Among electorally critical independent voters, nearly three times as many have intensely negative impressions of Obama’s plan than positive ones. The news isn’t great for Romney either, though; independents break exactly 2-to-1 strongly against his economic plan.
Still, these numbers make clear that Obama’s one-time strong advantage on the economy had faded considerably amid slower-than-expected growth and an aggressive messaging effort by Republicans to cast Obama as fundamentally out of his depth when it comes to fixing the economy.
I’d be interested to know what voters think is in President Obama’s plan. He wants to raise taxes, hire more government workers and subsidize “green jobs.” That’s about it. When voters understand there isn’t a single element that does not involve extending the reach of government (e.g. collect more taxes, pick winners and losers in the energy industry), I wonder if they will be more or less impressed.
Interestingly, the Romney camp comes out today with a chart comparing what he would do in the first hundred days with Obama’s plans (e.g., pass the XL Pipeline vs. delay it; repeal Obamacare vs. implement it).
Specificity is the enemy of the Obama reelection campaign. As the report notes:
Compare that relative parity on economic plans to the 20-point edge Obama held over McCain in a 2008 election eve poll, and you begin to grasp the challenge before Obama when it comes to winning the economic argument this fall.
In 2008 Obama could get away with “hope and change,” but now that voters have his economic record to judge and want to know what he will do specifically to ignite a recovery, he is faltering.
Both the Democratic focus-group consultants and The Post reporters have the same advice for Obama. The Post suggests: “Obama must find a way to turn the current debate from one focused on his current record to one focused on which candidate would be better going forward — and better yet, which one shares the economic values of undecided voters.” But here is the thing: If Obama has done a lousy job so far and has a scant agenda going forward, why would that shift in perspective help him? Generally, you don’t hire people who haven’t performed well in the past and can’t tell you how they would contribute to your prosperity.