What do Obama’s state approval numbers for the first half of 2012 tell us?
By Dave Andrusko
As I expected, NRL News Today received a great deal of comment on “Harry Reid’s Latter Day McCarthyism” Not that anyone expressed surprise that the pro-abortion Senate Majority Leader would stoop to gutter level politics; even some pro-abortion Democratic partisans such as syndicated columnist Richard Cohen concluded Reid had gone waaaay too far.
But today, even as the Post’s evaluation of the truthfulness of Reid’s claim was “4 Pinocchios” (the lowest possible), there were hedges. And no sooner had these qualified criticisms surfaced on the Post’s webpage than the Obama re-election machine unleashed the most irresponsibly vicious ad of all. (As I wrote yesterday, I am not going to lay out the details of any of these assaults; that just provides impetus to the lies and distortions.)
My point is simply that this is how Obama works, and ought to be motivation for anyone to work against such irresponsible—and dangerous to the health of the system—onslaughts.
One other item, which I had meant to comment on last week: Gallup’s findings about President Obama’s popularity by state for the first half of 2012. Lucky for me I got distracted. The Wall Street Journal’s John Fund provided an excellent analysis today that is as thoughtful as it is thorough.
He reminds us in the opening sentence of something I’ve written about repeatedly: “When an incumbent president is on the ballot what counts most in polls is his approval number, not how much he may lead his less-known challenger.”
Gallup opines that its state-by-state findings “can give a rough indication of how the Electoral College vote might look this fall. . . . Presidents’ approval ratings on the national level historically haven’t changed much in the final few months before the election.” Right now, nationally, Obama’s approval/disapproval number is the same: 46%.
But how does Obama’s approval numbers break out by state? Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones says there are “21 states in which Obama’s approval rating is between 40% and 50%, including some of the largest ‘swing states’ such as Florida (46%), Pennsylvania (46%), and Ohio (44%).”
To which Fund adds, Obama “scored at or above 50 percent job approval in just 13 out of 50 states.” And “Because this is a two-man race, Barack Obama should be worried both about that and how far below 50 percent he is nationwide.”
After excluding four states that are either hopelessly for (2) or against Obama (2), Fund concludes
“No surprises there. What is a surprise is that in several key states, Obama is clearly in trouble. He gets only 49 percent approval in Michigan and Wisconsin, and 47 percent in Maine and Oregon. Iowa, Florida, Virginia, and even Pennsylvania all have Obama sitting at just 46 percent approval. In his home state of Illinois, he has only 51 percent approval and in Minnesota he hovers at just 50 percent. No wonder Mitt Romney is giving serious consideration to making former Minnesota governor Tim Pawlenty his running-mate.
“Right now, if Obama swept all the states where he is at or above 50 percent job approval he would win 185 Electoral College votes. He will have to do a lot better than that in November to win the necessary 270 electoral votes.”
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