Some bad news for the Obama administration, as it seems as if the concept of blaming George W. Bush for this failed economy is losing some traction among the people. The latest poll, in which a plurality of Americans, 48-47, now blame the current President for the ongoing bad economy, is a terrible blow to the President’s primary economic strategy of pointing the finger at George W. Bush, while spending our money. As has been the case often lately, independents are ahead of the national trend, declaring Obama responsible by a wider 52-44 margin. Is it any wonder that Congressional Democrats are distancing themselves from Obama in their midterm campaigns?
This poll shows the clear failure of the Democrat narrative of “recovery summer” and that the economy is on the rebound. The people are not listening to the hearsay of Obama, Biden, and John Kerry on this, but instead following the reports of stagnant 2.4% second quarter growth in the GDP, and continued unemployment over 10% in most states. The people are not listening to the administration narrative because they are feeling the effects of the Obama economy.
It was only a matter of time before the “Bush economy” became the “Obama economy” as well. Eighteen months of poor leadership has seen promises of recovery, and growth, and an unemployment rate of under 8%, and hope and change and everything that will get voters to the polls, and yet the economy is worse than when Obama’s scapegoat, George W. Bush left office. The administration has asked and taken billions of dollars from the American people, with the claim that we need a stimulus to bring this economy forward. Meanwhile they refuse to extend the Bush tax cuts to keep small business going through the rough times without punishing taxes from Washington.
That is after all, the saddest part of the story. Wait until January, when the tax cuts signed by George W. Bush, expire without a word from Barack Obama. Then you’ll see the true difference between the Bush economy, and the amateur hour leadership that we currently have in the White House.
…and Pete Hoekstra is in a three way tie. Tuesday’s primary shows all of the signs of being a close fought battle. As mentioned earlier, a Detroit News poll showed Cox and Hoekstra neck and neck at 26%, with Rick Snyder only slightly back at 20%. Yesterday, a new poll by EPIC/MRA, for the Detroit Free Press/WXYZ shows Snyder jumping that gap to pull ahead of his challengers. The poll of 400 likely voters shows the moderate Snyder narrowly leading the pack with 26%, with Cox at 24% and Hoekstra, Romney’s endorsement, at 23%. Oakland County Sheriff Mike Bouchard, a good man just unable to get any traction in this primary, trails at 10%.
There is some good news for Hoekstra in the latest poll, however. He leads 28-25-22 over Snyder and Cox among those most likely to vote. Conservatives, meanwhile, back him 28-24 over Cox, with Snyder taking 21%. The difficulty for Hoekstra on Tuesday lies with the fact that Snyder takes a massive 43% of liberals and moderates.
Even so, Hoekstra trails within the margin of error in the overall poll. Michigan Conservatives need to be wary of this primary. The conservative split between Hoekstra and Cox is allowing the moderate Rick Snyder to jump to the forefront of this race. Nevertheless, with three days to go, this primary is completely up in the air. The internals of the poll show a fair share of enthusiasm surrounding the Hoekstra campaign. If that can translate to a greater share of conservative votes, it will mean victory on Tuesday.
The Boston Herald has more on the poll showing Romney within two points of the President in a hypothetical matching for 2012, and the numbers are good for Mitt. Against the President, Romney holds a strong lead among independents, and consolidates more Republican voters than fellow potential 2012 contenders Mike Huckabee or Sarah Palin. See below:
The poll also found Romney leading the president among independents 47 to 36, which Zogby called “very significant.”
Romney was also stronger among GOP voters than Palin or Huckabee. Republicans favored Romney over Obama 81 percent to 6 percent while 73 percent favored Palin or Huckabee over the president.
“At least as of now, Romney does a better job bringing Republicans in and a significantly better job among independents,” Zogby said.
An eleven point lead among independents is indeed a strong showing for Governor Romney, and means trouble for the President. This also shows room to grow for all three potential Republican candidates as more Republicans will unify around the eventual nominee. Certainly these numbers will fluctuate over the next couple of years, so it is necessary not to get too excited. For right now though, the takeaway is that Romney runs the best of the Republican candidates, and has the potential to be competitive with Obama in 2012.
As for the Romney team, they have heard the news and have the right approach toward it. That is, they are continuing to focus on 2010 – that’s where the battle is for now.
Although the election is still more than two years away, and any 2012 polling numbers before the mid-terms should not be taken all that seriously, a couple of recent polls show a few interesting developments regarding the next Presidential contest.
First is from the generally reputable Public Policy Polling, which shows Governor Romney leading the primary field by a strong margin in the traditional early state of New Hampshire. 31% favor Romney in the primary campaign, to 14% for second place Newt Gingrich. Third place goes to Ron Paul with 13%. Huckabee takes 12%, Palin 9%, Pawlenty 3%. If you follow the link, the internals of the poll are fairly interesting, showing Romney running well among conservatives, and those happy with the party.
Considering the latest trend requiring early states to apportion their delegates proportionally, that is no winner-take-all among states in February or March, such an outcome would do well for Romney. He takes more than twice the vote of his nearest competitor. Huckabee and Palin, who would conventionally be considered Romney’s strongest rivals for the nomination would be mired in fourth and fifth, leaving them with only a handful of delegates and decreased momentum. Of course, campaigning in New Hampshire has not even started yet so this race has plenty of development left in it. Still, Romney begins with a very respectable advantage in the widely watched primary state.
