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After the GOP victory in the November 2010 elections, with a net pickup of 63 House seats and 6 Senate seats, the Obama Administration has been attempting to cultivate a moderate, centrist image to regain its footing with the American public. President Obama’s deal with Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts, which would have expired on January 1, 2011, and his personnel shakeups in the White House worked to improve Obama’s standing with the public to above the critical 50% level by the end of January 2011.
However, in the past week, President Obama has now returned to the approximate level of public approval prior to the November elections, with about 45% of the public approving of his performance. The two main daily pollsters, Rasmussen Reports and Gallup, demonstrate this recent decline in approval, with Gallup measuring 45% approval/47% disapproval and Rasmussen showing 46% approval/53% disapproval. The mainstream media has yet to report upon this end to Obama’s polling resurgence, despite the lavish attention paid to the rise in ratings. Rasmussen reported on this recent slide today in its report:
The president’s Approval Index ratings have fallen nine points since Monday as the crisis in Egypt unfolds. Most of the decline comes from a fall in the number who Strongly Approve of the president’s performance (30% on Monday, 23% now). However, for the first time since mid-December, the number who Strongly Disapprove has moved back over the 40% mark for five straight days. The Strongly Disapprove total had been above 40% for most of 2010 but fell to the high-30s after the president and Senate Republicans reached a deal to extend the Bush Administration tax cuts.
The major issue commanding media coverage in the past week or so has been the ongoing protests in Egypt against President Mubarak’s regime. The inconsistent and highly publicized statements of the Administration about the crisis, from Vice President Biden asserting that Mubarak was not a dictator and shouldn’t resign to Obama’s recent demands that Mubarak “immediately” begin a transition to a new government, may have unsettled some Americans who were moving in Obama’s direction in response to his post-election centrist manoeuvrings. Unfortunately for President Obama, it appears that his Administration’s handling of the crisis may have again soured the middle 10% of the country on his leadership.
As noted by Centristnet back over the weekend, President Barack Obama continues to sink in the eyes of the American people in the wake of the historic passage of Obamacare, with a brand new USA Today/Gallup released today showing Obama’s overall job approval underwater as only 47% approve while an all-time high of 50% of Americans disapprove of the job Obama is doing as President:
Obama’s approval rating was 47%-50% — the first time his disapproval rating has hit 50%.
Such elevated levels of disapproval for President Obama remind some of the net-negative approval ratings of his predecessor, George W. Bush, that consumed the Bush Presidency as public concern over the Iraqi war mounted. Indeed, Obamacare may end up being Barack Obama’s Iraq should the public’s views on Obamacare not reverse themselves in the near future. Before long, many national congressional Democrats and state-level Democrats may begin to resent the OBama Administration for saddling them with such a massive, unpopular policy in the lead-up to the November 2010 elections.
For Obama, it is the public’s concern with his massive comprehensive health care plan known as Obamacare that is driving up his disapproval and causing the number of his supporters to shrink. While USA Today and Gallup, along with the remainder of the establishment media, White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs and most other Democrats did push a very shaky and perhaps misleading one-day poll last week showing Obamacare improbably at 49% approval/41% disapproval, one week later this fresh, multi-day poll shows Obamacare as unpopular as ever at 50% disapproval. Several of the criticisms of the prior one-day Gallup poll are, ironically, reprinted today by USA Today in its release of the new Gallup numbers:
The poll of 1,033 adults, taken by land line and cellphone Friday through Sunday, has a margin of error of +/–4 percentage points.
Half call passage of the bill “a bad thing” and 47% “a good thing.” That differs from a one-day USA TODAY poll taken March 22 — a day after the House approved the legislation — in which a 49%-40% plurality called the bill “a good thing.”
“Any one-day poll in the immediate aftermath of a major event is likely to be subject not only to sampling error but also to very short-term effects,” says political scientist Charles Franklin of the University of Wisconsin-Madison. At the time, “the news cycle was dominated by the positive side of the story, and only a little bit by the Republicans’ rebuttal to that.”
The undeniable problem for Obama and the Democrat is that a two-thirds majority of the American public simply does not believe their talking points on health care reform, making any increase in popularity unlikely and further declines probable:
Nearly two-thirds of Americans say the health care overhaul signed into law last week costs too much and expands the government’s role in health care too far, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds, underscoring an uphill selling job ahead for President Obama and congressional Democrats.
Those surveyed are inclined to fear that the massive legislation will increase their costs and hurt the quality of health care their families receive, although they are more positive about its impact on the nation’s health care system overall.
