AP: Obama's approval hits new low, opposition to ObamaCare hits new high

I’m a fan of Sean Trende’s, but I had to laugh when I saw his piece this morning arguing that the Dems are sailing into an perfect storm in November and that losing 100 seats — yes, really — isn’t out of the question. 50 seats? Sure. 60? Conceivably, yeah. Remember, some statistical models already point that way. 70? Er, I … suppose so, if every last bit of luck broke the GOP’s way. But 100? That seems about as likely as finding Bigfoot.

After reading this, though, I don’t know, guys. Those footprints in the snow are starting to look awfully big…

Just 49 percent of people now approve of the job Obama’s doing overall, and less than that — 44 percent — like the way he’s handled health care and the economy. Last September, Obama hit a low of 50 percent in job approval before ticking a bit higher. His high-water mark as president was 67 percent in February of last year, just after he took office…

Adding to Democratic woes, people have grown increasingly opposed to the health care overhaul in the weeks since it became law; 50 percent now oppose it, the most negative measure all year. People also have a dim view of the economy though employers have begun to add jobs, including 162,000 in March. Just as many people rated the economy poor this month — 76 percent — as did last July.

And it could get worse for Democrats: One-third of those surveyed consider themselves tea party supporters, and three-quarters of those people are overwhelmingly Republicans or right-leaning independents. That means they are more likely to vote with the GOP in this fall’s midterms, when energized base voters will be crucial amid the typical low turnout of a non-presidential election year.

Mind you, this wasn’t a poll of likely voters or even registered voters. It’s a poll of adults, which are unfailingly more favorable to Democrats than more refined samples. And as Philip Klein notes, it isn’t a one-off fluke: Due to a seven-point surge in disapproval since last month’s AP survey, it’s now the eighth straight national poll to show disapproval of O-Care above 50 percent. I still think some of that is due to Democrats and indies feeling grumpy that they’re not getting their “free ObamaCare” like they were promised, but even as they adjust their expectations, they have to cope with stories like this trickling out day by day. Which is to say, don’t expect much of a rebound, if there’s a rebound at all. And Trende’s basic point is well taken, even if his projections seem far-fetched: Obama’s approval rating isn’t terrible, but that’s because he’s being buoyed up right now by a lefty base that’s packed into relatively few states. In some swing states, like Florida, his net approval’s already creeping towards -10, and in others, like Missouri, he’s already there. The cavalry ain’t coming to save the Blue Dogs. If they don’t get some serious progress on unemployment soon, they’re finished.

How bad do things look? Here’s a new ad running in Montana from Max Baucus — who isn’t up for reelection until 2014. That’s how worried Democratic incumbents are about the anchor Obama’s thrown around their ankles. Keep up the great work, champ.