Two new polls out, one which liberals believe slants Republican, another which tilts Democratic suggest that the president’s party may not be going into the 2012 election in as solid a position as a recent Huffington Post love letter to the Obama campaign suggests. It seems the White House is trying to create the impression that the incumbent is unbeatable in next fall’s election. And some media outlets eagerly repeat this talking point as if it were actual fact and not political spin.
Yet, the polls tell a different story.
Rasmussen finds that more Americans consider themselves than consider themselves Democrats:
Now, 35.6% of American Adults consider themselves to be Republicans, up from 34.8% in April. . . . The number calling themselves Democrats increased slightly from 33.5% in April to 34.0% last month.
A day earlier, the pollster found “that in a hypothetical 2012 presidential matchup, a generic Republican candidate earns support from 45% of Likely U.S. Voters” against 43% for President Obama. Given the tendency of undecided voters to break agains the incumbent, that’s a really bad number for the president.
In the latest CNN poll a survey which notoriously skews left, the pollster found that while the president enjoys a 54% approval rating, he’s underwater on his handling of all but three issues, including the economy where 58% disapprove, the federal budget deficit where 64% disapprove and Medicare where 53% disapprove. Given his party’s demagoguing the Ryan reforms, it’s interesting that in a poll which favors the Democrats, only 44% approve of the way he’s handling the popular government program. (I could not find the partisan breakdown in this poll).
Given that the three issues where the president is above water are all national security-related, I’m with John McCormack (who alerted me to the CNN survey), “the killing of Osama bin Laden is what’s propping up Obama’s poll numbers, how long can that last?”
If the economy continues to sputter, look for Obama’s approval to plummet. And the road to his reelection to look every steeper.