Polls are a dime a dozen and it is a mistake to draw too many conclusions from any one survey, but The Hill published a poll by Pulse Opinion Research this morning that will give Obama staffers heartburn. Pulse surveyed 1,000 likely voters, so the results are entitled to some respect. Complete results are here.
But first, a caveat: the Pulse poll sampled 36% Republicans, 32% Democrats and 32% independents. It would be great if that were the composition of the 2012 electorate–and, given what we have seen in generic Congressional preference surveys, it might be–but it would probably be prudent to adjust all numbers by a few percentage points. They are still grim for Obama:
Will President Obama’s energy policies increase or decrease the price of gasoline?
Not sure: 22%
Will federal debt increase or decrease as a result of Obama’s fiscal policies?
Not sure: 13%
Will unemployment increase or decrease as a result of Obama’s economic policies?
Not sure: 14%
These are some of the most important bottom-line questions that voters will ask themselves when they go to the polls. It is hard to see how a president whose policies are viewed so negatively can possibly be re-elected.
The poll showed a sharp split along racial lines, with African-Americans stoutly maintaining that Obama’s policies will reduce gasoline prices and unemployment, and even bring down the debt–something Obama himself does not claim. I can understand why most African-Americans feel obligated to stick up for their guy, but I question whether the answers they give pollsters reflect what they really think.
Another question in the survey was whether the Supreme Court will uphold Obamacare. This was not a question about the respondent’s preference, but rather a prediction about what the court will do. The result was striking:
Court will rule Obamacare unconstitutional: 49%
Court will uphold health care law: 29%
Not sure: 22%
I am firmly in the “not sure” camp, but it is interesting to see how many voters both want Obamacare repealed (according to other polls) and expect the Supreme Court to strike it down (according to this one).