By Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Two of the most prominent pollsters in America say claims by the mainstream media that polls are showing Pres. Barack Obama’s popularity to be remaining high are just plain wrong.
In an article appearing in today’s Wall Street Journal, Democratic pollster Douglas E. Schoen and Scott Rasmussen say a closer look at the data reveals the exact opposite.
“The American people are coming to express increasingly significant doubts about his initiatives, and most likely support a different agenda and different policies from those that the Obama administration has advanced,” the pollsters said.
Polling data is showing that Obama’s approval rating has dropped below where George W. Bush was in an analogous period in 2001. Overall, Rasmussen Reports shows a 56%-43% approval, with a third strongly disapproving of the president’s performance.
“This is a substantial degree of polarization so early in the administration,” they said. “Mr. Obama has lost virtually all of his Republican support and a good part of his Independent support, and the trend is decidedly negative.”
Polling data also revealed that most Americans believe their taxes will increase and that government spending will grow under this administration.
Even more worrisome to the Obama administration, polling shows the people have no appetite for increasing taxes to pay for an expanded health-insurance program.
“Less than half would support such an idea,” the pollsters wrote, “which is 17% less than the percentage that supported government health insurance when Bill Clinton first considered it in March of 1993.”
Less than a quarter of Americans believe that the federal government truly reflects the will of the people and only 19 percent of voters say they believe the current Congress has passed any legislation that will improve their lives.
Recent Gallup data reveal the same disturbing trends. Eighty-three percent say they are worried that the steps Mr. Obama is taking to fix the economy may not work and the economy will get worse. Eighty-two percent say they are worried about the amount of money being added to the deficit. Seventy-eight percent are worried about inflation growing, and 69% say they are worried about the increasing role of the government in the U.S. economy.
“And although a narrow majority remains confident in Mr. Obama’s goals and overall direction, 45 percent say they do not have confidence, a number that has been growing since the inauguration less than two months ago,” the pollsters said.
“With three-quarters saying that they expect the economy to get worse, it is hard to see these numbers improving substantially.”
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