By Dave Andrusko
As we end the week here are a few thoughts on some recent poll results that must make Democrats running this fall wonder if there is no end to the damage President Obama may inflict on their campaigns. Here are three, to be exact.
#1. A Fox News poll conducted this week of 1,000 registered voters found Obama’s disapproval numbers at a whopping 56%. Only 3 in 8 (38%) approved. On individual issues, his highest approval was a paltry 40% (health care) versus 56% disapproval. His worse numbers were on Syria (27% approval versus 61% disapproval).
As we turn next to the latest Washington Post-ABC News poll, this may be the most important figure from the Fox News poll. Asked what they wanted Obama to do in the last two years of his term, exactly two-thirds said they wanted him to “try to get as much done as possible by working with Congressional Republicans to enact a bipartisan agenda.” Only 20% said hold to policies already enacted/stop Republicans from enacting theirs.
#2. As we have discussed pretty much for six years, Obama never made even a nod in the direction of working with Republicans. That notion that the President is not reaching out to his opponents is now widely shared. In the Washington Post-ABC News many more Americans say Obama is more of a divider than a uniter–by 55% to 38%.
Why is that important? It belies what he said as a candidate—that there was no liberal America or conservative America or blue state American or red state America, there’s the United States of America—with the clear implication that he was singularly capable of bringing the country together.
As the Post’s Aaron Blake wrote today, “[P]eople don’t see him delivering on the promise and idealism of his 2004 convention speech. And with two years to go, they’re only seeing him get more divisive.”
As more than one commentator observed today, it’s hard for Senate Democrats running this year to blame Republicans for divisiveness (and thus the need to re-elect Democrats) when the President is (rightly) perceived as the very model of partisanship.
#3. In analyzing the Washington Post-ABC News, the Post’s Karen Tumulty wrote this morning that key segments of the coalition that elected and re-elected Obama has lost faith in him.
Women surveyed said they disapprove of Obama by a 50 percent to 44 percent margin — nearing an all-time low in the poll. It’s almost the reverse of the 55 percent to 44 percent breakdown for Obama among female voters in 2012, according to exit polls.
His approval rating among women has slipped 4 percentage points from a year ago and 16 percentage points since his second inaugural in January 2013, when his approval was 60 percent among the group.
Among younger voting-age Americans, Obama’s approval rating stood at 43 percent. That marked an 11 percentage point drop since June among those from 18 through 29 years old. Voters younger than 30 supported Obama by 60 percent to 37 percent in 2012.
Meanwhile, support for Obama among Hispanics stood at 57 percent, which is down markedly from the first half of 2013, when approval among Latinos soared to about 75 percent.