Home > Obama > Support for Obama falling fast

Support for Obama falling fast

October 11, 2013

The October AP-GFK poll (PDF) finds a continued drop in Obama’s job performance approval rating. The main question in this poll worth looking at is:

Overall, do you approve, disapprove, or neither approve nor disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president.

Only 37% of respondents approve of the Presidents job performance; while 53% respondents disapprove of his job performance. It is also worth noting that 35% of respondents ‘strongly disapprove’, almost equal to the number that encompass all types of approval. When combining these results with the ReasonRupe polls there is a definitely steep decline for the last six months.

Image Source: Reason

Image Source: Reason

These numbers tell me that Obama has very little political power to get anything done in his last term. At this point his best option may be to work on fixing some of the issues that are causing his poll numbers to drop so rapidly. It shouldn’t be hard for Obama to find areas of improvement. Looking further down the poll at individual issues there is only one issue where his approval rating is higher than his disapproval rating: the environment (energy is almost a tie). If I were him I would focus on these areas to bring his approval rating (and his political power) back into positive numbers:

  • Federal budget deficit: 52% of respondents disapprove of his handling of the deficit. Personally I think this comes from his “I will not negotiate” approach. Remember this is the same President who promised to work along party lines during his election and re-election campaigns. Currently he is showing that campaign promise to be pillow talk.
  • Managing the federal government: 51% of respondents disapprove of his managing the federal government. This one would be harder for him to fix in the short-term. Scandals such as those involving the IRS and NSA have left little reason to trust the Obama’s administration running of the federal government. Recent actions to close historic landmarks during the government slowdown only increases a mistrust of his management ability. Even though there is no ‘quick fix’ for this issue I believe Obama can make headway by actually becoming more transparent as he promised many times in the past. That might not reverse the trend of disapproval on this issue, but it might stop the downward spiral.
  • Healthcare: 47% of respondents disapprove of Obama’s handling of healthcare. Simply delaying the individual mandate for year as he did the employer mandate would go a long way to stop this disapproval rating from increasing. At the same time he has to stop arbitrarily giving ACA waivers to special interest groups. Right now it looks as though Obama cares more about special interest groups than private citizens. Working with Congress to implement these steps would also do a lot to overcome the disapproval he has gotten due to his “I will not negotiate” approach.

I don’t actually expect Obama to take any of the steps I outlined above. Instead I believe he will continue down his current path and due to poor leadership decisions will further create divisions between the two big political parties. The good news from all of this will be the 2014 midterm elections. I believe if the trends continues we will see the Senate back to almost an even match between Democrats and Republicans. The House will be unlikely to change as dramatically and should still be in Republican control (hopefully with Boehner gone). Between then and now I simply don’t see Obama having the political power to get anything done. But maybe that is OK, a powerless Obama is just fine by me.

Categories: Obama Tags:
Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: