Below average” column, while the rest of New England sinks in a morass of liberalism.

crazy_legs on February 23, 2011 at 3:25 PM

Presidents can win re-election with overall approval ratings below 50%, but that usually requires either a credible third-party challenge or an extraordinarily poor challenger.

Obama doesn’t need to worry too much; I am sure the GOP will manage to nominate this person.

bitsy on February 23, 2011 at 3:39 PM

Pretty obvious to me. The country just got racister. I know that’s not a real word, but i’m a misinformed libertarian. I’m so dumb!

76United on February 23, 2011 at 3:41 PM

“..but that usually requires either a credible third-party challenge or a extraordinarily poor challenger Mitt Romney or Mike Huckabee..”

FIFY, Ed.

The War Planner on February 23, 2011 at 3:50 PM

I am pretty confident that the State of Washington will turn Red this time around…

hawkman on February 23, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Map corresponds with high crime states and high level entitlement benefits and services.

Western_Civ on February 23, 2011 at 4:01 PM

We lose the Supreme Court and slightly under 1/2 of the Judiciary if we don’t win this election, by the way.

scotash on February 23, 2011 at 2:21 PM

This is what scares the crap out of me.

Mirimichi on February 23, 2011 at 4:02 PM

Mitt Romney!!! YES!
/s

antisocial on February 23, 2011 at 4:03 PM

Gee, what a surprize. Obama takes the country to the brink of bankrupsy, then submits a budget that doubles down on the problem. Tarp, the bailouts, stimulous, etc. Anybody with half a brain knows this guy is out of the bag when it comes to spending.

Even if the economy takes off like a rocket, the path we are on is still far too dangerous.

saiga on February 23, 2011 at 4:13 PM

The Repubs could nominate a DOG and he’s got my vote. ANYTHING BUT ZERO !

teacherman on February 23, 2011 at 2:57 PM

Me Too.

I think it likely Bo is running things now. That’s the dog’s name right? I wish Barney were still chasing Christmas ornaments. Barney would know how to get Americans safely out of Libya!

petunia on February 23, 2011 at 4:18 PM

How can he still be at a 47% approval rating? How? That is scary!

Dhuka on February 23, 2011 at 4:21 PM

I see DE is dark green.

Didn’t ask me.

davidk on February 23, 2011 at 4:32 PM

How can he still be at a 47% approval rating? How? That is scary!

Dhuka on February 23, 2011 at 4:21 PM

Denial is not just a river in Egypt…..

dmh0667 on February 23, 2011 at 4:34 PM

Interesting that the most messed up states have high approval ratings of The One?

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 23, 2011 at 4:38 PM

Sarah Palin with hit Obama with so many rights, he’ll beg for a left!

As Rush said, she’ll wipe the floor with him!

Let’s see. Energy. She’s a recognized authority having headed state, interstate, and nation positions. As both Alaska’s oil commissioner (Chairman), and the Chairman of the Interstate Oil and Gas Compact Commission she was writing policy on exploration and best practices.

No one understands energy better, and no one has the backbone to make us really energy independent.

Foreign policy. She’d been right on every issue, every time. She just called for Freedom in Libya, and suggested our allies create a no-fly zone so Gadaffi can’t kill his own people from the air. Wendell Goler, on Fox, just announced the WH is looking at following her advice.

Domestic policy. She’s balanced budgets, created surpluses, and fought corruption since her earliest days in elected office.

She has an excellent grasp on fiscal issues, and walks the walk. You’d never see her surrendering on a damned thing.

She knows how to negotiate. She put together the largest construction project in North American history, something that others had tried for 40 years with no success. Took her less than 2.

With her as our candidate Obama will win Hawaii, and Illinois, along with the District of Columbia. That will be about it.

She had democrats in New York eating out of the palm of her hand on Thursday, and she’s headed to the San Joaquin Valley in California to demand the water be turned back on.

She’s going to go to a LOT of places and stir the pot, big time.

She’s the only one with the cojones to get it all done.

gary4205 on February 23, 2011 at 4:39 PM

Right … with Obama fading into the distance as far as ever winning a second term – let’s make sure we nominate a “wishy-washy” Republican who looks good, but who compromises with Socialists and is too fearful of making DEEP spending cuts in government.

By all means – let’s not do anything BOLD here and nominate someone who can actually FIX the nation … or who has balls and can fight for conservatism.

HondaV65 on February 23, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Even in Illinois, O would likely lose in 98 or 99 counties out of the 102. Unfortunately, if Cook County (Chicago) and St. Clair (East STL) counties get out the vote, he’ll carry the State by a little.

Laddy on February 23, 2011 at 5:24 PM

I live in Maryland and unfortunately Baltimore City and the two counties surrounding D.C. vote Democratic which carries the state, while the rest of the state votes Republican !!!

golfer39 on February 23, 2011 at 5:32 PM

By all means – let’s not do anything BOLD here and nominate someone who can actually FIX the nation … or who has balls and can fight for conservatism.

HondaV65 on February 23, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Well but Ed thinks that is the way to go…..so expect a lot of stories on that subject…..

unseen on February 23, 2011 at 5:59 PM

I would like to know where this poll was taken in Nebraska!

Gothguy on February 23, 2011 at 6:21 PM

More Please!

American Elephant on February 23, 2011 at 6:51 PM

I am pretty confident that the State of Washington will turn Red this time around…

hawkman on February 23, 2011 at 3:52 PM

Whatchoo smokin’ Hawkman??? I live in the state of WA, and it’s more like this:

The thing I note is how pathetic NY, NJ, CA, MD and WA continue to be… I suspect their loving approval of BHO is more out of hatred for the Right than actually believing the idiot is doing an “above average” job.

mankai on February 23, 2011 at 1:40 PM

They hate Democrat Gov. Christine Gregoire here, but they loathe and despise those with an “R” next to their name even more. Seattle liberals would rather go full Communist than vote for evil, nasty, depraved Republicans. In Seattle, friends commit friends to insane asylums if they’re caught voting Republican. I think the whole Puget Sound region would have to sink into the Sound before you’d see Republicans being voted for in Washington state. *sigh*

theotherone on February 23, 2011 at 7:25 PM

Once Gov. Palin makes her case for unleashing the massive machine of progress and growth in the private sector, cutting taxes and regulation, there will be no stopping her. 0bama will be one and done.

long_cat on February 23, 2011 at 8:30 PM

They better pass voter ID in wisconsin soon, before the fleebaggers come back. Otherwise they will cheat like they did when obama won.

wi farmgirl on February 23, 2011 at 9:02 PM

How low can he go?!?!? Let’s hope MUCH lower. I agree that it is scarey that the approval rating is still hovering around 47%.

kscheuller on February 23, 2011 at 10:27 PM

At least Obama has his “home state” of Hawaii. Al Gore didn’t even get his “home state” of Tennessee.

Squiggy on February 24, 2011 at 6:31 AM

what the map shows me is that there is an alarming # of people in the US who remain so very much out of touch with reality. How could anyone be supportive of Obama at this point? It astounding. I don’t see this as any sort of good news, Ed. DD

Darvin Dowdy on February 24, 2011 at 7:34 AM

Comment pages: 1 2