Marist poll shows Obama driving midterm vote to GOP

posted at 12:01 pm on August 12, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

Midterm elections usually end up as referendums on the current President, and sixth-year midterms especially so. Will that be the case in November with Barack Obama? According to a new poll from Marist and McClatchy, yes — and Democrats will not like the outcome. By a ten-point spread, Obama incentivizes voters to go Republican more than Democratic:

President Barack Obama is dragging down his party and hurting the prospects of fellow Democrats as they head into midterm elections that will determine who controls Congress, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.

Obama is beset by problems at home and abroad. Just 40 percent of voters approve of the way he’s doing his job, tying his worst mark in three years and the second worst of his presidency.

Just 39 percent approve of the way he’s dealing with the economy and only 33 percent approve of how he’s dealing with foreign policy, the worst of his years in office.

By 42-32 percent, voters say their opinions of Obama make them more likely to vote this fall for a Republican than for a Democrat.

That’s actually twice the gap in the generic Congressional ballot, which stacks up 43/38 for Republicans — a very bad figure for Democrats. The GOP has gained 11 points in the gap since April, when Democrats led 48/42, which strongly suggests that the momentum has shifted in a big way as the general-election campaign season approaches. What’s more, it’s also pretty clear that no matter how poorly the GOP polls (only 22% approve of Republicans in Congress, as opposed to 32% for Democrats), the need to rebuke Barack Obama takes precedence for voters. Among independents, the GOP has a 14-point lead in the generic Congressional ballot, 40/26, and Obama makes independents likelier to vote for Republicans than Democrats by an almost 2:1 margin, 41/22.

So yes, this midterm will be all about Barack Obama, and not about income inequality or free contraception. Having an overall job approval rating of 40/52 is bad enough (worst since September 2011), but on issues that matter to voters, Obama may be doing worse than that topline figure suggests. His 39/58 on the economy is his worst showing since July 2013, and his 33/61 on foreign policy is Obama’s worst ever in the Marist series. He gets only a 30/55 on the Gaza war, and 32/51 on Ukraine. Even his personal favorability has plummeted; it’s now at 43/51, his worst showing in this series as well.

It’s a disaster for Democrats, and it doesn’t appear that it will get better any time soon. Obama might have mitigated the damage with a renewed sense of mission and engagement in the face of multiple crises, but instead he opted to go on vacation. Normally I’d push back against those who gripe about presidential vacations, but as I argue in my column today at The Week, this time critics have a point:

Three years ago, he proudly declared that he had kept his promise to get all troops out of the country, and two years ago campaigned on the fact that Mitt Romney would have kept U.S. troops there had he been president. In January of this year, Obama infamously dismissed ISIS as “a jayvee team” to al Qaeda, and shrugged them off as “jihadists who are engaged in various local power struggles and disputes.”

Meanwhile, two weeks ago, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency told an audience that the U.S. is less safe than it was “several years ago,” and that rather than being on the run, the al Qaeda ideology “sadly feels like it’s exponentially grown” during that time.

On Saturday, with Marine One in the background, standing by to whisk him away to Martha’s Vineyard, Obama announced that he had ordered the U.S. military to conduct airstrikes on ISIS to prevent a potential genocide. He then proceeded to claim that removing all troops from Iraq wasn’t his decision, but was a situation forced on him by Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Needless to say, the dramatic cognitive disconnects in Obama’s narrative don’t do much to maintain even the current low confidence in his leadership, let alone repair the damage. While Obama can certainly run the American response from his vacation retreat to the genocide unfolding in real time, his insistence on doing so reinforces the conclusion that the president isn’t taking the ISIS threat seriously.

Most Americans would expect that the sudden epiphany about the genocidal threat posed by ISIS would have a president working overtime. This time, at least, the need to boost confidence in the president’s leadership should have outweighed his legitimate need for some downtime outside the Beltway bubble.

Americans are less and less impressed with Obama, and going absent in August isn’t likely to make them feel any better about him as Commander in Chief, either.


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H/t Bmore

Schadenfreude on August 12, 2014 at 12:02 PM

More GOP infighting. I like it.

