In the wake of last month’s elections, polling showed that a non-trivial portion of Americans aren’t too crazy about Republicans or Democrats, but feel that since the Democrats and Obama didn’t keep their promises, there was no reason to care, much less vote.
Obama’s response: Pull a Bill Clinton and tack to the right — and betray the people who voted for him in 2008 over and over and over again.
Oddly enough, this didn’t cause Americans to flock to his side. In fact, the opposite has occurred — he’s now so unpopular that Mitt Romney, the least-teabaggerish of the GOP contenders and the likely winner of the 2012 Republican nomination for president — would beat him if the election were held today:
President Barack Obama’s approval ratings have sunk to the lowest level of his presidency, so low that he’d lose the White House to Republican Mitt Romney if the election were held today, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.
The biggest reason for Obama’s fall: a sharp drop in approval among Democrats and liberals, apparently unhappy with his moves toward the center since he led the party to landslide losses in November’s midterm elections. At the same time, he’s gained nothing among independents.
“He’s having the worst of both worlds right now,” said Lee Miringoff, the director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College in New York, which conducted the national survey.
“As he moves to the center, he’s not picking up support among independents and he’s having some fall-off among his base. If his strategy is to gain independents and keep the Democrats in tow, it isn’t working so far.”
Only 42 percent of Americans approve of the job he’s doing, and 50 percent disapprove. Worse yet, the poll was taken on December 2 — right after his screw-the-civil-servants plan (aka the pay freeze for Federal employees) was announced; the negative effects of his Poor Tax plan haven’t been felt yet on his numbers, but they will be soon.
And so long as the economy continues to tank for most Americans — a situation that raising taxes on the poorest third of Americans while giving every single millionaire in the US over $139,000 in free money is not going to fix, as John Maynard Keynes (or Jon Walker) could tell him — his poll numbers will continue to go down.
The choice is his: He can continue to act like a Republican and see his numbers tank, or he can tack back away from the far right and back to the center and left, and be re-elected.
Think hard, Mister President.