Investors Business Daily titles its review of their TIPP poll “Americans Losing Hope, Looking for Change,” but that’s no longer big news. Every pollster now shows rising disaffection for President Obama’s policies and the Democratic agenda — especially on the economy, where Democrats usually enjoy an advantage over the GOP. With Obama still pushing for a big-government solution for health care, a reprise of the failed Porkulus on the economy, and a healthy dose of class-warrior attacks on the investor class, it’s no small wonder that Obama’s numbers continue to sink:
Voters are souring on the economy and the government’s remedies, according to February’s IBD/TIPP Economic Optimism Index. It fell 4.1% to 46.8, matching December’s level and the weakest since July. …
Confidence in federal economic politics dived 7% to 38.3, the lowest since President Obama took office. That’s consistent with other polls showing a strong shift by Americans away from big government over the past year. The $787 billion stimulus failed to keep unemployment from soaring to double digits, now 9.7%. But it helped the deficit explode to $1.4 trillion in fiscal 2009, with $1.6 trillion seen in 2010.
Obama has tried to stress economic issues since Scott Brown’s stunning Massachusetts election victory derailed health care legislation. He’s railed against fat-cat bankers while proposing new taxes and further curbs on the biggest banks. That populism can win easy political points, but it can also backfire. Stocks have sold off since Obama began his anti-Wall Street rhetoric.
The TIPP poll surveyed the general population of adults, not registered or likely voters. That sampling usually produces results more sympathetic to Democrats, which may explain why Obama still gets a 50.2 on its leadership index, showing a slight advantage to the President. However, that mainly comes from lockstep support from Democrats. Among independents, the numbers look much worse:
Independents disapprove of Obama’s handling of economic issues by a 2-1 ratio (50%-25%). Just 3% think he’s doing an excellent job while 29% say it’s unacceptable. This extends a recent trend.
Swing voters’ view of Obama’s overall job performance sank 7.9% in February to 40.8, a new low for him. A year earlier, the rating was 72.9.
But the biggest piece of bad news comes from respondents’ views of the Tea Party movement, which has grown in response to Obama’s big-spending policies. Three-quarters of independents have a favorable view of the movement, which suggests that the Democratic attacks on so-called “teabaggers” (a sexual slur) may be backfiring. The same percentage says that one-party rule in Washington has been bad for the nation — and that’s just after one year of having Democrats hold all the levers of power.
If three-quarters of independents act on that latter view, Democrats will lose a lot of seats in the House and Senate in November. Maybe Democrats would do better to shrug off the Pelosi-Obama agenda and stop insulting the voters who are most likely to come to the polls in November.