How Much Trouble Is Obama In?

The polls are looking bad for President Obama these days. Today, Quinnipiac released a survey showing Obama at his lowest ebb yet among voters:

American voters disapprove 48 – 42 percent of the job President Barack Obama is doing and say 50 – 41 percent he does not deserve to be re-elected in 2012, both all-time lows, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released today.

The survey covers Libya, but that isn’t the big issue:

Some reasons for his overall numbers might be that Obama receives negative ratings on his handling of the budget deficit, the economy, foreign policy, health care and energy policy.

Well, yes, that would do it. If you look at the demographic breakdowns, the most striking finding is that Obama has lost upper-income voters, whom he carried in 2008.
Scott Rasmussen’s likely voter surveys are showing similar results. At the moment, Obama is -17 in the “approval index,” the difference between those who strongly approve and strongly disapprove of his performance:
obama_approval_index_march_30_2011.jpg
Overall, Obama’s approval/disapproval stands at 43/56. Voters’ attitudes toward Obama mellowed after the November election, but have hardened again over time.
Of course, much will happen between now and November 2012. The Libyan adventure presumably will end, one way or another; more important, the economy is almost sure to improve to some degree. But Obama faces the intractable problem that most voters suspect his policies are making things worse, not better. Thus, the Tarrance Group released a likely voter survey today that shows widespread skepticism of the value of increased regulation:

The American worker is also seen as receiving a hit from more regulation, with 59% agreeing that “additional federal regulation on businesses put the average American worker at risk of job loss.” Also, a majority (56%) agree that “additional environmental regulation has a negative impact on local communities through tax increases and job loss.”
There is a perceived impact on jobs from increased regulation, as three quarters (75%) agree that “if regulations make it too expensive to keep jobs in America, businesses will continue to move overseas where there are much lower labor and environmental standards.” Also, a majority (53%) agree that “additional environmental regulation makes American companies less competitive than foreign companies.”
Americans also believe regulations have an impact on their pocketbook. Nearly three quarters (72%) agree that “additional environmental regulation increases the price of energy for things like gasoline and electricity.” Another 68% agree that “more environmental regulation increases the price of everyday items like food and clothing.”

Those attitudes may make it more difficult for Obama to claim credit for whatever improvement the economy makes between now and 2012.

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