How low can he go? Senate Democrats won’t be fans of this new version of “Limbo Rock,” because it’s Barack Obama’s plummeting approval numbers that have them in limbo, wondering whether they will end up on the wrong end of another electoral wave in November. The new NBC/WSJ poll puts the President’s approval number at 40%, its lowest in the series, and the shift is coming from Democrats themselves:
As for the politicians measured in the NBC/WSJ poll, President Obama’s overall job rating stands at an all-time low of 40 percent, a one-point drop from June.
That decline comes from slightly lower support from Democrats and African-American respondents. …
And Obama’s favorable/unfavorable rating remains upside down at 40 percent positive, 47 percent negative.
The takeaway there is that Americans are no longer separating Obama from his job performance. That may be because his attacks on his opposition have become increasingly personal and whiny, complaining about “hatin’ on” him, and so on. Or it may just be a realization after nearly six years that Obama just can’t be separated from his office in the same way that Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, and even George W. Bush could be. That sharp decline in personal favorability no longer buffers Obama from the failures of his administration.
How bad is that personal favorability? Even the overall number doesn’t really do justice to the collapse. Very negative now exceeds very positive by eleven points, 22/33, the worst since December in the middle of the ObamaCare crisis, when the overall was 42/46. In April, it was 24/28 and 44/41 overall. Even during the midterm elections four years ago when the Republican wave was forming, the worst Obama got was a 26/27 on the passionate ends of the spectrum in August with a 46/41 overall.
The full job rating for Obama is 40/54, both of which are new records for Obama in this series. The 54% disapproval ties Obama’s ratings in March and December, during the ObamaCare rollout debacle. Disapproval has now been a majority since late October, after only flirting with it twice before then during his second term.
On the economy, Obama gets an almost-identical 42/53, which actually has been an improvement of late; it had been 39/58 in December and 41/56 in March. Foreign policy, though, has been a disaster, as Obama fell again to a new low of 36/60. In December 2012, Obama got a 52/40, and last December it was 44/48. He’s been cratering ever since. And on the crises that have erupted on the foreign-policy front, Obama flunks across the board:
- MH17 shootdown: 26/37 satisfaction with US actions
- Ukraine/Russia conflict: 23/43
- Syria: 18/37
- Gaza war: 17/45
- Rise of ISIS: 14/42
- Immigration crisis: 11/64
Obama had better think twice about making the midterms about immigration. That’s about as complete of a vote of no confidence in an American head of state as it gets.
By the way, while Democrats attempt to rebrand the “war on women” for the midterms, this is what NBC found that people actually care about:
Even though the recession ended years ago and even though the U.S. economy has created 200,000-plus jobs over the past six months, a plurality of Americans – 49 percent – believe the economy is still in a recession. (However, that percentage is the lowest it’s been since the Great Recession began, and 50 percent of respondents believe the economy is improving.)
What’s more, a combined 71 percent say the recession personally impacted them “a lot” or “just some,” and 64 percent say it’s still having an effect on them.
Then there are these numbers in the poll:
- 40 percent say someone in their household lost a job in the past five years;
- 27 percent say they have more than $5,000 in student-loan debt for either themselves or their children;
- 20 percent have more than $2,000 in credit card debt they are unable to pay off month to month;
- and 17 percent say they have a parent or a child over 21 years old living with them for financial or health reasons.
“People are continuing to tell us what ways [the Great Recession] is still impacting them today,” said GOP pollster Bill McInturff. “Those stories are pretty grim.”
Oddly, it’s also what Democrats don’t want to discuss, too … except for the occasional pivot to distract from the latest Obama administration failure.