Obama’s popularity dip — what does it mean?

How significant are the poll numbers John has cited that show President Obama’s standing with voters dropping substantially, to the point that in the swing state of Ohio, for example, his approval rating is below 50 percent? In my view, they are not significant at all when it comes to Obama’s re-election prospects and of virtually no significance when it comes to next year’s mid-term elections.

It’s not difficult to figure out why Obama’s popularity is declining. It’s the economy. I had initially thought the public would be a bit more patient, given Obama’s very plausible line that “it took a long time to get into this mess and it’s going to take a while to get out.” However. Obama’s transparent efforts to use the recession as a pretext for pushing a hard-left, big government agenda and his related failure to fulfill his promise to be “post-partisan” have probably reduced his honeymoon period.

In any event, the mid-term elections will turn on the status of the economy next year at this time, not the status now.

However, the current poll numbers are not inconsequential. By nature, elected politiicans are cautious — too cautious not to pay attention to polls even when they know, or should know, those polls are largely meaningless. Thus, as Obama’s short-term popularity diminishes, he will likely find it increasingly difficult to keep members of the Democratic congressional delegation marching in lock-steip with him.

Let’s hope so, anyway.


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