Obama’s Decline

Rasmussen Reports charts the decline in President Obama’s approval index–the difference between those likely voters who strongly approve and who strongly disapprove of his performance–from his inauguration to the present, on a monthly basis. What is striking is how stable the electorate’s views of Obama have been. There isn’t a lot of volatility or noise; the approval index has declined in steps as basic facts about the Obama administration have become evident:
Michael Barone, responding to a liberal’s question, tries to explain where all the Obamamaniacs have gone. In a summer and early fall that were dominated by popular expressions of opposition to the Democrats’ legislative agenda, why couldn’t Obama mobilize the supporters who were so visible last year?
As the above chart suggests, some of them may find their enthusiasm waning. Michael adds:

Where have all those Obamenthusiasts who were so visible in 2008 been hiding this year? …
Many Obamenthusiasts were thrilled by the idea of putting Obama in and getting George W. Bush out. They achieved their goal a year ago. What more is left? Did these people really expend all this energy to reduce the percentage of people without health insurance? “We are the change we are seeking,” Obama said during the campaign. Well, the Obamenthusiasts got that change. Now they can go back to gardening or Sudoku.

I suspect that most gardeners are Republicans, but otherwise I think Michael is right. That’s one of the problems with the politics of self-validation: when the election and ensuing self-congratulation are over, there isn’t necessarily a lot of energy left for the nuts and bolts of public policy.


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