Alternate headline: “Blogger can’t believe Obama’s job approval still as high as 39%.” Entrenched economic despair, chaos on Wall Street, the S&P downgrade, and Democratic disgruntlement over the debt-ceiling deal, yet somehow only now for the first time is he in the outskirts of Bushville with sub-40% approval. The way we’re going, I half-expect the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man to show up tomorrow in Manhattan — and even that probably wouldn’t bump The One down below 35%. Even so, notes Philip Klein, “No president since Harry Truman has been reelected with approval ratings this low, this late into his first term.” Hmmmm.
There’s no partisan breakdown at Gallup but my hunch is that heart-achy Democrats are driving this. Corroborating evidence from CNN:
Seven in 10 Democrats say they’d like to see Obama as their party’s presidential nominee next year.
That figure may seem promising, but support for Obama’s re-nomination has fallen 11 percentage points since June.
Despite the decline, history is on Obama’s side. “In 1994, only 57% of Democrats wanted the party to renominate Bill Clinton, and he went on to win the nomination and a second term two years later,” said CNN Polling Director Keating Holland.
His previous low among Dems on that question was 73% right before the midterms last year. More corroborating evidence: The Times and the AP each have stories out today about Obama launching a messaging offensive against the GOP, especially on the economy, which will firm up support among his base even if it doesn’t do jack to create new jobs. Watch his weekly message below for a taste; it’s a rehash of his speech in Michigan a few days ago questioning the patriotism of certain nefarious unnamed characters in Congress who he claims are putting partisan aims ahead of the country’s welfare. Luckily for us, The One would never let electoral goals dictate hard policy choices.
Fun fact: While news of the new Gallup numbers was breaking this morning, lifelike talking-points robot Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was on CBS insisting that Obama’s in “remarkably good shape” politically. No foolin’.