The outlook might be bleak for Obamacare, but the outlook for Obama himself is downright rosy. Two new polls show the president’s approval rating and electoral prospects much improved from previous polls.
A CNN/ORC poll found that 56 percent of the public like Obama generally, 51 percent approve of his job performance and 54 percent would vote for him over Mitt Romney. More from Political Ticker’s summary of the poll:
If the general election were held today instead of in early November, 54% of registered voters say they would back Obama, with 43% supporting former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, the front-runner in the GOP nomination battle. That’s up from a five-point 51%-46% advantage the president held over Romney in February.
And Obama would have a 55%-42% lead over Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania who’s Romney’s main rival right now for the nomination. The president led Santorum by a seven-point 52%-45% margin last month.
“President Obama currently wins majority support among groups that have been problematic for him in the past, including men, older voters, and suburbanites,” says CNN Poling Director Keating Holland. “He has a solid lead among independents as well.”
Importantly, the poll also showed a majority of voters still blame Bush and Republicans for the poor economy.
A new Quinnipiac poll of swing states also showed Obama on the uptick in crucial parts of the country:
In Florida: Mr. Obama bests Mr. Romney 49%-42%, and tops Mr. Santorum 50%-37%.
In Ohio: Mr. Obama leads Mr. Romney 47% – 41%, and Mr. Santorum 47%– 40%.
In Pennsylvania: Mr. Obama has about 45% support compared with Mr. Romney’s 42%, within the poll’s 2.8 percentage point margin of error. Mr. Obama bests Mr. Santorum 48%-41%.
The assistant director of polling for Quinnipiac says the results might be explained by voters’ views on the economy and gas prices: Six in 10 think the economy is improving and just one in six blame Obama for high gas prices. Instead, voters fault oil and gas companies and oil-producing countries.
A part of me is really burned up by these polls: It suggests to me that voters buy Obama’s blame-anybody-and-everything-around-me rhetoric without a second thought. By a number of measures, the economy is improving and, sure, Bush shares some of the blame for how weak the economy has been. But what were the Bush-era behaviors that were most problematic? Big spending. Yet, compared with Obama, Bush was a penny pincher! And Obama’s energy policies haven’t exactly helped to make energy costs more affordable.
Another part of me just thinks, “Oh well, the election isn’t today.” Much can and will still change before November.