Ned Pepper on July 18, 2014 at 12:46 PM

Schadenfreude on August 12, 2014 at 12:03 PM

At State this morning there’s pandemonium.

They don’t know how to keep the latrine-rats in check. They are hopping mad that obama is back in Iraq.

That “chimpey” destroyed their emperor is the irony of them all.

I can hear GWB laughing that evil laugh.

Schadenfreude on August 12, 2014 at 12:04 PM

By next Novemeber Democrats will be openly running on the ACA. Mark my words.

libfreeordie on December 20, 2013 at 10:14 AM

Democrats running on ObamaCare is seppuku.

portlandon on August 12, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Shipwreck!

Gotta love it.

What a POS we have for president.

I hope never again will the voters elect a Kenyan non-citizen muslim as president

txdoc on August 12, 2014 at 12:05 PM

but on issues that matter to voters

They all sense two, instinctively:

Economy, in their own pockets, and

Security

Schadenfreude on August 12, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Albatross!

Flange on August 12, 2014 at 12:07 PM

Looks like it’s time for another “They told me if I voted for Sarah Palin…” ribbing.

aunursa on August 12, 2014 at 12:09 PM

Americans are less and less impressed with Obama

How in the hell is it possible to be any less impressed with Snuggles?

Happy Nomad on August 12, 2014 at 12:12 PM

Dana Milbank: Obama vacations as the world burns

One of the biggest obama-azz-worms turns.

Schadenfreude on August 12, 2014 at 12:12 PM

What’s it like to be you, leftist rats?

Schadenfreude on August 12, 2014 at 12:12 PM

#racism

You know it’s true.

Good Lt on August 12, 2014 at 12:13 PM

Well, it’s ABOUT TIME.

I thought most of them would stay home and sulk due to their SHARP disagreements with the “RINOS” as they have repeatedly threatened.

Armyspouse on August 12, 2014 at 12:14 PM

This is a good article. But, obama knew, and did nothing.

Now he blames the CIA and others, as usual. He owns all the souls of the dead by ISIS and by the Syria goons, including the 10,000 dead children.

Schadenfreude on August 12, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Democrats running on ObamaCare is seppuku.

portlandon on August 12, 2014 at 12:05 PM

I think it’s just plain cult suicide, like Jim Jones’ people. Seppuku is done according to the samurai code of honor and is performed as punishment for actions that brought about shame.

The thing is, Democrats don’t have things like honor or shame.

Aizen on August 12, 2014 at 12:15 PM

Flashback from the Liar in Chief

Schadenfreude on August 12, 2014 at 12:16 PM

Vacationing while the world melts down is sorta ignorant.

Imperious reader’s VP likes to partay also:

http://www.weeklystandard.com/blogs/bidens-hamptons-begin-third-vacation-month_802864.html

His third vacation THIS MONTH. I have not been able to even get ONE vacation in the last several years.

Did you all see the ISIS selfies at the White House? High Spirited lad those ISIS guys.

The dems know they are in trouble. They are trying to act like republicans, but it ain’t gonna work.

dogsoldier on August 12, 2014 at 12:20 PM

Add Obama to every Democrat running for office.

Kay Hagan Obama
Mary Landrieu Obama
Al Franken Obama
Mark Pryor Obama
Mark Begich Obama
Mark Udall Obama
Mark Warner Obama

(A lot of Marks. Huh.)

New party name: Democrats Obamas

22044 on August 12, 2014 at 12:21 PM

I’ll be humming Anchors Aweigh for the rest of the day…

Kraken on August 12, 2014 at 12:25 PM

Thank you, President Obama!

Ned Pepper on August 11, 2014 at 3:47 PM

HumpBot Salvation on August 12, 2014 at 12:25 PM

So does he pull his Immigration EO before or after the midterm vote?

3- 1 : After

Your thoughts?

CW on August 12, 2014 at 12:28 PM

Screw Iraq.

Tired of hearing about that hell hole since 2003.

Keep golfing Mr. President.

Hater gonna hate.

Ned Pepper on August 11, 2014 at 4:20 PM

HALOLOLOL

HumpBot Salvation on August 12, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Our disappearing President.

