Pollapalooza, Sept. 7 Edition

A couple of polls out yesterday indicate that the President is continuing to slide badly among the politically engaged, and he’s going to need a massive helping hand from his union pals to stave off an electoral holocaust in November.

First, a new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll, of 1,000 adults (not registered voters or likely voters, just adults) reached between Aug. 26-30, shows some striking numbers for the president and his party. To wit…

  • By a 61-30 margin, the respondents say the country’s on the wrong track.
  • Obama’s approval rating is 45 percent with 49 percent disapproval. That’s the worst number yet recorded for Obama.
  • The president’s economic approval score? Negative, by a 56-39 mark. By far the worst number yet.
  • Congress’ approval score? Negative, by a 71-21 mark. Incidentally, the last time Congress scored above 50 percent was in January of 2002, when it scored 54-29. Denny Hastert, who would ultimately destroy the GOP’s House majority, was Speaker at the time.
  • Obama’s Strong Disapproval rating (27 percent) is now higher than his Strong Approval rating (26 percent) for the first time. The WSJ/NBC poll’s numbers don’t particularly jive with the Approval index numbers Rasmussen has been generating on a daily basis (Obama is currently at -18 today, with 45 percent Strong Disapproval and 27 percent Strong Approval), but Rasmussen is polling likely voters, not adults.
  • Democrats poll at 36 positive (only 11 percent strong positive) and 43 negative (24 percent strong negative). Republicans poll at 30 positive (only 7 percent strong positive) and 43 negative (21 percent strong negative). It’s no particular benefit to the Democrats that the GOP polls worse, though – in July 2006, before they took the House, they were polling at just 32 positive and just 7 strong positive. The party out of power doesn’t have to be liked to win so long as the party in power is unpopular.
  • By a 66-27 margin, respondents don’t feel confident that their kids will have it better than they do. By 65-31, they think America is in a state of decline.
  • On the generic ballot question, it’s a 43-43 split. Bear in mind, that’s from the general sample of “adults.” But the poll had asked respondents to rate their interest in the upcoming elections from 1 to 10, with 10 being the most interested – and among the 47 percent who gave their interest a “10” the generic ballot looks a lot different. Among that group, Republicans have a 49-40 generic ballot advantage.
  • The poll also asked whether a return to a GOP congress would reinstate the Bush economic policies, which is another way of gauging whether it’s a good strategy for the Democrats to continue running against the former president, by a 58-35 margin respondents said the Republicans have different ideas. The Bush bogeyman only appears to work on Democrats.

And there’s another poll out on some of these same questions, this one from the Washington Post and ABC. This poll was of 1,002 adults (again, not registered or likely voters, just adults) from Aug. 30-Sept. 2, and it offers similar data…

  • Obama’s approval rating sits under water, at 46-52. On strong approvals/disapprovals, he’s at -14 (24-38). That’s by far the worst approval number yet; in fact it’s the first time WaPo/ABC has had him under 50 percent approval.
  • Obama is negative on the economy (57-41) and the deficit (58-39) by big numbers.
  • Congress gets panned by a 72-25 margin. Strong disapprovals register 51 percent.
  • Democrats still beat Republicans 40-37 on which party could solve problems better, but the numbers have fallen badly from a 56-30 score in February of 2009.
  • 33 percent say Obama is making the economy worse, 30 percent say better and 36 percent say no effect. Respondents say the Republicans would improve the economy if they were in control by a 32-27 margin, with 37 percent saying no effect. 
  • Democrats have always scored better than Republicans on the “better reflects my personal values” and “care more about folks like me” questions, but they’re slipping badly in this poll. They win on the “better reflects” question 45-42 (down from 49-39 in November of last year) and the “care more” 48-39 (down from 51-36 last November).
  • On the generic ballot, among registered voters Republicans are ahead 47-45. But among likely voters in the survey the number is 53-40. That’s a margin which has NEVER been recorded in this poll, going all the way back to 1981! The best the GOP has ever done previous to this survey was 50-43 in January of 2002.
  • By a 55-39 margin, the respondents say they’d rather have the GOP in charge of Congress to check Obama’s policies than the Democrats in charge to enable him.

Take these two polls together, and the trend toward a wipeout continues. Is this reflected in individual races? Well, let’s look at some Senate polls…

  • Republican (sort of) Mike Castle beats Democrat Chris Coons 49-38 in Delaware (Rasmussen). 
  • Republican Rob Portman blows out Democrat Lee Fisher 50-37 in Ohio. That number looks pretty similar to the 49-37 butt-kicking John Kasich is laying on incumbent Democrat governor Ted Strickland (Columbus Dispatch).
  • Rand Paul is bombing Jack Conway 55-40 in Kentucky (SurveyUSA).
  • Carly Fiorina is edging Barbara Boxer 48-46 in California (Survey USA).

There are a number of gubernatorial races out there as well, with GOP candidates appearing to roll over Democrats across the board except for in New York and in Florida, where Democrat Alex Sink has a 48-47 lead over Republican Rick Scott. In Nevada, for example, Republican Brian Sandoval is up 60-24 on Rory Reid, Harry’s son. Reid pere has a three-point lead over Republican Sharron Angle, 50-47, in a Rasmussen poll last week – that race seems to fluctuate inside the margin of error and will likely be decided by turnout.



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