Washington Post: The public opinion boost President Obama received after the killing of Osama bin Laden has dissipated, and Americans’ disapproval of how he is handling the nation’s economy and the deficit has reached new highs, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.
The survey portrays a broadly pessimistic mood in the country this spring as higher gasoline prices, sliding home values and a disappointing employment picture have raised fresh concerns about the pace of the economic recovery.
By 2 to 1, Americans say the country is pretty seriously on the wrong track, and nine in 10 continue to rate the economy in negative terms. Nearly six in 10 say the economy has not started to recover, regardless of what official statistics may say, and most of those who say it has improved rate the recovery as weak. [MORE]No one should be surprised by Obama losing his Osama bounce. No one can eat a dead Osama, no one can fill their tank with a dead Osama and no one can pay their bills with a dead Osama. It is all about the economy and this WaPo/ABC News poll shows Americans are not feeling Obama on all matters of the economy.
Overall, about six in 10 of those surveyed give Obama negative marks on the economy and the deficit. Significantly, nearly half strongly disapprove of his performance in these two crucial areas. Nearly two-thirds of political independents disapprove of the president’s handling of the economy, including — for the first time — a slim majority who do so strongly.
In another indicator of rapidly shifting views on economic issues, 45 percent trust congressional Republicans over the president when it comes to dealing with the economy, an 11-point improvement for the GOP since March. Still, nearly as many, 42 percent, side with Obama on this issue.
The president has sought to point to progress on the economy, particularly in the automobile industry, and to argue that the policies he put in place at the beginning of his term are working. But the combined effects of weak economic indicators and dissatisfaction among the public are adding to the political pressures on the White House as the president’s advisers look toward what could be a difficult 2012 reelection campaign.Talked up individual economic indicators and talk about how much worse things might have been, won't save Obama from a reelection defeat if the public doesn't feel significant improvements in the economy. Obama has less than a year and a half to bring this economy back. Failure to do so will certainly spell the end of the Obama administration and usher in a Republican president.
That brings us to the second part of the WaPo/ABC News poll. The poll shows Mitt Romney taking a slight lead over Obama (49/46). All other GOP contenders are behind. This part of the poll, I pretty much dismiss. It is just too early to take these match up polls seriously. Case in point, Newt Gingrich does second best against Obama at 44% to Obama's 50%. Given Gingrich's early meltdown these numbers should be far worse. The reason they are not is because most Americans are not focused on 2012 yet. Once the primaries and debates start in earnest, I expect these numbers to change dramatically.
Via: Washington Post