Poll: Obama smells but Congress smells worse
A new Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll finds voters feel President Barack Obama smells politically — but Congress smells worse. This suggests that upcoming elections could involve many voters deciding to hold their nose and vote for the least smelliest alternative:
The bottom has fallen out for everyone in the nation’s political leadership.
That’s the message from the latest Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll, which shows that after a government shutdown, near-default on the federal debt, the calamitous debut of President Obama’s health care plan, and continued sluggishness in the economy, Americans aren’t feeling much holiday cheer about the country’s direction or anyone setting it.
Just 38 percent of those polled said they approved of Obama’s job performance, with 55 percent disapproving. That’s the lowest approval, and highest disapproval, the Heartland Monitor poll has recorded for Obama in the 19 times it has measured his standing since April 2009. The latest numbers continue a slide for Obama that had taken his approval rating from 54 percent immediately after his reelection last November to 40 percent in September.
But GOPers and members of Congress shouldn’t be smug about their standing:
Americans are even more dubious about Congress. Just 9 percent of those polled (down from 21 percent last November) approved of its performance. Fully 84 percent disapproved. Almost nine-in-10 of those who disapproved of Obama’s performance also gave Congress a thumbs-down; 56 percent of those who disapproved of Congress also flunked Obama.
And more numbers suggesting a failure of America’s political class:
For good measure, just 23 percent of those polled said America is moving in the right direction; 65 percent said it’s on the wrong track. After the 2012 election, those numbers stood at 41 percent right track and 51 percent wrong track.
Other measures continued to produce consistently grim verdicts. Just 23 percent said Obama’s agenda would increase opportunity for people like them to get ahead, while 47 percent said it would diminish their opportunities; 25 percent said it would have no impact. That was essentially unchanged since September, but a significant decline since fall 2012, when two surveys found adults split about evenly on whether Obama’s plans would improve or diminish their chances.
Likewise, just 34 percent of those polled said Obama’s economic policies had helped “to avoid an even worse economic crisis, and are fueling economic recovery”; a 52 percent majority said instead he had “run up a record federal deficit while failing to significantly improve the economy.” That continues a decline over the past year and represents the smallest share expressing a positive view about Obama’s economic impact since the Heartland Monitor began asking this question (and a similarly worded predecessor) in 2009.
Clearly two questions: can Obama reverse this verdict that he hasn’t delivered? And, if so, how?
graphic via shutterstock.com