Obama’s gains in the American West (California is always blue) were one of the big surprises of his election. But the disenchantment with him may now be deeper here than elsewhere. Cold winds are blowing in Nevada again, and in Colorado and New Mexico as well. A new NBC poll finds that his disapproval rating in the region is 53 per cent compared with 46 per cent nationally. Independent voters who tend to be conservative but who gave Obama the benefit of the doubt are hearing the message from Republicans (and Fox News) that government is ballooning under his watch, and the federal deficit, too.
Rocky Mountain voters were “enticed by leaders in the Democratic Party who promised something different. But now they’re showing their true big-government colours and they don’t wear well in the West,” says Nicole McChesney, a Republican pollster in New Mexico.
An unscientific canvassing of voters here in Henderson does not reveal the stampede of erstwhile supporters away from Obama some polls suggest. But you hear the unease. “I think some people are upset by him because he is a multi-tasker,” says Barbara Burns, 70, who is grocery-shopping. “And while he was just so nice in the beginning, he is finding out you can’t be nice all the time.”