Finally, the coordinated campaign of Democrats and the establishment media to smear opponents of Obamacare as racist, terrorist extremists by highlighting post-Obamacare incidents of alleged violence, threats and slurs has apparently fizzled as well as 53% call Democratic tactics in ramming through Obamacare an “abuse of power” while most (49%) blame such abusive Democratic tactics as the cause of any alleged violence or threats:
There was a strong reaction against the tactics Democratic leaders used to pass the bill. A 53% majority call Democratic methods “an abuse of power;” 40% say they are appropriate.
And when asked about incidents of vandalism and threats that followed the bill’s passage, Americans are more inclined to blame Democratic political tactics than critics’ harsh rhetoric. Forty-nine percent say Democratic tactics are “a major reason” for the incidents, while 46% blame criticism by conservative commentators and 43% the criticism of Republican leaders.
As the details of the still largely-unknown Obamacare package continue to dribble out, such as the fact that the ban on insurer denials of coverage to children with preexisting conditions will not take immediately as claimed by Obama but instead 2014 and the rolling announcements of first quarter losses taken by America’s blue chip companies because of Obamacare (as epitomized by AT&T’s one billion dollar loss), it is very possible that the popularity of Obamacare will decline even further, as “continued opposition will fuel calls for repeal and dog Democrats in November’s congressional elections. The bill was enacted without a single Republican vote.”
In another crushing blow to the “conventional wisdom” of the establishment media that because “Americans love winners” President Barack Obama would receive a large, sustained bounce in approval after last week’s passage of Obamacare, today Gallup released its daily approval numbers showing Obama at only 46% approval, with 46% disapproving. Obama’s 46% approval in Gallup represents a matching of Obama’s all-time low in approval. While Obama did peak at 51% mid-week after the passage of Obamacare, he has now lost that entire bounce and is at the low of his Presidency, which completely repudiates the “conventional wisdom” in the establishment media.
Further, Rasmussen’s numbers this morning confirm this dissipation of any alleged “bounce” from the passage of Obamacare, with Rasmussen finding Obama’s approval numbers now at the same level as before the passage of Obamacare:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Sunday shows that 28% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President. Forty-four percent (44%) Strongly Disapprove giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -16 (see trends).
The President enjoyed a modest bounce in the polls following the passage of health care legislation last week. However, his Approval Index rating is now back to where it was last Sunday, just before the House voted in favor of his health care plan. All the bouncing of the past week has come among Democrats. There has been virtually no change in the opinions of Republicans and unaffiliated voters.
White House spokesman is sure to face questions about this post-Obamacare collapse in the President’s approval ratings, as Gibbs himself last week tweeted out the Gallup one-day poll on Obamacare as a truthful and reliable indicator of the public’s views.
This continued collapse in Obama’s approval, with an all-time low of 46% in Gallup and a near all-time high in Rasmussen of 44% strong disapproval today, demonstrates the failure of the Democratic strategy to smear the tea party as racist extremists as well. Indeed, ABC/WaPo’s numbers this morning show the tea party is favorably viewed by the American public, despite this smear campaign by the Democrats and the establishment media. Numbers such as these are sure to encourage the Republicans to continue to attack the Obamacare package as a historic mistake and ensure that the cry of “replace and repeal” is heard in every congressional race across the nation in the leadup to the November 2010 elections.
In a final debunking of the spurious Gallup poll being used by the White House and establishment media to “prove” that Americans turned on a dime to now “support” Obamacare, ABC News and the Washington Post put out a new poll this morning which unequivocally evidences that Americans remain opposed to Obamacare:
In the days since President Obama signed the farthest-reaching piece of social welfare legislation in four decades, overall public opinion has changed little, with continuing broad public skepticism about the effects of the new law and more than a quarter of Americans seeing neither side as making a good-faith effort to cooperate on the issue.
Overall, 46 percent of those polled said they support the changes in the new law; 50 percent oppose them. That is virtually identical to the pre-vote split on the proposals and similar to the divide that has existed since last summer, when the country became sharply polarized over the president’s most ambitious domestic initiative.
The health-care debate galvanized the country to a remarkable extent. About a quarter of all adults say they tried to contact their elected representatives in Congress about health care in recent months, including nearly half of those who say they are “angry” about the changes. In general, opponents of the measure were more than twice as likely as supporters to say they had made the effort.
