Information from two pollsters today show a tough future for Barack Obama and Democrats on Capitol Hill. In their annual survey on issues and priorities for Americans, Gallup reports that almost three-quarters of all adults worry about the economy “a great deal,” with federal spending and the budget deficit a close second:
Nearly three in four Americans (71%) say they worry about the economy “a great deal,” more than worry about 13 other issues Gallup measured in a March 3-6 poll. Nearly two in three (64%) worry a great deal about federal spending and the budget deficit. Americans show the least anxiety about race relations — the only issue about which the majority is “only a little” or “not at all” concerned.
Not only do both of those issues play against the Democrats at the moment, the fastest-rising issue on the list is particularly problematic for them as well:
The availability and affordability of energy is the only issue about which Americans have grown significantly more worried since last year, from 38% to 46%. The current level of concern about this issimilar to what it was from 2006 to 2008.
That can expect to rise along with gasoline prices. It relates to economic concerns anyway, as rising transportation costs have pushed food prices up faster than any time since November 1974, during America’s first energy crisis. The Obama administration’s inability to solve the energy problem — or more accurately their refusal to do so by allowing expansive American production — will only exacerbate the economic issue in the long run.
Do Democrats see the danger in this set of priorities? Apparently not. In Gallup’s survey, Democrats ranked health care (69%) above the economy (64%), and the federal budget and deficit don’t even rate a majority concern. Independents and Republicans share the economy and budget as the top two issues, although the GOP puts federal spending/deficit above the economy while independents have those reversed. If Democrats expect to win independent support, they had better take budget issues more seriously, as well as start looking for ways to promote real economic growth.
That leads us to the second poll, Rasmussen, which puts Barack Obama at a historic low for economic performance:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Voters show that just 31% rate Obama’s handling of economic issues as good or excellent. Forty-five percent (45%) say the president is doing a poor job handling these issues.
There isn’t a big need to get deep into the crosstabs on this poll:
Sixty percent (60%) of Democrats rate the president’s handling of the economy as good or excellent, compared to seven percent (7%) of Republicans and 26% of voters not affiliated with either of the major parties.
That Obamanomics only gets 7% support from Republicans comes as no big surprise. The fact that only 26% of independents support it is a big red flag for the 2012 cycle. If the economy is the biggest issue for independents and only 26% end up supporting Obama, he can kiss a second term goodbye — and Harry Reid can start planning for his new gig as Senate Minority Leader. In fact, only getting 60% of their own party to support it might be an even bigger problem, as it speaks to what kind of enthusiasm they can expect from their base in 2012.