He’s the “Cheshire President”. All we can see is two big ears. And a golf club floating in mid-air.

contrarian on August 12, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Thank you, President Obama!

Ned Pepper on August 11, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Not sure what that was about but Ned’s a fluffer with a nose as brown as donkey shit.

CW on August 12, 2014 at 12:31 PM

How low can you stoop, rats?

Schadenfreude on August 12, 2014 at 12:33 PM

So does he pull his Immigration EO before or after the midterm vote?

3- 1 : After

Your thoughts?

CW on August 12, 2014 at 12:28 PM

He knows 2014 is a lost cause.

It’ll be 2016 before he attempts something like that..he’ll need something to get the Ded Peckers off the couch and to the polls.

Kind of a final middle finger to what is left of the USA by then.

HumpBot Salvation on August 12, 2014 at 12:33 PM

Not sure what that was about but Ned’s a fluffer with a nose as brown as donkey shit.

CW on August 12, 2014 at 12:31 PM

Actually Obama’s azz is a pretty safe place to be.

Ned Pepper on August 11, 2014 at 4:36 PM

Schadenfreude on August 12, 2014 at 12:35 PM

Great selection of front page pic Ed. Well done.

DarkCurrent on August 12, 2014 at 12:37 PM

I hope never again will the voters elect a Kenyan non-citizen muslim as president

txdoc on August 12, 2014 at 12:05 PM

Communists don’t believe in God or Allah. Stop calling him a Muslim already. It’s just stupid at this point. Yes, he was raised among them in Indonesia, but his heart will forever be fond of what was instilled in him by Frank.

UnstChem on August 12, 2014 at 12:37 PM

So, we are back to the usual excuse for Leftist war, humanitarian relief. If that’s going to be our policy we better increase military spending now as we will be quite busy. Especially since we don’t fight wars to win anymore, but just bomb people enough to achieve some kind of stalemate that is ‘fair’, with equal losses on both sides.

BUT WE KNOW IT’S REALLY ALL ABOUT OIL!

Is it our turn to protest?

Meremortal on August 12, 2014 at 12:38 PM

Troll-free thread, huh.

22044 on August 12, 2014 at 12:41 PM

All Obama needs now is a really ugly terrorist attack. Anybody want to bet that ISIS could give him one? Extra points if the terrorists involved come across the southern border.

trigon on August 12, 2014 at 12:41 PM

It may not be the planet healing, but, a year ago, nobody would have believed it.

So does he pull his Immigration EO before or after the midterm vote?

3- 1 : After

Your thoughts?

CW on August 12, 2014 at 12:28 PM

If he does, the Demos will impeach him.

formwiz on August 12, 2014 at 12:41 PM

Maybe he could pivot to Mooch’s successful kids healthy school lunch program that everybody loves…

PatriotRider on August 12, 2014 at 12:43 PM

The angle that everyone is missing here is that If Barack Obama says that leaving Iraq was not his idea then he is telling us his many statements and promises to get us out of Iraq were deliberate lies.

AtTheRubicon on August 12, 2014 at 12:44 PM

I’m trying to think of something successful that he could pivot to but I’m coming up short, anybody???…

PatriotRider on August 12, 2014 at 12:44 PM

dramatic cognitive disconnects = pathological liar

This guy is so obviously out of his depth it’s breathtaking. And frightening.

bigjack on August 12, 2014 at 12:45 PM

22044 on August 12, 2014 at 12:21 PM

I’m concerned that divisions in the GOP may help Kay Hagan keep her seat in NC. There’s currently a Libertarian in the race who is pulling about 8%, most of it from Republican Thom Tillis. Most polls right now show Hagan with a slight lead.

Conservatives in NC wanted Dr. Brannon, and it looks like many are going for the Libertarian instead of Karl Rove, Chamber of Commerce-backed Thom Tillis.

TarheelBen on August 12, 2014 at 12:46 PM

What’s the situation going to be 1, 2 years from now???…

Scary to think about that….