The ABC News/Washington Post poll found a full 50% of Americans oppose the Democratic health care reform package, while an astounding 40% of Americans “strongly oppose” Obamacare, which matches the all-time high found by this poll in “strong” opposition. The only change since the passage of the bill is a bit of a rally effect of Democrats, with strong support for Obamacare rising to 32%:
8. On another subject: overall, given what you know about them, would you say you support or oppose the changes to the health care system that have been enacted by (Congress) and (the Obama administration)? Do you feel that way strongly or somewhat?
……………….——– Support ——– ——— Oppose ——– No
………..NET Strongly Somewhat ……..NET Somewhat Strongly ……opinion
3/26/10 46 32 13 50 10 40 4
2/8/10* 46 22 25 49 11 38 5
1/15/10 44 22 22 51 12 39 5
*2/8/10 and prior: “proposed changes…that are being developed by”
This polling will finally put to rest the untoward and fraudulent efforts of the Obama Administration and establishment media to use the outlier, one-day Gallup poll showing Americans approve of Obamacare by a 49%-40% margin as it will be difficult to credibly claim that one-day poll, which stands alone showing a major bounce in approval for Obamacare post-passage, is at all realistic. Another interesting tidbit from this morning’s poll is that Americans are more likely to vote for a Congressperson who opposes Obamacare than one who supports Obamacare by 6%-8% margin:
24. Say a candidate for Congress voted FOR the changes to the health care system recently enacted by (Congress) and (the Obama administration). Would that make you more likely to [support] that candidate for Congress, more likely to [oppose] that candidate, or wouldn’t it make much difference in your vote? (IF SUPPORT/OPPOSE) Are you much more likely to support/oppose that candidate or somewhat more?
………………..—- Support —- —- Oppose —– No No
…………………..NET Much Smwt NET Smwt Much diff. opinion
3/26/10 26 16 9 32 6 27 40 2
3/26/10 RV 27 17 9 35 5 29 36 2
1/15/10* 22 12 10 31 7 24 45 2
11/15/09 25 13 12 29 8 20 45 1
Separately, the poll is slightly skewed regarding party ID, showing the Democrats with a 10 point partisan ID edge, which is probably at least a few points over reality, and the largest gap reported by this poll since November, showing the GOP at just 24%, which is somewhat counter-intuitive as the GOP has gained steam in recent months by riding the public’s opposition to health care reform.
Nonetheless, even with that skew, this ABC News/Washington Post poll conclusively proves that the “conventional wisdom” of Democrats and the establishment media that Obamacare would magically transform into popular legislation upon passage was and is completely false. Even the left-leaning WaPo’s writeup on the poll admits that opponents are much more intense than supporters.
Despite the best efforts of the establishment media and Democrats to smear the tea party as racists, extremists and terrorists, Americans view the tea party positively (41%-39%), an improvement from February 2010 (35%-40%) according to this poll.
It would be interesting to know what the partisan leanings of the 20% with “no opinion” on the tea party now are, to determine if the tea party has room to continue to grow in favorability or is reaching its peak.
Finally, this polling also conclusively proves that Americans believe President Obama is lying about the Obamacare legislation every time he speaks of it, with large majorities believing Obamacare will weaken Medicare (not strengthen it), increase the deficit (not “historically” reduce it), worsen the quality of care (not improve it) and finally that many will lose their present plan or doctor (not “if you like your plan, you can keep it”):
More people see the changes as making things worse, rather than better, for the country’s health-care system, for the quality of their care and, among the insured, for their coverage. Majorities in the new poll also see the changes as resulting in higher costs for themselves and for the country.
Most respondents said reform will require everyone to make changes, whether they want to or not; only about a third said they believe the Democrats’ contention that people who have coverage will be able to keep it without alterations. And nearly two-thirds see the changes as increasing the federal budget deficit, with few thinking the deficit will shrink as a result. The Congressional Budget Office said the measure will reduce the deficit.
About half of all poll respondents said the plan creates “too much government involvement” in the health-care system, a concern that is especially pronounced among Republicans.
Senior citizens, who typically make up about one in five midterm voters, represent a particularly valuable but tough audience on this issue. More than six in 10 of those 65 or older see a weaker Medicare system as a result of the changes to the health-care system. Overall, seniors tilt heavily against the changes, with 58 percent opposed and strong opponents outnumbering strong supporters by a 2-to-1 ratio.
All told, it is clear from this ABC News/Washington Post poll, and all other post-Obamacare passage polls other than the spurious one-day Gallup poll hyped by the White House and media, that Americans simply aren’t buying what President Obama and the Democrats are selling regarding their massive new comprehensive health care reform plan. It will be interesting to see if these poll results change the “conventional wisdom” in Washington that continues to linger in the establishment media that Obamacare is somehow transformed into a popular piece of legislation because of its passage.
