By Dave Andrusko
Yet another poll, this time from the Washington Post/ABC News, illustrates how rapidly the ground is shifting beneath the feet of pro-abortion President Barack Obama.
And as was the case with yesterday’s discussion of recent USA Today/Gallup polls, just how significant those changes are requires that the reader go “inside the numbers.”
Let’s start with the basics:
· The lead sentence in Dan Balz and Jon Cohen’s story is “The public opinion boost President Obama received after the killing of Osama bin Laden has dissipated, and Americans’ disapproval of how he is handling the nation’s economy and the deficit has reached new highs, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.” Specifically, Obama’s approval rating are 49% disapprove/47% approve. Two significant components here.
As Ed Morrissey noted this morning, this is almost identical to the mid-April ratings Obama received, demonstrating what non-partisans pointed out at the time: the bump he received following the death of bin Laden—56% approval to 38% disapproval in the last poll in this series–wouldn’t last. You can say both that Obama dropped nine percentage points (from 56% to 37%) and that he reverted to his normal dismal approval ratings.
Second, 37% said they strongly disapprove to only 27% who strongly approve, an intensity gap that has existed for a long, long time. This is highly significant.
· The very same people who will tell you that the public doesn’t really care about abortion anymore—a bogus refrain that is as predictable every four years as the swallows returning to Capistrano—have to finagle that undeniable fact that the public has soured on Obama as an economic steward. “Overall, about six in 10 of those surveyed give Obama negative marks on the economy and the deficit,” Balz and Cohen write. “Significantly, nearly half strongly disapprove of his performance in these two crucial areas. Nearly two-thirds of political independents disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy, including — for the first time — a slim majority who do so strongly.
· One of the most telling indices always is the response to the “direction” question. Not even a third (32%) said the country is going in the right direction to two-thirds (66%) who said the country is on the wrong track.
· Finally, as we pointed out the last time the Post did one of these polls, they radically undersampled Republicans. It was almost as bad this time (31% Democrats, 25% Republicans, 39% Independents). Thus Obama is in deeper trouble than the already low 47% approval rating would suggest.
You can read the story and the poll results at http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/obama-loses-bin-laden-bounce-romney-on-the-move-among-gop-contenders/2011/06/06/AGT5wiKH_story.html?hpid=z1