PatriotRider on August 12, 2014 at 12:47 PM

If republicans actually made an effort to represent their base, their overall favorability ratings would be 60% instead of 22%. Pity that they don’t realize it.

SteveThomas on August 12, 2014 at 12:50 PM

I’m trying to think of something successful that he could pivot to but I’m coming up short, anybody???…

PatriotRider on August 12, 2014 at 12:44 PM

War on Wimmin 2.0

UnstChem on August 12, 2014 at 12:52 PM

Let me be clear. I told the Iraqis that they could keep our US troops in their country if wanted to at about the same time I told Americans they can keep their health care plans if they wanted to. If you dare to say not so then I must call BS.

Buckshots on August 12, 2014 at 1:00 PM

I’m trying to think of something successful that he could pivot to but I’m coming up short, anybody???…

PatriotRider on August 12, 2014 at 12:44 PM

He’s pivoted so often he’s pretty much augured in about 6 feet under. Hard to see how he climbs out.

de rigueur on August 12, 2014 at 1:01 PM

It’s certainly not the GOP that is driving voters to the GOP.

Quite the opposite. Had Obama not acted stupidly on the border by creating this wave surge of illegal alien “children” the GOP’s own blundering and blatant ATTACKS against the conservative base would have kept him the Senate and possibly even given him the house back.

The GOP is going to win the Senate and keep the House, then promptly LOSE BOTH in 2016 because they will start “reaching across the aisle” on Amnesty first thing, and our Presidential nominee will be another “electable moderate” from the Establishment that will lose in a LANDSLIDE.

ConstantineXI on August 12, 2014 at 1:06 PM

Great selection of front page pic Ed. Well done.

DarkCurrent on August 12, 2014 at 12:37 PM

I was thinking the same thing. A little difficult to judge the scale of the anchor though.

Bmore on August 12, 2014 at 1:08 PM

PatriotRider
I’m trying to think of something successful that he could pivot to but I’m coming up short, anybody??

He’s been successful and that’s the problem. Honestly I can’t think of anything that he has been successful at that was beneficial to the US as a whole.

Buckshots on August 12, 2014 at 1:13 PM

FLASHBACK: Obama Vows Not To Take Vacations If Elected President, “I Am Giving Myself To You”…

Obama: “uh umm, you give me this office and in turn my, fears, doubts, insecurities, foibles, need for sleep, family life, vacations, leisure is gone. I am giving my self to you.”

Resist We Much on August 12, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Maybe he could pivot to Mooch’s successful kids healthy school lunch program that everybody loves…

PatriotRider on August 12, 2014 at 12:43 PM

I dunno. He’s getting a tremendous amount of cover from Robin Williams death. It’s 24/7 on every news station, and will likely be that way for several weeks if history is any indicator.

If another Malaysian Airlines jet goes missing, any prosecutor worth a damn will nail Barky on circumstantial evidence.

NOMOBO on August 12, 2014 at 1:16 PM

He’s been successful and that’s the problem. Honestly I can’t think of anything that he has been successful at that was beneficial to the US as a whole.

Buckshots on August 12, 2014 at 1:13 PM

I would say the only positive about Obama is that because he is so lazy and incompetent, that as bad as things are, had he been an industrious communist who showed up to work and put in 40+ a week, we’d be in even WORSE shape!

ConstantineXI on August 12, 2014 at 1:18 PM

FLASHBACK: Obama Vows Not To Take Vacations If Elected President, “I Am Giving Myself To You”…

Obama: “uh umm, you give me this office and in turn my, fears, doubts, insecurities, foibles, need for sleep, family life, vacations, leisure is gone. I am giving my self to you.”

Resist We Much on August 12, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Every promise Obama makes comes with an expiration date.

That one expired 1/20/09

ConstantineXI on August 12, 2014 at 1:19 PM

Leeches

Schadenfreude on August 12, 2014 at 1:22 PM

Dead

Schadenfreude on August 12, 2014 at 1:24 PM

McConnell was trailing by 2 points in the latest PPP survey against Grimes. Now, he’s leading by 5. Remember when the Dems seriously thought KY and GA were in play? Good times.

