Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Formula for Disaster

On a daily basis, Rasmussen polls likely voters on the approval of President Barack Obama. Now many of the left dismiss Rasmussen as a Republican pollster, but he was the pollster than came closest to the actual outcome in both the 2008 and 2004 Presidential races.

Right now President Obama is not doing well. Today's numbers showed that 41% strongly disapprove of the job he's doing while 24% strongly approve for a -17% rating. Overall, 47% at least somewhat approve while 52% at least somewhat disapprove.

Now these numbers don't mean a lot to President Obama's reelection because it is so far in the future, but it does mean a lot to congressional democrats. Both the strongly approve and strongly disapprove are highly likely to vote, but the 36% that don't have strong feelings could easily sit out the congressional elections. And with 2/3 of them at least somewhat approving of Obama's performance (and if all of these vote it still isn't a majority) their failure to vote could be a disaster for the Democrats.

What you hear from Democrat pundits is that if the economy improves and the job picture gets better, Obama's numbers will improve too. While this is true, job creation is a lagging indicator of the economy. And the actual percentage of unemployed Americans is not likely to get better soon as many job seekers have dropped out of the job pool holding the percent unemployed down. Once the job situation gets better they are likely to come back into the market making the unemployment percentage stay relatively high.

Another problem the Obama Administration has is the expectation gap. Obama ran saying he would overcome the partisan divide, stop earmarks, close Guantanamo, block lobbyist from taking jobs in the government, and solve the problem of illegal immigration. This along with his promise not to raise taxes on anyone making less than $250,000 now seem to be at odds with what he is actually doing. Add to this an unpopular healthcare bill he is trying to ram through congress, a seemingly deaf ear to what the people are saying about this and the deficit and you have a formula for disaster.

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