WaPo: Obama polling is worse than its topline looks

posted at 11:21 am on December 5, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve looked at the various polls on Barack Obama’s performance and noted the dramatic decline in approval on both policy areas and personal qualities. Today, the Washington Post’s Aaron Blake and Sean Sullivan take a look at the former, and inform readers that Obama is in much bigger trouble than just dropping below 40% overall approval:

Recent polling from the Pew Research Center and Quinnipiac University has shown Obama’s approval rating on almost all major issues plunging into the 30s — below even his lowest-ever overall approval rating, which has stood around 40 percent in recent polls.

One might expect Obama’s issue approval rating to be lagging on the economy, for example. And it is.

But even with an issue on which which the president appears to fall in line with a majority of Americans, he’s struggling.

The Pew poll showed Obama’s approval rating on immigration, for instance, was at 32 percent, with 60 percent disapproving, and Quinnipiac showed just 35 percent approving of Obama on that issue.

The two wonder why Obama’s job approval rating remains a little above his ratings on these critical issues.  One of their theories is that his likeability may still be softening the blow, or that the collapse of his leadership approval numbers means that people believe he simply can’t deliver. I’d lean a little more toward the former, although we haven’t seen a poll on likeability in a while.

They miss, however, the big issue of his personal honesty and integrity.  For the first time in his presidency, Obama finds poll numbers plunging on that key attribute, as I noted in my column at The Week yesterday:

His average approval rating on Real Clear Politics has dropped below 40 percent for the first time in his presidency. But worse yet are the ratings on personal qualities like honesty, integrity, and leadership. CNN’s latest poll, taken just before Thanksgiving, shows 53 percent believing that Obama isn’t honest or trustworthy. A CBS News poll put trust in Obama’s word at 49 percent, eleven points lower than a year earlier, while a Washington Post/ABC News survey gave him a 47/50 result on whether he was “honest and trustworthy” — and 33/63 when those attributes were applied to the ObamaCare implementation.

That’s why Obama is in big trouble, and why a fancy speech and a couple of pivots won’t work this time.  That may be especially true among millennials, as I write in today’s column at The Fiscal Times. Those are the voters where disillusionment will hit the hardest on bald-faced lies like “If you like your plan, you can keep it,” and where the damage will hurt Obama and Democrats the most:

Obama wants to counter this with a sales pitch to younger voters, combined with a pivot of sorts to the economy – namely, a demand for a minimum-wage hike. Obama’s problem in this effort is his track record on sales pitches, as well as the demonstrable incompetence of his administration to manage his projects. Young voters bought all of those Obama lines about keeping your plan if you like it, and lower premiums for all. They are not likely to fall under that swoon again when the bills are now coming due each month for the betrayal Obama provided in place of his promised Utopia.

And it’s not just the President who needs to worry about this. In a demographic that usually skews sharply Democratic, the partisan affiliation gap has closed nine points, 33/24. Among those 25 years of age and younger, it’s down to six points in the Harvard poll. Across the whole survey, more align themselves with conservatives than liberals (37/33, 26/22 without leaners). Only half of the survey say they will definitely or probably vote in the 2014 midterms.

Losing their traditional demographic edge would be a disaster for Democrats, not just in votes but also in enthusiasm and activism. That’s what happens when the bill comes due on Obamacare, as younger Americans are increasingly discovering for themselves.

Alex Roarty at National Journal says Obama’s losing another key demographic, too, and Democrats should be very worried:

It’s not the voters who hate Obamacare the most who are going to matter in next year’s elections. It’s the independents who frequently side with Democrats but could, if propelled by a distaste for the health care law, take a serious look at the GOP in 2014. And on this front, Democrats have a big problem with one of their most crucial constituencies—white women.

Polling provided to National Journal by the Kaiser Family Foundation shows that white women have soured considerably on the law, especially in the month since its botched rollout. The skepticism runs especially deep among blue-collar women, sometimes known as “waitress moms,” whose deeply pessimistic attitudes toward the Affordable Care Act should riddle Democratic candidates with anxiety.

Certainly, the law’s unpopularity gives Republicans a tool to counter the Democratic claim of a GOP “war on women”—something Republicans failed miserably at in 2012. But more significantly, it demonstrates that Democrats will have to fight just to retain core elements of their constituency. With 2014’s most important campaigns already lying in hostile territory like Alaska, Arkansas, and South Dakota, it’s a battle many of these candidates can ill afford.

Be sure to read it all, and then ask how Obama can possibly sell them on a program they hate by making more promises of success while having all of his other promises on this exposed as flat-out lies. As Blake and Sullivan say, Obama is in bigger trouble than just his overall approval ratings.


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Perhaps the Lying Sack of America is unmasked.

Mason on December 5, 2013 at 1:31 PM

Why would even one soul vote for Obama’s honesty and integrity? I would say that was clearly answered with his re-election giving proof that it is our system that has fail. How wise that De Tocqueville who told of the inevitability of the failure of this pie-in-the-sky system, which like any other, cannot avoid human moral failure.