UPDATE: Ed at Hotair notes the depressing news for Democrats from this poll, even with the partisan ID skew, and the overwhelmingly negative ratings Obama receives on his next big focus: immigration.
With the WaPo survey oversampling by at least five points and perhaps as much as seven, it’s not too surprising to see Obama get a 53/43 approval rating in this poll. It should dismay Democrats to see ObamaCare still losing ground even after the Post had to amp up the partisan gap four extra points from the last survey. The other issue approval ratings won’t be much comfort, either:
* Health care – underwater, 48/49
* Economy – seriously underwater, 45/52, with 40% strongly disapproving
* Budget deficit – 43/52
Interestingly, Obama’s worst issue by far is immigration. Only 33% approve of his handling of immigration issues, while 43% disapprove, 28% strongly so. Obama has expressed interest in taking on immigration with the ObamaCare fight mainly over, but these numbers suggest that he may want to wait until after the midterm elections.
As many are undoubtedly already aware, the polling outfit Gallup, as well as all Democrats and establishment media, have been pushing a one-day poll done on Monday, March 22, 2010, the day after the House of Representatives’ historic passage of Obamacare, to “prove” that American opinion simply shifted overnight to support Obamacare by a 9 point margin, 49%-40%. Anyone who has seen Gallup boss Frank Newport interviewed or read a Gallup release is well aware of the left-leaning nature of Newport’s views. As will be described in detail below, this over-reliance on a one-day poll, taken on perhaps the most positive media day for the Obama Administration ever, appears to be an attempt by the Democrats and the establishment media to actually shift public opinion in America in favor of Obamacare based on a poll that is dubious at best.
The Obama Administration, Democratic politicians and the establishment media have been harping on the one-day Gallup poll showing Americans approved of the House’s actions by a 49%/40% margin since Tuesday and up to and including today, as Gallup trumpets favorable polling to Obama on its front page asking whether Obamacare was a “good first step” or not and cable networks continue to discuss the Monday poll. Amazingly, the media and the Democrats continue to trumpet these one-day results from Monday nearly a week after the poll was taken while Gallup fails to do any further polling on this issue. This conduct clearly begs the question: why not continue the polling on Tuesday and Wednesday to do a proper three day sample? Perhaps the left-leaning Gallup obtained the results it and its left-wing allies wanted on Monday and feared a dilution of the outlier results obtained on Monday with additional days of polling, which, of course, would have enhanced the accuracy and reliability of the polling overall.
Many factors point towards a conclusion that this one-day Gallup poll is an outlier at best or an manufactured result at worst, as every other poll released since the House vote has shown Obamacare remaining unpopular with Americans, clearly contradicting the one-day Gallup results. For instance, Quinnipiac did a poll over two days, March 22 and 23, demonstrating that Obamacare remained quite unpopular with Americans, with 49% opposing and only 40% in favor (the exact opposite of Gallup’s findings). That same Quinnipiac post-Obamacare poll showed President Obama at the low of his Presidency for approval, 45%, which is “President Obama’s worst grades so far, tying his 45 – 46 percent approval February 11.” It certainly defies belief that Obama himself would be less popular overall (45%) than his signature initiative which has been his primary focus for his entire Presidency so far (49%, according to Gallup’s one-day sample). Indeed, today Gallup itself shows Obama’s approval is down to 48%, again casting doubt on the legitimacy of their one-day poll on Obamacare approval.
Another post-Obamacare poll which casts serious doubt upon Gallup’s one-day polling results is from Bloomberg News, which noted in its release of a March 19-22, 2010 poll that the final day of polling, the same day in which Gallup’s one-day poll was in the field, showed “Americans remain skeptical” of Obamacare with “no meaningful movement of opinion the final night of interviewing, after the vote was taken“:
Americans remain skeptical about the health-care overhaul even after the U.S. House passed landmark legislation that promises to provide access to medical coverage for tens of millions of the uninsured.
At the same time, most say the government should play a role in ensuring everyone has access to affordable care, a Bloomberg National Poll shows. A majority also agree that health care is a private matter and consider the new rules approved by Congress to be a government takeover.
The poll found the percentage of Americans who favor the almost $1 trillion 10-year plan remained at about just four in 10 following the House vote on March 21 to send the bill to President Barack Obama, who signed it into law today.
The poll of 1,002 adults was conducted March 19-22 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percent. There was no meaningful movement of opinion the final night of interviewing, after the vote was taken.