GOPRanknFile on August 12, 2014 at 1:25 PM

If the GOP weren’t desperately trying to destroy challenges from actual conservatives, this election could be one of the hugest upsets in recent memory.

As it is, we’ll be lucky if the Democrats lose control of the Senate. And the Republicans actually elected to the Senate will be by and large squishes who will have no interest in correcting Obama’s failures.

It’s looking more and more like our only real hope is to get enough conservatives in the House that the Senate will reluctantly pass conservative bills sent to them from the House.

There Goes the Neighborhood on August 12, 2014 at 1:30 PM

It’s gotta so bad, even the dyed in the wool liberals here in liberal-looney western WA are admitting they made a mistake…. but NONE of them are going to vote for an evil, business-loving Republican… nor an Independent who has owned a business or been in a ‘corporation’.

It’s a sickness.

Tard on August 12, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Great selection of front page pic Ed. Well done.

DarkCurrent on August 12, 2014 at 12:37 PM

I was thinking the same thing. A little difficult to judge the scale of the anchor though.

Bmore on August 12, 2014 at 1:08 PM

Andrea Doria or Costa Concordia would have been more apt. Example of a disaster that could have been avoided.

cozmo on August 12, 2014 at 2:26 PM

but NONE of them are going to vote for an evil, business-loving Republican… nor an Independent who has owned a business or been in a ‘corporation’.

Tard on August 12, 2014 at 1:32 PM

Good. Every one of them that stays home is half a vote against Tyranny.

UnstChem on August 12, 2014 at 2:41 PM

McConnell was trailing by 2 points in the latest PPP survey against Grimes. Now, he’s leading by 5.

GOPRanknFile on August 12, 2014 at 1:25 PM

LOL! What corrupt gopE propaganda!

“Libertarian on Kentucky Senate Ballot Could Hurt Mitch McConnell”
http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/08/11/Libertarian-on-Kentucky-Senate-Ballot-Could-Hurt-McConnell

The RACE BAITING “CRUSHER” is going to get a lesson in crushing.

Read the comments drone. Mississippi was the straw that broke corrupt Mitch’s back.

Good times!

Jayrae on August 12, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Andrea Doria or Costa Concordia would have been more apt. Example of a disaster that could have been avoided.

cozmo on August 12, 2014 at 2:26 PM

Good point. I did one of those for RWM once upon a time. She may still have it. It wasn’t very subtle though. You could tell scale if I remember correctly.

Bmore on August 12, 2014 at 3:35 PM

Jayrae on August 12, 2014 at 2:42 PM

As per the PPP survey, even with the Libertarian candidate, McConnell leads by 4. As is the case with just about every election, the Libertarian candidate does his/her best early in the polling, but does very little damage once people actually realize that their vote matters.

If McConnell ends up winning, which I fully expect him to, I hope I see you back here and admit that I was right.

If McConnell ends up losing, I’ll admit I was wrong.

GOPRanknFile on August 12, 2014 at 3:44 PM

LOL! What corrupt gopE propaganda!

I had no idea that PPP, which once partnered with Daily Kos, was aligned with the GOP establishment. Good to know.

Read the comments drone. Mississippi was the straw that broke corrupt Mitch’s back.

Good times!

Jayrae on August 12, 2014 at 2:42 PM

Also, I have no problem engaging you, but there’s no need to resort to name-calling. It’s not like I’m refusing to call you names because of a lack of names to call you. There are plenty of names to describe you, but I rather engage in a civil and adult discussion.

GOPRanknFile on August 12, 2014 at 3:50 PM

By a ten-point spread, Obama incentivizes voters to go Republican more than Democratic:

Good news because in many states, ten points is enough to overcome the Democratics’ margin of vote-stealing.

slickwillie2001 on August 12, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Most Americans would expect that the sudden epiphany about the genocidal threat posed by ISIS would have a president working overtime. This time, at least, the need to boost confidence in the president’s leadership should have outweighed his legitimate need for some downtime outside the Beltway bubble.

Does anyone think Obama even has a concept of full time work, never mind this thing called “overtime?”

Disgraceful.

BKennedy on August 13, 2014 at 10:42 AM