As the clock ticks louder and louder on the sequester (man-made) crisis in Washington, a new poll finds that President Barack Obama’s numbers are rising and the Republican’s numbers are tumbling:
President Barack Obama enters the latest budget showdown with Congress with his highest job- approval rating in three years and public support for his economic message, while his Republican opponents’ popularity stands at a record low.
Fifty-five percent of Americans approve of Obama’s performance in office, his strongest level of support since September 2009, according to a Bloomberg National poll conducted Feb. 15-18. Only 35 percent of the country has a favorable view of the Republican Party, the lowest rating in a survey that began in September 2009. The party’s brand slipped six percentage points in the last six months, the poll shows.
This occurs as Republicans are talking about the “Obamaquester” and House Speaker John Boehner is trying to blame it on Obama, but as new report by John Avlon documents how the opposite may be true (a power point proves Boehner was a cheerleader indeed for it two years ago). This poll suggests that if there is a sequester more Americans will blame it on the Republican Party than on Obama, no matter what Fox News, Sean Hannity or conservative bloggers say:
Americans by 49 percent to 44 percent believe Obama’s proposals for government spending on infrastructure, education and alternative energy are more likely to create jobs than Republican calls to cut spending and taxes to build business confidence and spur employment.
“The Republicans are not offering any new solutions,” said poll respondent Cynthia Synos, 62, a political independent who lives in the St. Louis suburb of Greendale, Missouri. “Their answer is always tax cuts and incentives for business. I’ve never heard them say anything innovative to spark the economy that would help the other 85, 90 percent of people that have to deal with the economy as it is.”
The findings come as Congress and the White House are trying to reach an agreement to stop $1.2 trillion in automatic cuts in federal spending during the next nine years beginning March 1. The Congressional Budget Office estimates the measures would reduce economic growth by 0.6 percent this year, enough to eliminate 750,000 jobs.
Obama’s positive standing with the public provides him with political leverage as Americans assess blame for any furloughs, disruption of government services or damage to the economy if the spending cuts aren’t averted. The repercussions also could help shape the battleground for the 2014 midterm congressional elections.
This suggest that GOPers continue playing to their choir, while Obama is successfully addressing a larger pool of Americans and is (for now) changing some minds.
graphic via shutterstock.com
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.