Hope and Change Has Crashed and Burned

ObamaA new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll reveals that President Obama’s overall approval rating has cratered to 41 percent, tying the low-water mark of his presidency. Moreover, only half of those polled consider the president to be competent, a lower percentage than that accrued by George W. Bush following the pounding he and his administration took for its response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. One year later, Democrats took control of both houses of Congress. Whether the 2014 election will produce similar results remains to be seen.

Chuck Todd, Chief White House Correspondent for NBC News, minced no words assessing the results. “This poll is a disaster for the president,” Todd said. “You look at the presidency here: Lowest job rating, tied for the lowest; lowest on foreign policy. His administration is seen as less competent than the Bush administration, post-Katrina.” Todd then addressed the leadership issue. “And then the issue of do you believe he can still lead? A majority believe no. Essentially the public is saying your presidency is over,” he added.

Todd is referring to the 54 percent of respondents who said Obama is no longer able “to lead the country and get the job done” compared to only 42 percent who thought he could. That pessimism is buttressed by the 41 percent who believe his performance has gotten worse over the past year, compared to only 15 percent who thought it had improved.

The economy is another sore spot for the president, with 54 percent of the respondents disapproving his handling of it, compared to only 41 percent who think he’s doing a good job. This suggests Americans are very much aware that the current 6.3 percent unemployment rate cannot obscure the reality that more than 92 million Americans have given up looking for work, dropping the labor force participation rate to its lowest level in 36 years. That economic discontent was reinforced in an April poll conducted by the WSJ revealing that 55 percent of registered voters believe “the economic and political systems in the country are stacked against people like me,” versus only 39 percent who disagreed with that statement.

By a massive 57-37 percent margin, Americans disapprove of Obama’s foreign policy and national security decisions. Despite such a dismal spread, Obama may have actually caught a break with regard to polling on this subject. Because the nationwide telephone poll of 1,000 adults was conducted between June 11-15, it occurred largely before the consequences of his decision to prematurely withdraw from Iraq in 2011 was thrust front and center by the media.

NBC News contends the capture of primary Benghazi suspect Ahmed Abu Khattallah might be an offsetting factor. But one suspects that when the public becomes fully aware that Khattallah had remained out in the open and conducted several news interviews over the past year and half, the majority of Americans polled last November who said the president is neither honest nor trustworthy may see this as another effort to distract from the numerous scandals surrounding his administration. The public did get a chance to weigh in on the prisoner swap of U.S. Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five imprisoned Taliban fighters. A plurality of Americans disapproved, by a margin of 44 percent to 30 percent. Furthermore, Americans disagree with the real impetus behind Bergdahl’s release: despite Obama’s determination to close the prison at Guantanamo Bay, 59 percent of Americans want it kept open.

Democrat Peter Hart, one of the three pollsters who ran the survey, along with fellow Democrat Fred Yang and Republican Bill McInturff, contends the president’s ratings are tanking because “whether it’s Putin, Ukraine, the VA hospitals, Bowe Bergdahl, the events have controlled Obama, rather than Obama having controlled the events,” and while the public supports him on some issues, “he’s losing the political debate because they don’t see him as a leader,” Hart added.

There are bright spots for Obama in the data as well. Sixty one percent of the respondents said they believe climate change is either “a serious problem” requiring “immediate action” or a big enough concern that “some action should be taken,” and 57 percent would favor curbing greenhouse gases, even if it meant an increase in their electricity bills. On the education front, 59 percent of Americans support the implementation of Common Core standards in their respective states, a number likely driven by the 61 percent who believe America’s public schools need “major changes” or a “complete overhaul.” Obama gets a pass on the VA scandal as well with six-in-ten blaming it on long-term bureaucratic issues, compared to only 14 percent who blame the Obama administration. And while only 27 percent of respondents believe the war in Afghanistan was worthwhile, one is left to wonder whether that percentage would have been if this poll had been taken after Americans were fully aware of the bloody chaos a complete and scheduled withdrawal of American forces actually leads to.

With regard to immigration, 47 percent of the respondents believes it helps the nation, compared to 42 precent who believe it hurts the nation. But the question made no distinction between legal and illegal immigration. That is unsurprising since both NBC and the Wall Street Journal favor comprehensive reform. Thus while both entities characterize it as an advantage for Obama, reality may be quite different.

