All around one of the worst polls of his presidency, and the first time Quinnipiac’s ever found him below 40 percent approval since he took office in 2009. One quote puts the damage in perspective: “President Obama’s job approval rating has fallen to the level of former President George W. Bush at the same period of his Presidency.”
Here’s the killer data set. Friendly advice for aspiring presidential candidates: Don’t go around telling millions of people thousands of times that they can keep their insurance if they like it when you know they’ll eventually find out that they can’t.
As amazing as that is, “only” 46 percent think Obama knowingly deceived them on “if you like your plan.” Imagine how these numbers might move if/when the rest of the public discovers the truth.
He’s at 39 percent approval overall, the same as Pew had him last week. And believe it or not, that overall rating is slightly higher than his rating on discrete issues. He’s at 38 percent or lower on the economy, immigration, the federal budget, foreign policy, and our old friend health care, where he stands at a robust 36/60 split. That’s not his all-time low on that subject; he hit 35 percent in February 2010, a month before his pet boondoggle was signed into law. Sixty percent, however, is a new high in disapproval. And it draws from many demographics:
The one big caveat here is that this is Quinnipiac’s first national poll since October 1, which means it incorporates reaction to both the shutdown and to the ongoing ObamaCare car crash. How much of O’s downturn is due to one versus the other? No way to tell — although read this post on the Pew poll last week for a few thoughts. Quinnipiac did find in this poll that support for ObamaCare itself has dropped from 45/47 on October 1 to 39/55 now. I think that’s probably less a new normal for the law than a reversion to the level of opposition it’s had for years after a brief honeymoon last month following the launch, but either way, that’s not the trend Democrats wanted to see in November. In fact, pay close attention to the crosstabs and you’ll find that Hispanics now disapprove of the law 44/50. Their support for O-Care is one of the things that helped Obama to a landslide win among that demographic last year. If they become disillusioned about it, who knows what that means for 2016?
And yet, and yet, polls are merely snapshots in time. Obama will bounce back from this sooner or later, right? Maybe not:
In fact, no president in the last 60 years has watched his approval ratings bounce back during their second term. Either they didn’t make it to another stint in office (Ford, Carter, and George H.W. Bush), never dipped in the first place (Eisenhower and Clinton) or were removed from office at the nadir of their popularity (Nixon). Lyndon Johnson recovered somewhat, but only after announcing he would not seek another term. Ronald Reagan dropped from the low 60s to the high 40s amid the Iran-Contra scandal, and his popularity never recovered entirely until his last months in office. But it also never fell to lows experienced by Truman or Bush.
“In a second term, once a president’s numbers decline, they never come back up,” Ed Goeas, a Republican pollster, told reporters last week during a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. “There’s a good reason for that: they don’t have a reelection campaign going on. They don’t have the air cover on air. They’re not putting back together a campaign in contrast to the opposition.”…
Obama and his supporters like to say he’ll never face reelection again, so his numbers don’t matter. But other Democrats — namely red-state Sens. Mary Landrieu of Louisiana, Mark Pryor of Arkansas of North, Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Mark Begich of Alaska — will face voters again, during next year’s midterms. And a slumping president has been nothing but bad news for his party colleagues.
A big economic rebound could help him recover, but even there, how big would it have to be to swallow up the endless coming cycles of middling-to-bad-to-disastrous news about ObamaCare? He’s stuck. Get ready for Democrats to abandon ship.