Don L on December 5, 2013 at 1:35 PM

I was on the Hill yesterday,(Briefing House national security types.) and among the Congressional staff, there is total and complete panic over Obamacare. One senior staffer, told me his boss is in a full meltdown over his poll numbers. If anything, the Washington Post poll vastly understates the depth of the anger the public has with O care. More importantly, the public no longer trusts Obama. And that distrust and anger is being transferred to the Democrats at a frighting rate. For the Democrats on the hill, this is their worst nightmare. But as others have said, this election is still way off, and things can change. Still, Obamacare has changed the political playing field in ways we can’t even see. And that fact has the Congressional Democrats in total panic.

flackcatcher on December 5, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Wow. I wonder how Republicans can totally eff up this unforced error before November 2014.

Oh, yeah. Go soft on immigration, divide their own base.

casuist on December 5, 2013 at 1:52 PM

It is beyond frightening to acknowledge that we are at the mercy of these lying, incompetent dolts.

rplat on December 5, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Just saw this on Drudge:
President Obama acknowledges having lived with his uncle

President Obama acknowledged on Thursday that he lived with his Kenyan uncle for a brief period in the 1980s while preparing to attend Harvard Law School, contradicting a statement more than a year ago that the White House had no record of the two ever meeting.

Their relationship came into question on Tuesday at the deportation hearing of his uncle, Onyango Obama, in Boston immigration court. His uncle had lived in the United States illegally since the 1970s and revealed in testimony for the first time that his famous nephew had stayed at his Cambridge apartment for about three weeks. At the time, Onyango Obama was here illegally and fighting deportation.

On Thursday, a White House official said the press office had not fully researched the relationship between the president and his uncle before telling the Globe that they had no record of the two meeting. This time, the press office asked the president directly, which they had not done in 2011.

Looks like it’s WH Press Office that’s going to go under the big bus this time. Because Barky is never, like, wrong. Or less than candid.

bofh on December 5, 2013 at 2:12 PM

“That’s why Obama is in big trouble, and why a fancy speech and a couple of pivots won’t work this time.”

People are starting to smell the stink…

Seven Percent Solution on December 5, 2013 at 2:14 PM

They miss, however, the big issue of his personal honesty and integrity.

As they say, trust is like virginity. Once lost it’s not easily regained.

Such a tragedy that it took voters so long to see through this fraudulent poser.

petefrt on December 5, 2013 at 2:21 PM

bofh on December 5, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Next, Obama will admit that Billy Ayers wrote Dreams from My Father, and that he was admitted to Columbia University as a foreign student.

LOL.

AZCoyote on December 5, 2013 at 2:26 PM

Cancel a waitress’s health insurance policy and she is mot going to be too worried about abortions and birth control.

paulus1 on December 5, 2013 at 2:48 PM

AZCoyote on December 5, 2013 at 2:26 PM

With most people, lies are the exception, not the rule. With Barack Obama, lies are the rule.

What a sociopath.

Athos on December 5, 2013 at 2:57 PM

And that fact has the Congressional Democrats in total panic.

flackcatcher on December 5, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Thanks for the update.

The Dems should be in panic. They arrogantly shoved this unwanted law down the throat of Americans despite protests and warnings. Who can forget Pelosi and company doing their gloating walk carrying that monster gavel?

The Dems deserve the full wrath of voters.

INC on December 5, 2013 at 2:57 PM

Looks like it’s WH Press Office that’s going to go under the big bus this time. Because Barky is never, like, wrong. Or less than candid.

bofh on December 5, 2013 at 2:12 PM

Does this lie affect 0gabe’s security clearance? [rhetorical question]

Carney said nobody bothered to ask the president directly. Well, I suspect he completed paperwork that directly asked about contact with foreigners/foreign nationals. Maybe he assumed the question didn’t apply to illegals.

freedomfirst on December 5, 2013 at 2:59 PM

Be sure to read it all, and then ask how Obama can possibly sell them on a program they hate by making more promises of success while having all of his other promises on this exposed as flat-out lies.

He won’t be able to and therein lies a problem. What happens when you corner a cat? Obama is increasingly in a corner and my fear is he will bring out his claws and declare some sort of fiat and confiscate income or some other draconian measure.

I never thought I’d fear such radical actions from a party or a President but I do now.

These people have shown that they only care about their jobs and not the welfare of the American people. They don’t respect the constitution or the rule of law. Anything is possible.

neyney on December 5, 2013 at 3:06 PM

The Pew poll showed Obama’s approval rating on immigration, for instance, was at 32 percent, with 60 percent disapproving, and Quinnipiac showed just 35 percent approving of Obama on that issue.

And yet Boehner, McConnell, Ryan and Cantor are ready to sell the party out because it is an “important” issue.

Right.

More like appease the business lobby and sell out our country.

And they wonder why people rate the party so poorly.

Marcus Traianus on December 5, 2013 at 3:45 PM

Do these pollsters and opinion blabbers not get that the very idea of a “pivot” would actually WORSEN his position on honesty and trustworthiness ?

I mean, how else do you categorize the whole idea of “Well, this Obamacare this is a disaster. Hey, look over there, its the economy” ???

