Thursday, November 19, 2009

Obama's Slide Continues

Today's Rasmussen Reports, Daily Presidential Tracking Poll shows that Obama's slide continues. In fairness we should ignore his poll numbers on first taking office or during his first month. It would be almost impossible for anyone not to suffer as a sold image is confronted by reality. It is his decline over the subsequent 8 months that demonstrates the public's realization of his inability to respond effectively to the challenges and opportunities that reality offered.

Since the end of February the percentage of likely voters rating him as Highly Favorable has declined by over 10 points, from nearly 40% to just above 25%. His Highly Unfavorable Rating has increased even more dramatically by over 15%, from less than 25% to nearly 40%. That means the two extremes have reversed position in a strong move away from Mr Obama. In addition the polls seem to indicate that those in the middle, undecideds or those moderately on side or the other, when they decide break almost 2 to 1 against the current administration.

We have been following these polls for months and blogged about them on August 17th , 19th and 22nd and September 10th and 17th. One day perturbations mean nothing here but a sustained trend is important. It looks like Obama gambled on a massive push in Congress and the Media to regain his momentum during early September, culminating with his speech to a joint session on Health Care. The evidence is that the effort failed. As I noted on Sept. 17th he did rise from -13 to only -3 following the speech. In the ten weeks since then the air has clearly gone out of his balloon. He is now at -14 and there is every reason, as I will go over below, to expect him to continue to drop. Despite the uptick mentioned above my predictions on August 17th seems pleasantly prescient.

Let us first consider the domestic policy related events that have happened since Obama's September effort that almost, but not quite, restored his standing in the polls. He has gotten a version of the Health Care Bill through the House by a vote of 220 to 215. That included the lone Republican defector and the possibly tainted vote from Owens, the declared winner of the NY 23rd district race where absentee ballots that could, but are unlikely to, change the outcome are still being counted. The unpleasant effects of the tactics used to get this bill through, including the insertion and probably subsequent deletion of the Stupak amendment on abortion as well as the probability that the Democrats will resort to reconciliation will cost. In addition reports now indicate that on domestic policy Obama's team, Geithner et al, misspent or wasted hundreds of billions of dollars from the TARP and Stimulus programs. The vaunted job creation claims have been shown to be a fraud with unemployment now higher than the Democrats said would happen if they were not put in charge. The links between senior members of the administration and executives (AIG) and financiers (Goldman-Sachs) that have profited from these programs would draw the attention of Grand Juries in normal circumstances. The ties between the 2008 campaign as well as Obama's earlier career and Acorn and associated radicals is less effectively repressed. Efforts to suppress media that do not conform to the desired view have become shrill and have even cost him support from the Left. Acorn itself is now publicly discredited and that story could not be kept out of the public view. The 2009 elections were largely a disaster for the White House with those they endorsed being almost uniformly repudiated. The public in the market place has rejected the Obama linked GM (Government Motors) whose market share has collapsed in favor of Ford.

In the area of National Security and Foreign Affairs the results have proven equally if not even more depressing for him or at least for his supporters who will face an election soon. The shooting at Fort Hood not only made the public fear the impact of Obama and his supporters on the military, the most trusted institution in America, but the response to it was bungled. Obama's initial reaction was the insensitive and indeed amateurish insertion of anodyne appropriate remarks into an event after a "Shout Out" to his supporters. The subsequent announcement by his Attorney General, a man whose law firm did volunteer work for terrorists, that the top five prisoners at Gitmo would receive a civilian trial in New York City was made on a Friday evening as the President was out of town. The public is learning that this happened after they had offered to plead guilty before the military commissions. This was condemned by people of all political backgrounds. At best the way it was done made the Chief Executive look insensitive or cowardly for leaving this decision and announcement to a subordinate. His failure to effectively craft and implement his own policy in Afghanistan, in theory the signature initiative he had claimed he was ready to implement over 6 months ago, reveals his treatment of the Armed Forces to be deceitful and callous or incompetent. His claims regarding Russian intentions that lead to his abandonment of our allies in Eastern Europe, and their millions of Democrat leaning relatives in America, were immediately made a mockery by Putin. The Iranians and their proxies treat his words and representatives with open contempt. The North Koreans have engaged in border skirmishes and search for new ways to issue challenges. Chavez mobilizes on the Columbian border.

In every way at every level both in domestic and international affairs the results for this administration have been a series of disasters. While certain corporate interests, GE and Goldman-Sachs, a core of left wing academics and media activists, and some Unions (UAW and SEIU) will continue to support him the base will continue to shrink. Elected officials hoping to survive will begin to run away from him. If his poll numbers get down to
-20 before the midterm elections the Blue Dogs might revolt en masse.

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