By Dave Andrusko
Reading some recent polling data, the question could fairly be asked: Will President Obama’s approval ratings permanently sink into the 30s before at least 60% of the public no longer believes he is capable of leading the country?
Yes, his numbers are that bad, and getting worse.
Let’s start with a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll which found the President’s approval rating at a dismal 41%, tied for the lowest figure ever. Even more remarkably, 54% of the respondents told the pollsters that they “no longer feel that he is able to lead the country and get the job done.”
Another, related question asked if they felt the President was competent to manage the federal government: 50% said yes, 50% said no. So, things are not so bad, right?
But 31% said Mr. Obama was “not competent at all” to only 11% who responded he was “very competent,” a staggering differential of almost 3-1.
This morning National Review Online’s Jim Geraghty began his overview with this summary of the President’s standing:
“He’s at his worst numbers ever in Reuters. Gallup has Obama’s job approval at 41 percent. The Economist/YouGov survey has him at 41 percent. Bloomberg has him at 43 percent, and significantly lower on most issues. CNN has him at 43 percent, with 55 percent disapproving.”
Geraghty then quotes Andrew Kohut of the Pew Research Center who observed (under the headline, “A dug-in electorate bodes poorly for the Democrats in November”) that
“Since the Affordable Care Act was passed nearly four years ago, a plurality of Americans have disapproved of it. Since the onset of the Great Recession six years ago, more than 80% of Americans have rated economic conditions as only fair or poor. And since winning a second term, Barack Obama’s approval score has mostly been in the mid-40s or lower. One or more of these attitudes will have to move in a clearly positive direction for the Democratic Party to avoid a drubbing in the congressional elections, according to a new analysis of voter opinion.”
But if you examine Kohut’s piece closely, you see how ObamaCare remains a huge burden for President Obama and Democrats running in the fall.
A late April Pew Research/USA Today poll found only 17% of the public rating national economic conditions as excellent or good, which is not materially different than such ratings have been since February 2008. Similarly, the poll found the percentage disapproving of the health law (55%) is as high as it ever has been in the four-year history of the law. Just 41% approve of it. Not surprisingly, on this issue and others, views about Obama remain quite negative: 44% approve, 50% disapprove of his job performance. …
Among all registered voters, Obama approval and opinion of the Affordable Care Act appear about equally influential in shaping voter opinion, and are somewhat more important than economic attitudes among all voters. But the most important factor varies by key voting blocs. For independents, attitudes toward the health care law, which they largely disapprove of, is more important than opinion about Obama or the condition of the nation’s economy. Similarly, the new health care law is most important for men, while opinions about Obama are more significant vote drivers among women. (emphasis added)