Perry – Obama polling down

The latest George Washington University Battleground Poll by The Tarrance Group (R) and Lake Research (D) indicated Republican voter intensity reached 75 percent while Democratic intensity dwindled to 66 percent. A majority of Americans, including 55 percent of independents, believe the country is on the wrong track.

“Obama’s approval rating has fallen 15-points since his inauguration, which is a greater drop than the last five presidents,” explained Nicholas Thompson, originally of Collins, Mississippi and now Vice President at The Tarrance Group in Alexandria, Virginia. He continued, “At similar points in their presidencies, George W. Bush was down two points, Bill Clinton was down fourteen, Ronald Reagan was up nine, and Jimmy Carter was down six. Given that Obama started with an approval rating that was the highest since John F. Kennedy, this decline is a strong indication that Americans do not think he is meeting the expectations that his campaign and Democrats promised.”

Congress is feeling the impact, too. The Battleground Poll revealed Republicans (45 percent) lead Democrats (40 percent) in the generic ballot among likely voters. This key indicator could spell trouble in swing districts where independents are peeling off Democrats. “The percentage of Americans who plan to vote for the Republican candidate in next year’s congressional races is higher today than before the 2006 Democratic takeover,” Thompson noted.

Thompson said the stimulus and health care debates have caused many Americans to lose confidence in the Democrats: “Polls show Americans believe the Democrats have spent too much money on a stimulus that has either made no difference or made things worse, so their willingness to support a massive overhaul of health care is low right now. The negative impact this is having on Democrats is seen in the sharp decline in trust Americans have for them to handle fiscal issues like government spending, the deficit, and taxes.”

Once Democrats realize the opposition is not conspiratorial, Thompson suggested they could learn from the Republican push to reform social security during the Bush Administration: “The health care debate is similar to the social security debate of 2005. Americans recognize something needs to be done, but they oppose the changes that have been proposed. Congressional Democrats are suffering as a result because Americans view them as aligned with proposals they believe will increase the deficit and waste taxpayer dollars. Combine this with the perception among voters that Democrats are spending too much time on health care, and ignoring the most important issue to them – the economy and jobs.”

Brian Perry
Madison County Journal