President Obama’s approval rating is down to 45 percent, according to a CNN/ORC poll of 1,014 adult Americans. 54 percent disapprove of his job performance.
A month ago, the same pollsters found that 53 percent approved of the Obama presidency while 45 percent disapproved. Thus, his numbers have, in essence, flipped — a turnaround of 8 points if one focuses on the “approval” side.
Although the decline in Obama’s approval applies pretty much across-the-board — to the economy, foreign affairs, terrorism, the deficit, illegal immigration (where he is down 40-56) — the reversal is probably best explained by the accumulation of scandals that have emerged in recent months. The number of Americans who think Obama is honest has dropped 9 points over the past month, to 49%.
As for the NSA revelations, the picture is mixed. Only 35 percent approve of the way Obama is handling “government surveillance of U.S. citizens,” compared to 61 percent who disapprove. But 51 percent say he was “right” in “gathering and analyzing information on the phone calls of most Americans in an attempt to locate suspected terrorists.” Forty-eight percent say he was “wrong” to do this.
The concept, it appears, is considered less offensive than its execution by this president. President Bush fared somewhat better on both of these questions when they were asked in mid-2006. Miss him yet?
Obama’s most dramatic loss of approval has occurred among adults under the age of 30. He experienced a jaw-dropping 17 point decline among this cohort in just one month.
I bet the decline was even steeper among those recent Ohio State grads whom he urged to trust the government.
Young voters tend to be volatile voters. They also seem to have a libertarian streak. And, of course, they are only just beginning to encounter the real world in which they hope to thrive during the coming, challenging decades.
These Millennials are the answer to the following question that so preoccupies the Republican establishment these days: how can the Republicans ever win the presidency again without increasing their appeal to Hispanics?