By Dave Andrusko
To be fair, President Obama’s falling-through-the-skylight approval numbers wouldn’t seem QUITE so bad had his approval numbers not been so gaudy a year ago. Remember how they were practically stratospheric?
But…that was then and…
The question now is, just how far will his job approval and personal popularity sink? Since one of the driving forces is ObamaCare, the bottom may not even be in sight. Put another way, if you think the fallout from the rollout [aka primarily the Healthcare.Gov website] has been awful, it could pale in comparison to what lies ahead.
The latest poll to document the President’s increasingly chilly relationship with the American people is today’s new Washington Post-ABC News poll. We see that his approval/disapproval numbers have essentially flipped since last year. Today 43% approval/55% disapproval compared to 54% approval/42% disapproval this time a year ago.
The “good news,” according to Dan Balz and Scott Clement is that “Disapproval of Obama’s handling of the health-care law’s implementation stands at 62 percent, while disapproval of his handling of the economy is at 55 percent. Both are little changed from a month ago, when Obama’s ratings tumbled after the health-care mess.” Talk about finding silver linings…
Note this as well:
“Nearly half of all Americans say they think the law will result in a worse overall health-care situation in the country, and six in 10 say it will mean higher overall costs. Americans are split over whether their own health-care costs will rise or not under the new law; a scant number expect a discount.”
Two comments are in order. What is the lesson of everything that has happened since October 1 when Healthcare.gov began (attempting) to operate? That every week, sometimes every day, another revelation comes out illustrating not only how ill-prepared the Obama administration was for the rollout but that huge swathes of people will face crippling increases in premiums and deductibles. What happens when people actually go to their doctor and discover they aren’t enrolled or that they can’t use him or her any longer?
Second, a question not mentioned in the Washington Post story was, “Do you think the problems with healthcare.gov are an isolated incident or do you think they are a sign of broader problems in implementing the health-care law?” Just a little over a third (36%) thought it was an isolated problem, 55% said it was a sign of broader problems.
One other very important result, consistent with a plethora of other recent polls: “On several key measures, Obama has lost significant ground to his Republican opponents in Congress,” according to Balz and Clement.
“On the question of who is seen as better able to handle the country’s main problems, Obama and Republicans are tied at 41 percent. A year ago, the president’s advantage was 15 points and at this stage in 2010 it was still five points.
“Obama also has lost the lead he enjoyed on who could better deal with the economy. Today Republicans are at 45 percent to Obama’s 41 percent. Last year at this time, it was Obama at 54 percent and congressional Republicans at 36 percent. A 26-point Obama advantage a year ago on who would better protect the middle class has fallen to just six points in the latest survey.’