We’ve already seen this trend coming from the Rasmussen national polls, and now Politico reports that Rasmussen has substantial corroboration of their reports. Independent voters have begun rejecting the big-spending programs of Barack Obama, especially as they show little return on the vast fortunes he’s spent thus far. That means trouble for Obama in swing states that he carried relatively easily just eight months ago:
Obama retains extremely strong support from Democrats, and earlier this year lost much of the Republican support that followed a giddy Inauguration. It is the independents who appear to be currently on the move: Obama dropped 6 percentage points last week from the week before in Gallup’s tracking poll, and Quinnipiac University found a 5-percentage-point drop in approval from independents between early June and early July. Recent state polling shows drops over longer periods.
A Quinnipiac University poll of voters in economically troubled Ohio, released Tuesday, showed Obama’s approval rating slipping 8 points, to below 50 percent, from a poll two months earlier, with a plurality of 48 percent of independent voters disapproving of his job performance. A Public Policy Polling survey in Virginia found Obama’s approval and disapproval numbers effectively tied, with independents disapproving of the president’s job performance, 52 percent to 38 percent.
“That is fairly consistent with all our polling around the country — Obama tends to be really well-liked personally, but he’s starting to lose a majority of the independents,” said Public Policy’s Dean Debnam. Democrats have “had long enough in some voters’ minds that they’re getting blame for nothing happening, and Republicans are scaring them around health care and tax increases.”
Most of this polling took place last week, when the jobless numbers hit. I wonder how much more they’ll tumble after Joe Biden’s admission that the administration miscalculated on the economy this week, and the media reports on the lack of accountability and effectiveness on Porkulus spending? The true-blue Democrats won’t abandon Obama, but the independents in the crosstabs I’ve seen on recent polling have begun moving away rapidly. That trend won’t stop any time soon.
This is also a warning shot to Democrats on the health-care bill and cap-and-trade. The big-spending policies have turned off all but the liberals in the electorate, especially once the actual costs of these programs became clear. The independents will be in full revolt by the end of summer if Democrats press forward, giving Republicans a great opportunity to take back the House in 2010.