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Right Turn
Posted at 10:04 AM ET, 09/06/2011

Is Obama a one-term president?

The Post reports on the new Washington Post-ABC News poll :

More than 60 percent of those surveyed say they disapprove of the way the president is handling the economy and, what has become issue No. 1, the stagnant jobs situation. Just 43 percent now approve of the job he is doing overall, a new career low; 53 percent disapprove, a new high. . . .
Even more than two-thirds of those who voted for Obama say things are badly off course. . . .
When it comes to head-to-head match-ups on big economic issues, the public is deeply — and evenly — divided between Obama and congressional Republicans. Four in 10 side with both Obama and the GOP on jobs. There are similarly even splits on the economy generally and on the deficit. In all three areas, the percentages of Americans trusting “neither” are at new highs.
Nonetheless, current trends are highly unfavorable for the president. By 2 to 1, more Americans now say the administration’s economic policies are making the economy worse rather than better. The number who say those policies have helped has been chopped in half since the start of the year. The percentage of Americans disapproving of how Obama is doing when it comes to creating jobs spiked 10 percentage points higher since July.
Of the more than six in 10 who now disapprove of Obama’s work on jobs and the economy, nearly half of all Americans “strongly” disapprove.

There is virtually no good news in this for Obama. Democrats have convinced themselves (or at least tried to convince others) that because Congress is also unpopular, Obama is “winning” debates on jobs, the budget and the debt. But even on that score, Obama isn’t besting Congress. More to the point, he will be running against a Republican nominee, who is going to campaign, no doubt, as an outsider.

The problem for Obama is three-fold. First, the public has begun to tune him out. Through overexposure and underachievement, he’s become background noise. Second, to a degree they likely did not expect, Republican presidential contenders enjoy an audience that is receptive to their core message: The president’s policies have failed. And, finally, the chance that Obama can affect key indicators, most especially unemployment, before Election Day is slight. He is, therefore, left to rail, complain and cast blame on Republicans. The public, it seems, is in no mood to hear it. They want results.

None of this means that the Republicans have the election in the bag. The nominee will still need to prove he or she is a better alternative to the incumbent. The voters could find that nominee too extreme or unqualified. But if the Republicans come up with a capable and credible nominee, that candidate will, unless there is an unprecedented turn of events, be the next president. For the good of the party and the country, the GOP electorate should choose wisely. We can’t afford another inept chief executive.

By  |  10:04 AM ET, 09/06/2011

Categories:  2012 campaign

 
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