Since shortly after his inauguration, President Obama has never had high approval ratings. Nevertheless, even as one failure mounted upon another, those who told pollsters they approve of his performance have been about equal to those who disapprove, and Obama somehow managed to win re-election. Only in recent days, with the Obamacare fiasco, has his overall approval rating begun to dip below 40%.
Yet if we look behind those numbers, we see a broad revulsion against Obama and his policies. This has been true, to one degree or another, in poll after poll. It is summed up in these numbers from Rasmussen Reports, based on surveys, some of which were done within the last few days, while others go back as far as June. No doubt Obama’s numbers would be lower in some areas if those polls were re-run today, but still, the numbers are striking:
Obama gets his nose over the 40% bar only on “Economic Fairness” (42/41) and “National Security” (40/39). On all other issues he is below 40%. In general, the most recent polls are the worst; his lowest approval of all comes on health care, at 30/55. That number is destined to drop further. But other issues are almost as bad for the president, and, by extension, for the Democrats: gun control (30/42), the economy (34/47), government spending (36/47), job creation (32/47), and even–somewhat weirdly–Social Security (32/42). Also, note immigration: 34/42. For whatever reason, the American people have not risen up against immigration “reform” this year to the same extent they did in 2007; I suspect that it is mostly because the Obama administration has inflicted so many disasters on us that immigration has gotten lost in the shuffle. But mass amnesty and the importation of tens of millions of new unskilled laborers is no more popular today than it was then.
On all of these issues and more, there is no reason for Republicans to be defensive. Voters have had a good long look at Democratic Party governance in action, and they don’t like what they see. On issue after issue, most don’t like what the Democrats have on offer. In order to regain power, Republicans simply need to pound away on the issues, refuse to be distracted by trivialities, and avoid internal conflicts.