So who gets the edge in the 2014 elections? Most pollsters concede that the House is not in play, since Democrats would have to overcome a 17-seat deficit. Thus the focus has been on the Senate, where Republicans need a pickup of six seats to gain control of that chamber.

What happens there remains highly uncertain. While Obama remains unpopular, the GOP remains more so: 45 percent of the respondents held an unfavorable view of Republicans compared to only 29 percent who favor them. Democrats favorable/unfavorable ratings were less ominous, at 38 percent positive, and 40 percent negative. Those numbers correlate to 45 percent who prefer a Democratic-controlled Congress, versus 43 percent who want Republicans in control. Furthermore, while 34 percent say their vote will signal opposition to the president compared to 24 percent who say it will signal support, 41 percent say it won’t signal anything about the president. There is also historical data that point to the reality that while the party of two-term presidents gets hit hard in one mid-term election, they almost never get hit hard twice.

On the other hand, other historical data show a president’s plunging job approval ratings correlate to gains made by the opposition party. And a Pew Research/USA Today poll taken in April indicates largely negative public perceptions of ObamaCare, the economy and the president “have to move in a clearly positive direction for the Democratic Party to avoid a drubbing in the congressional elections.” The poll further noted that as of two months ago, “the indications for that are not so good.”

Two other factors favor the GOP’s chances as well: one, in the 10 most competitive Senate races, eight are in states currently held by Democrats; and two, Democratic incumbents are retiring in South Dakota, West Virginia, and Montana. Uber pollster Nate Silver gives Republicans an 80 percent chance of making a pick up as a result.

Perhaps the brightest spot for the GOP concerns what the WSJ characterizes as Obama’s loss of “significant altitude among core constituencies such as Hispanics and younger Americans,” in an election that “tends to swing on turnout.” Among Hispanics, Obama’s approval rating has nosedived from 67 percent in January 2013, to 44 percent in the latest poll. Younger Americans, who have been hammered by ongoing high unemployment, have long been abandoning the president, with only 41 percent approving his job performance as of last December. Moreover many of them have “buyer’s remorse” with regard to casting their votes for him in 2012. Neither of these developments bode well for Democrats.

Neither does one last unmentioned fact about the poll itself. The percentage of respondents who are “strong,” not very strong,” or “lean” Democrat is 41 percent, versus 36 percent of those who are “strong,” not very strong,” or “lean” Republican. Fifteen percent self-identified as strictly independent.” That most of the media apparently consider a five point advantage in favor of Democrats unworthy of mentioning is hardly surprising.

Neither is Obama’s fall from grace. Fox News contributor James Pinkerton illustrated why in one searing sentence. “As Iraq is falling apart, the president is in California fundraising and talking about climate change of course, and playing golf,” he said. Even before Iraq spiraled out of control, Americans apparently noticed such a stunning lack of leadership. It appears Hope and Change has finally crashed and burned.

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  • Warren Raymond

    41% is still incredibly high.

    • J.B.

      Yes, thanks to the fact that 30% of the population is stupid and close to 100% of Democrats are liars.

      • Jerry G

        The low mentality voter will vote on the basis of appearance rather than achievement. That gives us hope that Hillary will fail if she runs for the presidency. Ugh.

  • jeepwonder

    Yet Boehner is unable to lead republicans to any sort of rally to counter the corruption and dereliction of duty this president has repeated over and over.

    The (lack of) opposition is why this President knows he can get away with so much.

    • Gamal

      Maybe getting scabies from illegal immigrants will creates some opposition to this president. Even if it does though there are already 11 million illegal immigrants who will vote for this president.

      • samuraiajg

        You’ve got that right.

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  • Gamal

    I have impossible liberal relatives. To my amazement it finally dawned on them that Obama is not the Messiah that they believed in. I think Iraq was the tipping point for them. Now they say “We have no choice but to vote for Hillary”.

    • samuraiajg

      Their choice in voting for Hillary proves they are stuck in Stupid mode.

      • Gamal

        So many voters are stuck in stupid mode. Look how the voters of Detroit and Philadelphia have kept voting in Democratic mayors for the last 50 years as their cities have slid into disaster

        • samuraiajg

          Also Massachusetts, RI and Connecticut. All Communist States now thanks to the Stupid Democrat Voters.

        • Steve

          When were Detroit and Philadephia run by Republicans?

          • Gamal

            I believe Philadelphia had a Republican mayor about 50 years ago but he was a liberal Republican.