Of course, the Bloomberg and Quinnipiac findings received little to no attention from the establishment media or Democrats, who were busy pushing the one-day Gallup poll in every possible medium. Also, Rasmussen polling, which was nearly alone in correctly calling the New Jersey Governor’s race for Chris Christie (R-NJ) and came within one point of calling the exact final results of the 2008 Presidential election, found that by a 55%/42% margin Americans want Obamacare repealed, with independents favoring repeal by a massive 59%/35% margin:
Just before the House of Representatives passed sweeping health care legislation last Sunday, 41% of voters nationwide favored the legislation while 54% were opposed. Now that President Obama has signed the legislation into law, most voters want to see it repealed.
The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, conducted on the first two nights after the president signed the bill, shows that 55% favor repealing the legislation. Forty-two percent (42%) oppose repeal. Those figures include 46% who Strongly Favor repeal and 35% who Strongly Oppose it.
In terms of Election 2010, 52% say they’d vote for a candidate who favors repeal over one who does not. Forty-one percent (41%) would cast their vote for someone who opposes repeal.
Not surprisingly, Republicans overwhelmingly favor repeal while most Democrats are opposed. Among those not affiliated with either major party, 59% favor repeal, and 35% are against it.
Apparently Gallup would have us believe independents support Obamacare by a 46%/45% margin, despite Rasmussen’s findings, from a more reliable two day sample, that independents favor repeal by a whopping 24 point margin (59%-35%). Finally, CBS News did a two-day poll after Obamacare’s passage which showed Obamacare underwater by a 42%/46% margin and finding that “nearly two in three Americans want Republicans in Congress to continue to challenge parts of the health care reform bill.” Obviously, when 2/3 of Americans desire continued GOP resistance to the implementation of Obamacare, it is spurious to claim that Obamacare has magically transformed overnight into a popular piece of legislation.
Despite four other pollsters directly repudiating the results of the one-day Gallup poll showing Obamacare favored by the public by a 49%/41% margin, the establishment media continues to this day to trumpet the one-day Gallup poll to “prove” that Americans now support the Obamacare package. Epitomizing the establishment media’s extraordinary over-reliance upon this one-day Gallup poll, national newspaper USA Today used its entire front page above the fold on Wednesday to push the idea that Obamacare has suddenly become popular, literally overnight, based on the single day of Gallup polling. Of course, USA Today makes no mention of the contradictory Bloomberg results in its “objective” report on Americans’ views on Obamacare on Wednesday. It appears that the establishment media and Democrats are attempting to push low information voters who are not paying close attention into supporting Obamacare by bombarding such voters with the message that Obamacare is now favored by most Americans.
Further, the Obama Administration has happily pushed the Gallup poll as hard as it could, with senior White House spokeman Robert Gibbs going so far as to tweet out a link to the poll while saying this:
White House spokesman Robert Gibbs, amid the glee of the healthcare bill signing Tuesday, tweeted @PressSec “In the polling obsessed town of Washington, DC this will give the nattering nabobs of negativity something to chew on” with a link to a story about the USA Today/Gallup poll that said 49 percent vs. 40 percent saw passage of the bill as “a good thing.”
Gibbs wrapped the Obama Administration up into the “credibility” of the one-day Gallup poll despite having specifically slammed Gallup’s polling as unreliable on a day to day basis several months ago, calling such daily fluctuations “meaningless” then:
The White House lashed out at the Gallup Poll on Tuesday after the survey’s daily tracking numbers showed President Obama’s approval rating dropping to a new low of 47 percent.
Asked for a response to Monday’s tracking poll, which placed Obama’s approval numbers among the lowest of any recent president in December of his first year in office, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs mocked the reliability of the widely respected polling firm.
“I tell you, if I was a heart patient and Gallup was my EKG, I’d visit my doctor,” Gibbs said. “If you look back, I think five days ago, there was an 11-point spread, now there’s a 1-point spread. I mean, I’m sure a 6-year-old with a crayon could do something not unlike that. I don’t put a lot of stake in, never have, in the EKG that is the daily Gallup trend.”
He added: “I don’t pay a lot of attention to the meaninglessness of it.”
For the White House, it appears, Gallup’s daily one-day samples are “meaningless” and comparable to what a “6-year-old with a crayon” would do, unless, of course, that one-day sample supports the Obama Administration. Then, as Gibbs tweeted out after the publication of the full, front page USA Today story on the Gallup numbers, Gallup’s one-day sample should be treated as irrefutable truth that “will give the nattering nabobs of negativity something to chew on.” Such explicit hypocrisy and doublespeak from the Obama Administration has gone completely un-noted in the past week by the media, and it falls to a tiny centrist blog such as this one to point out the objective facts surrounding this matter.