The second poll is much more telling, in my opinion. It is a general election poll, done by Zogby Interactive, which shows Romney trailing Obama by two points, 45-43 among likely voters in an hypothetical 2012 election. Of course, it is easy to notice the headline generated by the left wing media, “Obama defeats Romney,” etc…. In actuality though the true story behind this poll is not all that different than the recent PPP poll showing Romney leading the President by three; this is not good news for the administration.
When the mainstream media is done celebrating the fact that Obama is “winning,” maybe they should note that the incumbent President is within the margin of error against a candidate that has not yet even announced a Presidential run…
and that Obama is only at 45% himself…
and that Obama does not break 50% against any challenger…
which in this poll includes Clint Eastwood, Tom Selleck, and Chuck Norris.
Seriously, the media is bragging about the fact that Obama defeats all takers, but has no comment on the fact that he has a clear ceiling of support that is well below 50%. The President does not take more than 48% of the hypothetical vote against any of the proposed candidates and is at only 45 or 46% against five of the seven. The poll shows a great deal of uncertainty about the Republican field. Romney runs significantly stronger than Huckabee or Palin (oddly enough Gingrich and Pawlenty were not considered in this poll), but Obama can’t engineer a majority against any candidate. This indicates that while opinions are fluid on the Republicans as a whole, they are pretty well set about the President. Uncertainty can be overcome through effective campaigning.
The Obama agenda, however, has been thoroughly rejected by the voters. It is odd sometimes how consistently ignoring public opinion will do that. It must be odd, as the administration is consistently unable to realize that fact.
This past week Rasmussen has done some polling to determine the latest trends in the very close race for Governor. Governor Romney has endorsed Karen Handel, joining Sarah Palin, Jan Brewer, Redstate.com, among others. Her primary opponent, Nathan Deal, has Newt Gingrich in his corner – admittedly not a weak endorsement in the state of Georgia. Last Tuesday, before the first round of the primary, Handel was shown as dead even against Deal – each at 25% in the four way race according to a Rasmussen poll of 943 likely voters. Her margin of victory was quite a bit greater than that, as she took 34% of the vote in an eleven point victory over Deal. Nevertheless, the runoff depends on the direction taken by former Johnson and Oxendine supporters. The runoff will be held on August 3.
Regarding the general election, both Handel and Deal narrowly lead the Democrat Roy Barnes. Handel takes a 45-44 lead, this also according to Rasmussen. In a somewhat unsettling sign for the runoff, Deal holds a bit of a larger lead for the general election. Although, should Handel win in the runoff, her narrow lead over Barnes should hopefully increase, as currently divided Republicans unite behind the candidate.
As for Michigan, a Detroit News poll from last week shows Mike Cox neck and neck with Pete Hoekstra, at 26.4% and 25.6%, respectively. Rick Snyder takes 20.2% of the vote, while Mike Bouchard claims 11.6%. Mitt Romney, Michigan’s native son, has endorsed Hoekstra for the primary, also to be held on August 3.
The latest poll by Rasmussen Reports shows Romney endorsee Paul LePage maintaining a small but significant lead in his race for Governor of Maine. The poll shows LePage up on Democrat Libby Mitchell by an eight point margin 39-31; independent candidate Eliot Cutler takes 15% of the vote. Cutler’s share of the vote has increased significantly, more than doubling over the past month. Nevertheless, LePage’s lead has held steadily over Mitchell, possibly indicating that Cutler is taking equally from both candidates. With 12% still undecided in this race and the potential for the third party candidate to influence the shape of the race, LePage is not yet a lock for victory. Still, the continuing lead is not a bad sign.
According to a poll done by Public Policy Polling aka PPP, a reputable, though possibly moderately left-leaning organization, Governor Romney fares best of the Republican field against Obama. The hypothetical match-up shows Romney leading with 46% of the vote, to Obama’s 43% among 667 registered voters. Other top tier Republican candidates are also slightly ahead or tied, with Huckabee over Obama 47-45, and Gingrich grabbing a narrow lead at 46-45.Among independents Romney leads Obama by a significant thirteen point edge, 48-35.
The poll reflects a significant drop in the President’s popularity over the past year. His job approval is quite low with only 45% approving to 52% disapproving. Governor Romney’s favorability meanwhile remains relatively even, with 32% supporting him, 33% against, and still 35% not sure of their opinion of the man. This argues that Romney’s image, unlike Obama’s or Palin’s is not set in stone, and many conservative and independents can still yet be won over by his message.
To me the most interesting question of the poll is the simple question of whom participants supported in the 2008 election. Despite the party identification of the poll that sees a reasonable split of 39% Democrat, 34% Republican, and 27% Independent, the answer breaks down as 46% Obama, 45% McCain, and 9% Someone else/Don’t Remember. That certainly seems quite a bit off of the 53-46 split that the President won, with the difference being a particularly high percentage of people to who neither name seems all that familiar. Now, I know schedules can be busy, but I don’t think it is really that difficult to remember whom you voted for less than two years ago. I certainly doubt that they suddenly ran into a pack of 60 or so disaffected Nader voters.
So then what is it? Conservatives who did not turn out in 2008, uninspired by the McCain/Palin ticket? Or are these unhappy Obama voters, not so willing to admit their 2008 preference right about now… sort of like how the Allies in 1945 had trouble finding anybody in Germany who ever supported the Nazis? Judging from the cross-tabs, I’d guess a little bit of both. Either way it seems right now that those who are excited about getting out to vote in 2010 and 2012 are not of the same coalition that brought Obama to the Presidency in 2008. There is a long path ahead. Let’s hope that it isn’t pretty for the left.