          • Steve

            Exactly. The rust belt and eastern urban centers have been run by liberals for 100 years. They were prosperous and thriving when manufacturing was king and America made things that were sold on the world market. The problems arose when manufacturing declined and low skill, high pay jobs were lost. It has little to do with liberal vs conservative politics.

          • Gamal

            50 years is not 100 years. We need also to ask why manufacturing declined. Why is it cheaper to make goods abroad? Liberal policies has a lot of to with it. American companies are so stifled with liberal regulations and liberal taxes that they can’t compete with companies abroad. I was recently reading a book by a woman who started a business making a product she invented and she made it very clear how much easier it was to get a product made in China vs here. We’re talking one day of work vs months just to get permission.

    • johnnywood

      Elections have consequences.

  • putupjob

    The polls cited oversampled rats by 7%.
    Just think how bad the real situation is.

  • Chiron_Venizelos

    I wonder how many of those polled who understood Article III – Section 3 of the US Constitution would agree that 0bama is guilty of treason.
    As for the polls, I don’t think Mr. 0bama gives a crap either way about what America thinks of him and his conduct as “current occupant of the 0val 0ffice.”

  • Lanna

    In the diabolical world of evil Obama has succeeded…nothing about the destruction of America is incompetence!

  • BMS

    Life gets harder when your not sitting on THE VIEW being worshipped and partying with Beyoncé and Jay-Z doesn’t it Mr. President?

  • Robert_Fl

    It doesn’t matter. obama does not care what anyone thinks. He is not running for office again. He does not care about the Democrats who have blindly and slavishly followed him for the last six years. He is precisely where he wants to be. He has two years to do as he pleases, totally unfettered by the Constitution since it appears that there are not enough patriots in Congress to rein him in. We may not survive the next two years.

  • sendtheclunkerbacktochicago

    Arnold, you and most of the participants at Frontpage still don’t realize that America has been scammed by the best scammer this country has ever faced. Shame on you for not recognizing that this Fraud in Chief usurped the office of the POTUS. Diana West declared that the biggest fraud ever committed against this nation happened in 2008. Of all places, Frontpage should have been all over this since it is now documented that the most dangerous sleeper cell in America resides at 1600 Penn Ave. I think the Conservative media should be held responsible for this scam since it was them that refused to investigate the fraud and crimes that were committed. Shame on you Arnold for not recognizing the scam.

  • Pepe Turcon

    The real and only valid question here is how and why the American system or people got to elect such imbecil to the Oval office. This is dangerous stuff and will only lead to a nuclear war. If you don’t see this….then you are repeating the Obama mistake. Time to act and my only safe bet is on the Israelis, them I trust to act intelligently.

    • johnnywood

      It is called “political correctness”. You dare not call this little incompetent punk a Communist or Moosy lest you be called “racist”.

  • SoCalMike

    It’s amazing that so many low information folks still actually approve of Obama but the poll numbers mean nothing really.
    Obama isn’t running for office.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Two things; 1) dictators don’t care about polls. 2) 41% called ‘bad’ is a true mark of a paranoid narcissist who demands unquestioned love and fealty.

  • Cappy1437

    Do something Washington. Get this scumbag out of the Whitehouse. Prosecute him. Put him in prison. Send him to Iraq to live. Ship him off to Benghazi. We don’t want him as our president.

    • johnnywood

      Don`t hold your breath.

  • Habbgun

    Machine politics is not about popularity. It never was. It builds coalitions on lies but always has to deal with the day when the quality of life falls for the citizenry and the stealing comes to light. Obama and his people are real professionals and just see these rock bottom poll numbers as the cost of doing business. They’ll try to intimidate their opponents quietly and ride this out. They’ve still got all the money they stole and for them at least life is good.

  • Enzo

    You apparently don’t even need to be much of anything, much less successful, for the democrat communists to go out of their way to PROP you up.

  • drthomasedavis

    And 70 million dead voters elected this cockalorum to a second term.

  • meanpeoplesuck

    When Chimpy W McHitler’s approval rating nosedived, the RepubliNaziTards proclaimed him to be a great president because he was doing what was right, approval ratings be damned.

    When President Obama’s approval rating dips, because of the onslaught of 24/7 RepubliNaziTard Media lies, they say it’s evidence that he is terrible.

    Hypocrisy, anyone?

    • ata777

      sanity, anyone?

      • NonPCconservative

        Not applicable to leftists.

    • UCSPanther

      Your obsession over Bush is both laughable and pathetic, chimpanzee.

