With the release of a new Washington Post/ABC News poll, the network's summary of the landscape seems fairly reasonable.
Bruised if unbroken, Barack Obama faces shrinking public confidence, increasingly negative views of the country's direction and far lower ratings than those he carried triumphantly into the White House a year ago this week.
But it could be worse.
Despite their disappointments, 53 percent of Americans in this ABC News/Washington Post poll approve of Obama's job performance overall -- 15 points lower than his opening grade, but still just over half at the one-year mark. He remains personally popular, if far less so. And confidence in his leadership, as weakened as it is, greatly exceeds that in the Republicans in Congress, or, for that matter, in his own party.
The president's 53% approval rating is up a few points from December, and his personal qualities still remain relatively strong -- 57% believe Obama understands the problems of people like them, and 63% consider him a strong leader. A 58% majority have a favorable view of the president personally. Notwithstanding the assumptions of Dowd, Gerson, and other Villagers, 55% approve of the president's handling of the terrorist threat, and 62% approve of his handling of the failed Christmas-day terror plot. Looks like the Cheneys' efforts to undermine the administration fell flat.
For the White House, that's the good news. The bad news is the public remains in a deeply sour mood, and has grown increasingly impatient. Obama's numbers have dropped below the 50% threshold on the economy and health care, and the number of Americans who believe the country is on the right track is lower than it's been since February. Ouch.
But in keeping with the year-long trend, Republicans are simply not the beneficiary (pdf) of public discontent. Only 24% of the public has confidence in congressional Republicans "to make the right decisions for the country's future." The number for congressional Democrats is at least a little better at 32%, while the president's number is nearly double that of the GOP at 47%.
What's more, "when it comes to assigning blame for the nation's economic woes, about twice as many fault the George W. Bush administration as do Obama's."
11. Posters on DU who "think he sucks" are actually rare. There are some, though, who
are disappointed in his relatively meager progress in areas where he made campaign promises or, at least, created expectations,
And, there are also plenty of his cheerleaders who are keeping their heads in a perpetually methane-rich environment.
I support Obama, but I do not support all that he has done nor all that he has neglected. That doesn't mean I think he sucks. It means he is more like "politics as usual" than he lead us to believe he would be. There have been great moments, when I thought "THAT's what I voted for!" But, their have also been moments when I asked myself "How's this different than Bush?"
If the Democratic base ever stops being liberal, the Democratic Party will have ceased to have a reason to exist. That base, of which I am one, is being taken for granted AGAIN. Before Obama, the Democrats were on the verge of losing their loyal African-American members because THEY had been taken for granted. And, labor has been virtually abandoned as a player to be listened to and respected.
If the drift---some would say stampede---toward competing with the GOP for the leavings of corporate America does not stop soon, a proposal to merge the two parties will have few left to oppose it.
Heres the deal buddy. We don't come here to listen to assholes like you bitch about democrats. We can get that anywhere. we come here for a break from that. If you feel like things have changed enough that you are drifting away from the democratic party, the i encourage you to drift the fuck away from this board as well.
Why would you hand around here when there are plenty of sites devoted to discussing how disappointing Obama is. Yes, we are cheerleaders. we support democrats thus the name of the board "Democratic" Underground. if you think that makes us stupid, then you can go fuck yourself.
5. These are the numbers re-elections are built on.
Obviously higher approval ratings would be nicer, but these two numbers help in an election when you're an incumbent. It helped Reagan in 1984 - even though he wasn't popular. And hurt Carter in 1980 - even though Reagan wasn't entirely popular.
16. What changes poll results is political and socioeconomic dynamics over time
Of course, as we saw during the Bush era- there always a certain set percentage (seems to run somewhere around 30%) who will never waiver- no matter what the evidence is- and will play the see no evil, hear no evil deal on anything that runs contrary to their preconceived notions.
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