Gallup buries the lede in its latest polling on health care, the Browning of Massachusetts, and Barack Obama’s performance in the first year. They headline the fact that 55% of Americans want Congress to suspend work on ObamaCare while only 39% want Congress to continue. That’s not exactly news; it’s about the same split in support Rasmussen has seen among likely voters for weeks now, and Gallup just confirms that ObamaCare has the same level of support in the general adult population.
In fact, the biggest news is that 57% of adults — adults, not registered or likely voters — give Obama poor marks for his first year in office:
The poll attempted to gauge Americans’ political mood more generally by asking them to describe their feelings about the progress the Obama administration has made in its first year. Thirty-nine percent of Americans say they are pleased with the progress President Obama has made in addressing the problems facing the country, but nearly as many, 37%, say they are upset because they believe his policies are moving the country in the wrong direction. That leaves a middle group of 20% of Americans who describe themselves as disappointed with Obama’s progress because they thought he would have achieved more by now.
Given Obama’s job approval rating of roughly 50%, clearly some Americans who express disappointment with the president’s lack of progress still generally approve of the job he is doing.
The difference probably reflects the personal likability of Obama, but it shows considerable weakness. Over a quarter of Democrats are either unhappy or disappointed (mainly disappointed) by the direction of Obama’s first year in office. The 8% of Democrats who say they’re unhappy with the direction in which Obama went in 2009 are more likely to be progressives unhappy with Obama’s war policies and angry at the loss of the public option in ObamaCare.
Independents are probably another story altogether. Only 35% are pleased with Obama, but the same number is expressly unhappy about the direction Obama has taken. That likely relates more to Obama’s broken promises of post-partisanship and moderation, which also may be informing the 20% who have declared themselves “disappointed” in Obama’s first year as President.
Without his personal charm and charisma, Obama would likely already be in Bush territory on job approval, or close to it, even among the general adult population. It’s not a big surprise, then, to see surveys of registered or likely voters putting Obama underwater — like Public Policy Polling reported yesterday:
For the first time in Public Policy Polling’s monthly national surveys Barack Obama’s approval rating is in negative territory. 47% of voters in the country express unhappiness with the job he’s doing while 46% give him good marks. …
Obama’s health care plan continues to be part of his popularity problem. 49% of voters in the country are opposed to 40% in favor. Republicans are much stronger in their opposition than Democrats are in their support.
41% of voters say that Obama has lived up to their expectations while 49% think he has not. The biggest drop between his approval and the feeling that he’s met expectations is with independents.
This poll surveyed registered voters, not likely voters as in the Rasmussen polling. It looks like Rasmussen (which had Obama underwater at 47%/52% yesterday in its daily tracking poll) had it right all along.