Dishonest.

deadrody on December 5, 2013 at 3:53 PM

I keep hearing that the young and healthy have to support the old and sick. That is not what Obamacare is really about. The old and sick already had health insurance before they lost their plans, their doctors, and their hospitals due to Obamacare. Obamacare forces the old to pay for maternity benefits, pediatric dentistry, birth control, and drug rehab. These are not benefits for the old. These are benefits for unmarried mothers. This is a baby daddy support plan where women look to the government for their care, rather than to baby daddies–a dire effect of feminism.

Dhuka on December 5, 2013 at 4:03 PM

I keep hearing that the young and healthy have to support the old and sick. That is not what Obamacare is really about. The old and sick already had health insurance before they lost their plans, their doctors, and their hospitals due to Obamacare. Obamacare forces the old to pay for maternity benefits, pediatric dentistry, birth control, and drug rehab. These are not benefits for the old. These are benefits for unmarried mothers. This is a baby daddy support plan where women look to the government for their care, rather than to baby daddies–a dire effect of feminism.

That may be…but I stil say that Obamacare is a Ponzi scheme that depends on the younger getting in to provide most of the money for this boondoggle.

logicman_1998 on December 5, 2013 at 4:44 PM

The part that hurts is that there were four years in which to size this creature up, and yet a majority of voters returned him to office. You might say this is his thank you.
And thanks to the dopes who voted for him.

arand on December 5, 2013 at 4:44 PM

God help us all.

Schadenfreude on December 5, 2013 at 4:55 PM

All those young people are racists.

xrayiiis on December 5, 2013 at 5:17 PM

and yet, he will be re-elected for a third term. interesting.

t8stlikchkn on December 5, 2013 at 6:20 PM

I refuse to believe that leftists and liberals learn.

So these polls obviously contain several math errors.

lol…I can’t wait till he ‘snaps’. That is going to be Sooooo cool to watch.

a5minmajor on December 5, 2013 at 7:12 PM

Wait till employer based 2014 insurance renewals when tens of millions get tossed into the ObamaCare Wormhole!!!

THEN let’s see those poll numbers.

PappyD61 on December 5, 2013 at 8:27 PM

Ya know, I’d like to believe every word of this piece. But experience teaches me that the American public will fall right back to its knees the next election when Dems promise to steal something from someone who earned it and give it to them. Especially, I believe, the young will overwhelmingly back Obama. They want their abortions and gay marriage, don’t forget. It’s sickening.

BillCarson on December 5, 2013 at 8:29 PM

He’s had a bad three months….

….starting with Syria and his attempts to drag us into that hellhole…..

….and now the whole exposed lies over the $2500 premium savings and “you can keep your plan”.

He’s just getting started.

Can you imagine a REALLY pissed DOTUS with executive order power for three more years?

PappyD61 on December 5, 2013 at 8:42 PM

Heh … “personal likability”. He’s a liar, a classless partisan, a dope, and a leftist. What’s not to like?

Jaibones on December 5, 2013 at 9:18 PM

These people have shown that they only care about their jobs and not the welfare of the American people. They don’t respect the constitution or the rule of law. Anything is possible.

neyney on December 5, 2013 at 3:06 PM

And while more and more people are realizing this, when or who is going to do something about it? This POS needs to be impeached or go to jail. Even if the R’s take the senate in ’14, will they be willing to go that route??

vamp57mw on December 5, 2013 at 11:20 PM

And again no mention of the skewed sample.

dogsoldier on December 6, 2013 at 5:01 AM

It might be wise to look into this demographic he’s losing. Are they more Libertarian than social Conservative? Is the Tea Party their spiritual home away from home or is the old guard Republican?

When the chips are down will these social liberty seekers and fiscal liberty seekers go Democrat or Republican, and why? Maybe the Tea Party is where they belong.

{^_^}

herself on December 6, 2013 at 6:22 AM

Why would I believe any polls open to the media? We have been lied to for the past five years and wonder where there is a truth. Next years votes will tell a story and I’m hoping the fraud is at a minimum.

mixplix on December 6, 2013 at 12:29 PM

Rush Limbaugh predicted that Obama will forgive all student loans to get back the youth vote.

Hermeticus on December 7, 2013 at 11:40 PM

I was looking at the polls earlier today and I think we need one more scandal… or the public to notice the ones the media has covered up earlier… at any rate: if Republicans can keep from reminding people why they don’t like them much… and we got one more negative scandal the Whitehouse can’t fudge themselves through… I think Obama could slip down to the twenties where he belongs.

But in real life, the Republicans are due for one of those stories about how some staffer is the Congressperson’s after hours boytoy… and the Congressman teaches Sunday school…. so is a big time hypocrite… and Obama is back in the black.

It’s a shame we don’t have an opposition party in this country.

petunia on December 8, 2013 at 1:17 AM

Obama needs to resign to save the Democratic party. Biden could fudge a deal with “his friends” across-the-aisle to rename Obamacare (while repealing it’s substance) and save their skins. But they don’t have much time, and Obama won’t go willingly. Quite a problem!

virgo on December 8, 2013 at 4:28 PM

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