By Dave Andrusko
You certainly can’t say ABC News’ Gary Langer’s opening paragraph sugarcoats the results of a new ABC News/Washington Post survey:
“Barack Obama’s rating for strong leadership has dropped to a new low in the latest ABC News/Washington Post poll, hammered by criticism of his work on international crises and a stalled domestic agenda alike. With the midterm elections looming, Americans by a 10-point margin, 52-42 percent, see his presidency more as a failure than a success.”
Noteworthy is, as always, that many more strongly disapproval than strongly approve—39% to 24%.
With the exception of one result (borne out by no other poll that I am aware of—that Democrats are more enthusiastic about the elections than Republicans), the survey of 1,001 adults spells nothing but gloom and doom for President Obama and by extension Democrats running this fall.
Here are a few of the principal findings.
- “Just 43 percent call Obama a strong leader, down 11 points in the past year to the fewest of his presidency. And his overall job approval rating, at 42 percent, is a point from its all-time low this spring.”
- By a whopping 17 point margin (55% to 38%) Americans say Obama has done more to divide than to unite the country—“and one that’s deteriorated among Obama’s supporters as well as among his critics,” Langer notes. As we all know, being a “unifier” was Obama’s chief claim to fame when he ran in 2008. Barely a quarter (27%) of whites believe Obama has more united than divided the country.
- Speaking of voters and party preference, “Independents side substantially more with GOP candidates – by 47-35 percent among registered voters. That puts all the more pressure on Democrats to boost their turnout, or suffer.”
- His handling of ObamaCare gets a 38% approval, 56% disapproval.
- How about the prospect of Republicans controlling the Senate, a question I hadn’t seen before. Langer reports that 32% believe it would be a good thing for the country, 25% a bad thing for the country. Two others…
- As noted above 52% believe the Obama’s presidency has been more of a failure than a success (42%). Again the intensity factor is working against him. 39% strongly believe its been more of a failure as compared to 22% who strongly believe his presidency has been more of a success. Finally
- “Registered voters are more likely to say they’ll be casting their midterm ballot to show opposition to Obama than support for him, by 27 percent vs. 19 percent – not an overwhelming gap, but one similar to the result on Bush in 2006, a sweep year for the out-party.” (emphasis added) Other polls have shown the percentage voting to show opposition to Obama higher.