President Barack Obama is not a popular political figure, and he has not been one for a long time. The president’s job approval rating has been consistently underwater in most surveys since the summer of last year, and the average gap between the president’s approval and disapproval, according to Real Clear Politics, has been mired mostly in the double digits since the spring.
But Republicans who have been waiting for Obama’s numbers to collapse into territory George W. Bush plumbed toward the end of his administration — the low 30s or even the high 20s — have been disappointed. On a national level, Obama enjoys a floor of support from committed Democrats. As a result, the president’s job approval rating has ranged consistently between 43 and 38 percent across a number of surveys for most of the year.
Even in blue states like Pennsylvania, where Democrats are set to retake the governor’s mansion in November, Obama’s job approval rating has fallen to a dismal 31 percent (according to the latest Franklin & Marshall survey of the state). If Obama’s approval ratings are to truly collapse, it must be Democrats who create that condition. What’s more, that collapse must come from Democrats is populous liberal bastions like New York and California. Today, White House has reason to fear that Obama’s floor is beginning to crack.
“The slipping support for Obama is most evident in a pair of recent surveys of Democratic strongholds,” The Hill reported on Friday.
Just 39 percent of registered New York voters surveyed in a Marist College poll said Obama is doing an “excellent” or “good” job, down six points from June and the lowest level in the state since the beginning of his presidency.
Earlier this month, only 45 percent of California voters said they approved of how Obama was handling his job — a 5 percent decrease from June.
The Hill also observed that a YouGov survey found that Obama’s support among Democrats alone had fallen to just 40 percent. More so than any other promise broken, Obama’s inability to prevent American forces from being sent back into the Middle East may be the most disillusioning move of his presidency for Democrats who backed him in two national elections.
While both Democrats (64 percent) and Republicans (65 percent) are supportive of coalition action against ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq, according to a Gallup survey taken from September 20 – 21, Democrats maintain concerns about the campaign. The Hill observed that a CBS/New York Times survey released last week indicated that 42 percent of Democrats are not fully convinced Obama’s approach to the ISIS threat will be a satisfactory one.
It is not just the liberal left that has soured on Obama. A key pillar of the coalition of the ascendant, Hispanic voters, have lost a significant amount of faith in the president. An NBC News/WSJ/Telemundo poll of Latinos conducted in early September revealed that Obama’s approval rating has fallen 15 points in 18 months to 47 percent. Among Hispanics, there is a growing impression that neither the Democratic nor the Republican Parties have their best interests at heart. 11 percent of Hispanics said they had positive feelings about the GOP compared to just 13 percent who said the same of the Democratic Party.
Neither base liberals nor Hispanics appear to be warming to Republicans, according to the polls, but they are losing faith in Obama and the Democratic Party he leads. As the floor collapses, George W. Bush territory looms and the president’s lame duck status will quickly sap him of any ability to shape American politics.