After the State of the Union speech, I exchanged e-mails with one of our best tipsters after he saw Barack Obama getting a significant boost in the polls. I predicted that the bump would increase over the weekend polling, which tends to favor Democrats, and start retreating by the middle of last week. In fact, the bump has been entirely dissipated, and Obama now has a -15 on the passion index and is eleven points underwater on overall approval in the Rasmussen daily tracking poll:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Saturday shows that 26% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-one percent (41%) Strongly Disapprove which Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -15. That matches the President’s ratings just before the State-of-the-Union Address. While Obama received a modest bounce in his ratings following the speech, today’s results suggest that the bounce is over …
Overall, 44% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the President’s performance. That matches the lowest level of overall approval yet measured for this president. Fifty-five percent (55%) now disapprove.
This explains why Obama likes to keep himself on TV screens. He usually gets these kind of bumps from his major addresses, but those temporary increases now evaporate more quickly than before. People appear to sense potential in Obama, but are less patient for him to demonstrate it than they were at his election.
Part of the problem certainly springs from the massive deficits that the Obama administration has created. In a separate poll this week, Rasmussen shows that only 11% support deficit spending to fix the economy, while 70% believe that the federal government needs to downsize. Obama tried to get in front of that impulse by talking about the deficit in the SOTU speech, but the announcement of a $1.6 trillion deficit in FY2010 and another $1.35 trillion in FY2011 made a mockery of Obama’s sudden deficit-hawk pose.
The internals of that poll should worry Obama and his team. Even a plurality of Democrats believe that the US needs to cut federal spending rather than splurge even more, 47%/21%. Republicans want to cut spending, 87%/6%, and independents are almost as adamant, 77%/6%. Even the normally safe demographics oppose Obama on his budget plans: a majority of black voters favor cuts, 58%/19%, women 68%/10%, young voters 68%/4%, and under-$20K earners 58%/14%.
It’s as close to a consensus as anything seen in American politics — and Obama is taking the opposite direction. No wonder his approval deficit continues to grow.