Indeed, most pollsters agree that one-day polls are less reliable than samples taken over several days because of the natural variability of the polling sample obtained in any given day, which of course is smoothed out by having multiple days of polling. ABC News, another left-leaning pollster, explains this “night to night variability” in its polling experience:
Our practice is informed by the fact that, in all our polling, we see night-to-night variability in party ID that appears to represent trendless sampling variability rather than actual changes in partisan self-identification.
Gallup, of course, did not release its methods in weighting, or not weighting, the data it obtained for its one-day poll on Obamacare’s approval. However, the application of simple logic indicates that the day after the passage of a massive legislative package which has been a “dream” of Democrats for nearly a 100 years, the sample obtained would skew towards Democratic voters whose enthusiasm was surely spiking. Conversely, independents and Republicans, who both strongly opposed the Obamacare package before its passage, would have been more likely to avoid any pollster calls on Monday as the depressing news sunk in that the Democrats managed to ram through the massive legislative package. This type of self-selection bias, on perhaps the most favorable media coverage day of the Obama Administration ever, is again ignored by every mainstream media report on the Gallup poll.
Finally, as is obvious to anyone who was watching the news or reading newspapers or websites on Sunday night and Monday, the establishment media has been in full celebratory mode regarding the passage of Obamacare, with newspaper headlines screaming in 6 inch print about the “historic” nature of the passage of Obamacare as finally completing the century-long “dream” for such legislation. Monday was perhaps the most positive media day ever during the Obama Administration, with the possible exception of Inauguration Day. Regardless, such overwhelmingly positive, saturation coverage of the Sunday night passage of Obamacare by the media undoubtedly had an effect on those polled by Gallup on Monday. Despite this, Gallup chose to only poll on that one day, and thereafter the Democrats and establishment media have focused solely upon this one-day outlier poll while ignoring all other polls which explicitly contradict its findings, four of which are noted above.
It remains to be seen if this gambit by the Obama Administration and the establishment media to shift public opinion in favor of Obamacare via the use of the dubious one-day poll taken on perhaps the most favorable media day ever for the Obama Administration will work. In the history of the United States, never before has any poll, let alone a one-day poll, been afforded such prominence in reporting across all media sources and in repeated use by a national political party. What is certain is that the media is ignoring the other polls which all contradict the Gallup results, and the facts on the ground, such as today’s overflow crowd at the tea party rally in Searchlight, Nevada, and the million folks who signed up to oppose Obamacare within 11 days on a Facebook page, continue to indicate strong opposition to the Obamacare package, notwithstanding the preferences of the Obama Administration and the establishment media.
After the historic passage of President Barack Obama’s signature initiative, Obamacare, the President received a bump in approval in the two main daily tracking polls, Gallup and Rasmussen. Obama reached as high as 51% approval (amongst all adults) in Gallup, while he reached a peak of 49% (amongst likely voters) in Rasmussen last week after passage of the Obamacare package. Today, the results taken for the three day period of Wednesday, Thursday and Friday show President Obama again on the decline, sliding to 48% approval/45% disapproval in Gallup while declining to 47% approval/53% disapproval in Rasmussen.
These results may be somewhat of a shock to the DC political and media establishment, as the “conventional wisdom” of almost all Democratic politicians and establishment media reports has been that President Obama would receive a sustained and significant increase in his popularity after the passage of the historic Obamacare package. In addition to the polls noted above, the post-Obamacare passage polling by well-respected Quinnipiac University cut against the claim of any significant bounce for Obama at all, as Quinnipiace found Obama to be underwater at 45% approval/46% disapproval in the two days following the historic House passage of Obamacare after finding Obama at 46%/49% immediately before the passage.
Indeed, the small bump and ongoing dissipation of same in Obama’s approval after the passage of his signature initiative is quite similar to the brief bump Obama received after his State of the Union (“SOTU”) address in late January 2010. The SOTU bounce peaked a few days after the speech and was completely dissipated in about 10 days, and it appears from today’s Gallup and Rasmussen numbers that a similar pattern is occurring in the wake of Obamacare’s passage.
President Barack Obama continues to endure a steady slide in his approval rating amongst all American adults as Gallup revealed yesterday that, for the first time in his young Presidency, more Americans disapprove of Obama’s job performance (47%) than approve (46%). Gallup, of course, has been a left-leaning pollster for many years now and, despite President Obama reaching this historical milestone of more disapproval than approval amongst all Americans, Gallup has not issued any form of article or press release regarding their own data. The chart from Gallup to the left shows the slow but steady deterioration of Obama’s approval and building disapproval since Inauguration Day.
