Art offers his perspective as a movement progressive activist.
Major polling news breaks. This time from the AP, and it’s full of troubling numbers. Most crucial is that views on the economy have soured markedly, especially since the debt deal. Worse, Obama’s polling fall comes mostly from Democrats who have lost faith in the president.
-86 pct now say the economy is poor, up from 80 percent a few months ago.
-49 percent say the economy worsened this summer.
-51 percent blame Bush, not Obama for the economic situation.
The fact a majority still blame Bush is probably the best number for Obama in the poll.
A plurality of 44 percent blame the GOP in Congress, while 36 percent blame the Democrats. These numbers should give hope that the GOP has so badly enraged the public it keeps the Dems in the game and gives them a shot at taking back the House.
So a few glimmers of hope for Obama re-elect yes. But some real alarming numbers come from the Democratic base:
More than 6 in 10 ““ 63 percent ““ disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy. Nearly half, or 48 percent, “strongly” disapproved. Approval of his economic performance now stands at just 36 percent, his worst approval rating on the issue in AP-GfK polling.
Among Democrats, 58 percent approve of the president’s handling of the economy, down from 65 percent in June.
Fifty one percent of Americans now say Obama is a strong leader, a large dip from June when 65 percent said he was strong. Where did the dip come from? Partly his party:
In June, 85 percent of Democrats in the poll called him a strong leader. Now, the number is down to 76 percent.
Obama also suffers from a Bush-like sense of the nation is on the wrong track, by a whopping 75 percent and again it’s Democrats losing faith causing trouble. In June 46 percent of Dems said “wrong track.” Now it is 61 percent. A huge jump.
Another cause for heartburn is this:
In a new high, 52 percent of all adults said they disapprove of his overall performance ““ 52 percent, up from 47 percent in June. Among Democrats, approval fell 8 points, to 74 percent from 82 percent in June.
One other wrinkle: the Dems have so botched their message on job creation the GOP is now seen as just as likely to create jobs! 44 percent say the Dems are better at jobs, 44 percent think the GOP can be.
AP found that a record has been shattered in the history of their poll: a record number of Americans despise the Congress with only 12 percent approving! See other interesting stats from Huffington post here.
Yet Obama remains alive despite all these numbers because of the alternative. In this environment Obama will need about 90 percent of his base to back him in order to win. Bush Jr. had 92 percent of his base behind him in 2004. Kerry had 88 percent. So: Obama is swimming against the current and this is not 2008. This is 2004. I suppose Obama should be grateful this is not 1979 in the polling data, at least thus far.