Maybe America is becoming “a very difficult district” for Democrats, especially Barack Obama. Bloomberg’s new poll puts his job approval rating at a mundane 45/49, although Bloomberg reports that it’s the lowest approval level he has had in the series. But a peek inside the actual numbers shows a startling data point that should have the Obama 2012 team keeping their resumés updated.
First, Bloomberg headlined their report on the poll “Obama approval plummets on jobs plan,” with a majority of respondents rejecting Porkulus II:
A majority of Americans don’t believe President Barack Obama’s $447 billion jobs plan will help lower the unemployment rate, skepticism he must overcome as he presses Congress for action and positions himself for re- election.
The downbeat assessment of the American Jobs Act reflects a growing and broad sense of dissatisfaction with the president. Americans disapprove of his handling of the economy by 62 percent to 33 percent, a Bloomberg National Poll conducted Sept. 9-12 shows. The disapproval number represents a nine point increase from six months ago. …
By a margin of 51 percent to 40 percent, Americans doubt the package of tax cuts and spending proposals intended to jumpstart job creation that Obama submitted to Congress this week will bring down the 9.1 percent jobless rate. That sentiment undermines one of the core arguments the president is making on the job act’s behalf in a nationwide campaign to build public support.
Frankly, I chalk the fact that Obama even has 40% for this retread of his failed 2009 Keynesian package to the innate optimism of Americans, with a healthy dose of blind loyalty among liberals. It’s telling, though, that the jobs bill gets less support than Obama’s overall job approval. He’s not just
singing preaching to the choir, he may be only singing preaching to the altos and tenors. At least to start, the jobs bill won’t be a gamechanger for Obama — at least not in the direction he’d like.
Other numbers show that the topline approval number may overstate Obama’s support. The top issue in this poll is unemployment and jobs, picked by 46% of the respondents, followed by government spending (18%) and the federal deficit (12%). Only in fourth place does Obama have a Democrat-friendly issue in health care (10%). His job approval on those top three economic and fiscal issues are abysmal. On job creation, he gets a 36/57; on the overall economy, 33/62; and on the budget deficit, 30/62. Among independents, his approval on the economy falls to 29/66 and to 25/67 on budget deficits.
Oh, and on that friendly issue? Obama scores a 39/53 on health care, too — a big problem as Obama and Democrats have to defend ObamaCare in 2012.
But those numbers are just the appetizers. Bloomberg asks respondents whether they will definitely vote for Obama in 2012, and only 29% of them say yes. Another 21% say they will consider a different candidate, while 43% say they will definitely not vote for Obama. Among Democrats, only 67% don’t want a primary challenge in 2012 against the sitting President, while 30% “would like another candidate to try” for the nomination. Bear in mind that the poll sample comprises a D/R/I split of 39/31/27, which means that Obama is losing more than a quarter of his own voters, assuming all 29% are Democrats.
Maybe DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz was more correct than she knew.
Update: Gabriel Malor notes that it should be preaching to the choir, and I’ve also corrected a misspelling of Bloomberg above.