Further, well-respected Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling (“PPP”) also now shows Obama underwater with the American people for the first time, at 47% approval and 48% disapproval amongst American registered voters. PPP’s director Tom Jensen, who it should be noted was one of the few pollsters to accurately predict Republican Scott Brown’s victory in January 2010, discussed his polling and the first net negative showing for Obama in the Gallup measure, pointing out that Obama is now losing core supporters who delivered him the Presidency:
Barack Obama dropped into negative territory in Gallup for the first time today, and I can tell you one big reason why from our polling.
Since the calendar turned to 2010 there has been a noticeable drop in Obama’s approval among people who say they voted for him in 2008. Our monthly surveys from August to December found him at anywhere from 89 to 93% approval with his original voters. Our January to March polls have shown that number down in the 83 to 85% range.
Most of Obama’s approval drop over the course of 2009 was the result of people who voted for John McCain but initially wanted to give Obama a chance shifting from approval to disapproval of him over the course of his first year. That was really no big deal for Obama and a perfectly normal thing to happen to any President once the honeymoon is over. But this drop in support he’s seeing now from his core supporters is a more troubling sign and something he’s going to need to overcome.
A final troubling trend for President Obama, who has prioritized the environment during his Administration so far with his push for “climate change” legislation, is the historical decline in Americans who prioritize environmental protection over economic growth as “for only the second time in more than two decades and the second straight year, Americans are more likely to say economic growth should take precedence over environmental protection when the two objectives conflict (53%) than to say the reverse (38%).”
Taken together, the Obama Administration’s focus on the unpopular comprehensive health care bill and the environmental measures such as cap and trade appear to be causing Obama to now lose core supporters who put him the White House in 2008. Indeed, it appears to us that the President’s overall job approval is moving down, while the support for Obamacare is moving up slightly, and the two numbers may be destined to meet somewhere in the low 40% range. As the tension builds over the Obama plan to use procedural trickery in the House (“Slaughter Solution”) and the Senate (reconciliation) to pass Obamacare, the continued move of former core Obama supporters away from the President may have an impact on the all-important vote just days from now.
UPDATE: Gallup decided, finally, to actually issue a report on Obama’s sliding approval ratings, noting that Obama is at an all-time low in approval and an all-time high in disapproval and even points to the obvious cause – Obamacare:
PRINCETON, NJ — President Barack Obama’s job approval is the worst of his presidency to date, with 46% of Americans approving and 48% disapproving of the job he is doing as president in the latest Gallup Daily three-day average.
Obama’s approval rating has hovered around 50% since November, but in the last two days has declined to the point that slightly more Americans now disapprove than approve of his performance in office.
The new low ratings come during a week in which the White House and Democratic congressional leaders are working to convince wavering House Democrats to support healthcare reform, which they hope to pass using a series of parliamentary maneuvers in the House of Representatives and Senate.
President Barack Obama received more bad news today regarding his sagging popularity with the American people, as for the first time Obama’s job approval amongst all adults, as measured by Gallup’s polling, fell to just 46% today. It appears that the American public’s approval of President Obama declines at times of intense focus on health care reform. As you can see from the chart below, Obama’s approval has been steadily declining since his Inauguration and has now reached the low of his Presidency:
With the next week or so being the final days before the all-important House of Representatives vote on Obamacare, Obama’s sliding approval numbers are sure to draw the attention of wavering House Democrats as they decide whether to side with the President and vote for his signature, yet widely unpopular, health care initiative or risk the President’s wrath by voting down Obamacare just days from now.
UPDATE: Ed at Hotair notes that the Congressional Democratic leadership has canceled all committee hearings and is meeting behind closed doors regarding Obamacare. Perhaps today’s Gallup numbers are a topic of discussion:
Faced with caucus members who aren’t responding to the normal arm-twisting, Nancy Pelosi and Steny Hoyer abruptly canceled scheduled committee hearings to call the party leadership into closed-door conference to plot strategy and tactics. That left Fox News with no one to discuss the events except Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN)
Pelosi has insisted that she has the votes to pass it, but the sudden dive behind closed doors suggests otherwise. If they had the votes, they’d produce the bill and schedule the roll-call vote.
