The adult population’s almost always a bit more Democratic than the population of registered voters, who are themselves usually more Democratic than the people who actually show up on election day. Just a fun fact worth mentioning, in case you’re a Democratic senator from a conservative state who’s wondering how to read this poll.
Actually, does this data prove that ObamaCare’s a bust or that basically everything he touched in 2013 is a bust?
His overall job approval is down to 41 percent, just five points higher than Bush’s approval was at this point during the famous downward spiral of his second term. Philip Klein pointed out on Twitter that, if you take those January numbers seriously, Obama has lost 20 points net on health care in the past 10 months — half of them since September, thanks to coverage of the Healthcare.gov apocalypse and the Big Lie about keeping your plan if you like it. (The January numbers are probably slightly rosier for Obama than they otherwise would have been because he was enjoying a post-election honeymoon with voters at the time.) And yet, health care isn’t his worst result here. He’s -28 on immigration, doubtless thanks to plenty of lefties being as annoyed with him that Congress hasn’t passed amnesty as righties are annoyed that Obama keeps pushing it, and he’s -34 on the economy, down 25 points net in just the past two months. What explains that? Sean Trende of RCP points to the timeline in Gallup’s tracker of economic confidence as the smoking gun:
The light green line, representing economic confidence, creeps along until late September, when the bottom falls out. Halfway through October, it creeps back up — but not quite to the level it was at before. What we’re seeing here, obviously, is political fallout from the shutdown, the likelihood of which started to make people anxious a few weeks before the lights actually went out on October 1. The GOP’s taking a beating from it too but the GOP doesn’t have a party figurehead on whom public irritation can be concentrated. Intense disapproval of the shutdown begat intense disapproval of O’s handling of the economy, which in turn may be bleeding over into perceptions of him on other subjects like immigration and health care. The O-Care rollout only makes things worse; that may be why, although economic confidence recovered somewhat after the shutdown ended, it didn’t come all the way back. Trende is speculating on Twitter as I write this that the same thing may have happened in Virginia to explain McAuliffe’s surprisingly narrow win over Cuccinelli. The shutdown, which damaged Obama specifically and Republicans generally, put Cooch in a deep hole, and then the O-Care clusterfark *nearly* dug him out. I’d be surprised if Chris La Civita, the Cuccinelli advisor who blamed the shutdown yesterday for Cooch’s loss, doesn’t agree.