Stop the presses (or the tweets)! Former Alaska Gov. Sarah
Palin's numbers are falling! Why not concern ourselves with that as 2012
nears. What about Obama's numbers right now? They are
tanking big-time. A recent "news" article stated, "While the president
remains personally popular …"
Certainly the Gallup Poll the go-to polls for most cable news
shows put Obama's "favorability ratings" among "adults" fairly high.
There is, however, another prominent and respected polling firm: the
Look at CNN, the organization that markets itself as real,
nonpartisan news. In a recent three-month period, there were 26 instances in
which a CNN newscast used the words "Obama" and "approval" and "Gallup." But
the words "Obama" and "approval" and "Rasmussen" appeared in only one CNN
What's the diff?
|FREE SUBSCRIPTION TO INFLUENTIAL NEWSLETTER|
Every weekday NewsAndOpinion.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". HUNDREDS of columnists and cartoonists regularly appear. Sign up for the daily update. It's free. Just click here.
Gallup samples "adults." This includes people, especially the
young and mostly liberal, who feel strongly about lots of things until
it's time to show up and vote. Rasmussen, on the other hand, samples "likely
voters" the folks the politicians give a rip about. They vote them in
office or throw them out.
Numbers go up and down. But next year a semi-eternity in
politics the entire House goes up for re-election, as does a third of the
Senate. As we approach this first referendum on Obama, politicians, if not
CNN, pay attention to the "likelies."
How are the likelies liking him now?
Likely voters now put Obama at less than 50 percent, below the
53 percent who voted for him in November. Of his performance, 29 percent say
they "strongly approve." But 39 percent say they "strongly disapprove."
That's a minus 10. It's down a tick from a recent minus 11-point gap the
worst ever for Obama. A president's ability to push through his agenda turns
on whether congresspersons back him. And they back him when they expect the
voters to back them .
The President recently gave a health care-dominated press
conference, leaving many more confused than before: Who pays? How much? What
about the threat to quality? How can people "keep their coverage if they're
happy with it" if their employer dumps the plan in favor of a (initially)
cheaper government alternative? Direct and indirect references to the Bush
administration were frequent, always a winner in focus groups. Meanwhile,
Obama flies around the country pressuring Congress to meet his ever-shifting
self-imposed deadline to "get health care done."
"Likely voters" fear a complete government takeover of the half
of health care not already run (and dramatically under-funded) by
government. They don't buy Obama's argument that to rescue the economy, we
must, you know, spend more so that, well, we ultimately spend less. They
dislike government running, bailing out and/or taking ownership stakes of
financial firms and car companies. They loathe rewarding failure by giving
taxpayer money to those who made the bad decisions that wrecked their
companies. They think global warming, if not a crock, is at most
low-priority especially if an anti-global warming tax costs jobs and
People worry about a government that runs annual deficits that
add to a mounting national debt; that fails to secure our borders or to
track and deport those who enter legally but overstay their visas; that
can't locate 300,000 illegals under deportation orders for crimes, including murder and attempted murder ; and that operates
government schools, which produce students who test poorly when measured
against our Asian and European counterparts.
And Obama wants it to run something as complicated as health
If Obama is lucky, the health care push ends up with mostly
cosmetic changes or, even better, falls through altogether. Ditto for a
second "stimulus" package.
Former President Bill Clinton brags about his "successful"
presidency as regards the economy, jobs and a balanced budget. But the
Republican Congress stopped him from doing damaging stuff the proposed
multibillion-dollar economic "stimulus" and HillaryCare and pressured him
into doing positive things, such as NAFTA, welfare reform and cutting
capital gains taxes. Then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich helped force a
shutdown in government, resulting in a much smaller budget than Clinton
Obama's in trouble because of his policies. Seventy-six percent
of likely voters describe him as "liberal," and 48 percent call him "very
liberal" up 20 points from when he was elected. Forty percent of American
adults, says Gallup, call themselves conservative, up from 37 percent in
2008. Thirty-nine percent consider themselves more conservative today than a
few years ago, while only 18 percent say they are now more liberal. Even
among Democrats, 34 percent say they are now more conservative, versus 23
percent who say they are more liberal.
Obama's "change" consists of taxing, spending, borrowing and
printing money. Yes, the bad news is that Bush and his fellow
Republicans failed to abide by their stated fiscal principles. The really
bad news is that Obama and nearly all of the Democrats in Congress
want to abide by theirs.
Only by "failing" can Obama succeed. Keep your eye on the