After over a year of wrangling, and repeated pronouncements of an “endgame” from President Barack Obama, his senior advisors, and Congressional Democratic leaders at regular intervals from July of 2009 to present, the Obama Administration and Congressional Democratic leadership are settling on a March 18 deadline for House passage of Obamacare. As today’s news sinks in, President Barack Obama is facing a low ebb of job approval in his Presidency so far, with just 48% (one point off all-time low) of registered voters approving in Gallup’s numbers today and just 43% (all-time low) of likely voters approving in today’s Rasmussen polling. Considering this slide in approval as the focus on health care intensifies, the Obama Administration’s desire to have the big House vote sooner rather than later, and come what may, makes sense politically as the White House can then move to a popular jobs focus immediately even in the aftermath of a health care defeat.
As for the pronouncement that the debate is over itself, perhaps this claim should viewed with caution, considering the prior numerous pronouncements. President Obama got into the act on Monday, again declaring that the time for debate over health care is over, while attacking GOP opponents of Obamacare:
Congress “owes the American people a final up or down vote on health care. It’s time to make a decision,” he told an enthusiastic crowd at Arcadia University near Philadelphia. “Stand with me and fight with me. … Let’s seize reform. It’s within our grasp.”
The administration is ramping up its health care push in the coming weeks. The White House has called for legislation to be on the president’s desk at the end of March before the congressional Easter vacation.
Insurance companies, the president argued, have made a calculation. He cited a recent Goldman Sachs conference call in which an insurance broker told investors that insurers are willing to lose some customers through premium hikes because of an overall lack of competition in the industry.
“They will keep doing this for as long as they can get away with it,” Obama said. “How much higher do premiums have to rise until we do something about it? How many more Americans have to lose their health insurance? How many more businesses have to drop coverage?”
Obama dismissed GOP criticism that his nearly $1 trillion proposal fails to control spiraling medical costs.
“You had 10 years,” Obama said in reference to GOP control of Congress. “What were you doing?”
Washington is “obsessed with the sport of politics,” he said. “We have debated health care in Washington for more than a year. … When’s the right time? If not now, when? If not us, who?”
Speaking of the “sport of politics”, six months ago, President Obama said almost exactly the same thing while also demonizing opponents:
CINCINNATI – In a combative Labor Day speech, President Barack Obama said the health care debate had gone on too long and accused opponents of spreading “lies” meant to convince Americans that his proposed overhaul would cruelly deny care to the elderly.
The president, speaking at an AFL-CIO picnic, said that “special interests” were determined to “scare the heck out of people.”
“I’ve got a question for all these folks who say, you know, we’re going to pull the plug on Grandma and this is all about illegal immigrants – you’ve heard all the lies,” Obama said. “I’ve got a question for all those folks: What are you going to do? What’s your answer? What’s your solution? And you know what? They don’t have one.”
The president seemed eager to recapture some of the enthusiasm that propelled him during his campaign. A prolonged recession has sapped morale, he said, as have pundits who warn that “this isn’t working and that’s not working.”
But his overriding message in Cincinnati was that health care discussions needed to end. In making that case, he was rejecting a Republican suggestion that he “reset” health care negotiations and start anew.
Obama said “every debate at some point comes to an end. At some point, it’s time to decide. At some point, it’s time to act.”
In between the twin Obama speeches in March 2010 and September 2009 which demand an end to the health care debate while attacking opponents, the White House orchestrated a health care summit with the GOP, with much fanfare, where Obama and the Democrats spoke for about four hours and the GOP spoke for two hours about areas of agreement on health care reform. Many of the points of agreement were outlined on this site before the summit. At the end of the summit, Obama promised to work with Republicans on those points of agreement for “a months time or a few weeks time or six weeks time” before pushing through a partisan Democratic plan:
Obama says there probably won’t be another summit due to the time it requires, but says “we cannot have another year-long debate about this.”
“The question that I’m going to ask myself and I ask of all of you is, ‘Is there enough serious effort that in a months time or a few weeks time or six weeks time, we could actually decide something?’ And if we can’t, I think we’ve got to go ahead and make some decisions and then that’s what elections are for.”
Just six days after the President’s health care summit, Obama ended any hope of a bipartisan deal by “calling for an ‘up or down vote’ within weeks under rules denying Republicans the ability to kill the bill with mere talk” according to the AP.
With all of the political back and forth behind us, now Americans can focus on what will amount to one of the most important votes in the House of Representatives in American history, set to take place not later than eight days from today. Folks on both sides of the debate, for or against Obamacare, should make their views known to their Congressperson by calling, mailing, emailing or otherwise communicating with their local representatives. Folks who are looking to support Obamacare can look here for numbers of to call and other information. Folks who are looking to oppose Obamacare can look here for numbers to call and other information. We are in a truly historic period over the next week or so and all Americans should pay attention and make their views known.