    • Habbgun

      Let me put my psychic powers to work….the spirits are talking….their voices coming clear….lemme guess…you’re left wing white trash.

    • knucklehead

      The only hypocrisy I see is yours.

    • NonPCconservative

      What must really burn you is that even with the mainstream media presstitutes desperately covering for your messiah his approval is worse than a president who had the media against him.

      You forgot to demonize Fox News for that.

    • pearl87

      Wow, you sound kind of mean. Do you suck?

  • dennis x

    Wow, this this is really going to hurt his re-election chances. Ha Ha!!!!

    • Webb

      He jist hung his po ol wooly head and shook it . . .

  • Danny

    Well America, you re-elected this affirmative action socialist community activist fascist. So suck on it!

    • dennis x

      Danny boy when was that affirmative action vote or for that matter when is the affirmative Bar Exam or affirmative action medical broads?

      • J.B.

        The Affirmative actipn votes wete in 2008 and 2012. The reason thete ate so few Black doctors and lawyers is precisely because there are no affirmative action medical boards and bar exams.

        • Steve

          “thete ate”? Proof positive of the paucity of intelligent conservatives.

  • happytrails5

    41% shows that way too many people still aren’t paying attention, care more about his skin color, are scooted up to the trough, or are socialist/communist. Or some combination thereof.

  • USARetired

    I do not understand what Congress has to gain by allowing this ‘Illegal Bum’ to remain in office?? They know he is an ‘Illegal’ Immigrant’ with No LEGAL U.S. Documents to his name! The only plausible reason would be Congress has a vendetta against America, and are assisting in our destruction! The worthless RINO, Boehner is an example of this!

    • http://www.stubbornthings.org NAHALKIDES

      The Democrats who control the Senate have this to gain: power. They don’t care about how much damage Obama does, because they’re just as bad. And they will never vote to remove him from office unless somehow their own sorry rear ends would be at risk for not doing so.

  • http://www.stubbornthings.org NAHALKIDES

    My question: are the 41% who still approve of Obama all legally smoking weed in Colorado? And 59% still believe that something must be done about climate change, even if it “tanks” an economy already in the tank?

    Republicans need to become the education party in the sense of telling people all the things they need to know but don’t. Low-information voters are natural Democrats.

    • johnnywood

      The Republicrats need to get educated first.

  • johnnywood

    These poll results just prove my point that the average American is a “brain-dead” boob.

    • cjkcjk

      I agree because this skank was elected twice and should be at like 10%

      • johnnywood

        The novelty of the first Black President wore off well before he was re-elected in `12

        • cjkcjk

          You know the issue of novelty shouldn’t even have a place to begin with when selecting the president. I guess that was the old USA.We are screwed and this will all surely end up in blood.
          I think we’re headed for something worse than the French Revolution because of the racial aspect of everything.

  • popseal

    Polls are as meaningless to Obama as the law. His Marxist anti-American agenda is on track.

  • Steve

    Where were these polls taken? At Tea party events, probably.

    • cjkcjk

      If they were taken at tea party events his approval would be about zero you twit.

  • DontMessWithAmerica

    I am very bothered by the fact that some 37% still feel he is doing o.k. 37% represents over 110 million people. This means America has over 100 million who are so ignorant, such pathetic cretins that their only salvation might be euthanasia.

  • tic…tic…BOOM

    Can it be that Obama needs and wants another attack on American soil so that the Country will rally around him? Has the alternative reaction by Americans not been considered by his staff of geniuses: that he will be held responsible for the attack because of his lack of a foreign policy and decimating the Military?

  • pearl87

    That there is anyone who says he is doing a good job, much less that he has improved over the past year, does not bode well for our country. Objectively speaking, anyone with as many scandals, failures, and public embarrassments should be well below 10% approval, which would designate the number of hardcore ideologues who will never disapprove one of their own. But that there are 41% such people, means that we can never hope to recover through the election process or through any means of referendum.
    It is sad to say that it will probably require open rebellion before this reign of idiocy ends, or perhaps it never will.

  • Alleged Comment

    Why do you keep calling him the president? He is a felon and a usurper and has no right to that office.

    And why are Demoncrap men and women so weird and ugly looking?

    • Ben Name

      you shouldn’t have any right to your orifice either. Please shut your ugly hole.

      • Alleged Comment

        I tried, but you won’t shut up!

        • Ben Name

          Those are just my pleasure moans from being double teamed by your mom and your girlfriend.