I'd be smoking too, if I were Barack Obama. Three new polls are out this morning, and none of them are good for the President.
First, Rasmussen continues to show Obama's approval index holding steadily below -20%. Today, 22% strongly approve of Obama (up a little over the weekend, perhaps because liberals liked his pro-union thuggery on Labor Day), but 44% strongly disapprove, for an approval index of -22%. It's been below -20% for 27 of the last 29 days. That's a solid trend. Only ultra-liberals strongly approve of Obama now; moderate Democrats, independents and Republicans are all moving the opposite direction.
Second, the ABC News/Washington Post poll has more bad news for Obama:
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.
Not good for a liberal Democratic President. Notwithstanding Obama "getting" Osama bin Laden, a liberal Democrat will never be able to overcome poor performance on economic issues, because he'll never be able to overcome the perception of weakness on military/foreign policy issues created by 50 years of liberal Democratic anti-war, anti-military and anti-American positions and policies and imagery. A party filled with people who have "Give Peace a Chance" bumper stickers isn't going to win a national election running on foreign policy.
Finally, the NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll:
The article about the poll on MSNBC does try to carry a little water for the President, as you might expect:
After the bruising debt-ceiling fight — as well as Standard & Poor's subsequent downgrade of the nation's credit rating — Obama's job approval rating has sunk to a low of 44 percent, a 3-point drop since July. His handling of the economy stands at a low of 37 percent. And only 19 percent believe the country is headed in the right direction, the lowest mark for this president.
Perhaps most ominously for Obama, a majority of poll takers — 54 percent — think he's facing a longer-term setback from which he's unlikely to recover. Back in January, just 39 percent agreed with that assessment.
Indeed, that 54 percent is virtually identical to George W. Bush's score on the same question in the Nov. 2005 NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, which was released just months after Bush's widely criticized handling of Hurricane Katrina.
If there's a silver lining for Obama, it's that a combined 70 percent of respondents still find him likeable (though nearly six in 10 say they disapprove of many of his policies).Watch this "silver lining" number start plummeting as the campaign gets going.
First, Obama really isn't that likeable as a person... he's actually quite dislikeable. He's arrogant, a blowhard, a know-it-all, an elitist. These are all qualities that Americans generally dislike. That's why a patrician George W. Bush had to create a new persona of the Texas rancher, and why John Kerry never connected (remember the picture of him wind-surfing, the very image of the elite at play).
Second, the only reason why the likeable number is still so high, given Obama's personality defects, is that he's black, and people are still trained by the media and schools and culture generally to be afraid of saying that they dislike a black President, for fear of being called a racist. But wait until these same people, who have been so careful to say that "I only disagree with his policies, I like him personally," get called a racist by Obama and his campaign simply because they disagree with those policies. If you don't want more Keynesian stimulus, you're a racist. If you don't want more "green jobs" program, you're a racist. If you don't support lavish public employee pensions, you're a racist.
At some point, people who get called racist simply for having reasonable viewpoints based on the evidence before them are going to turn off (or, if already turned off, are going to feel liberated to say that they don't like Obama).
Obama '12: I'm Likeable! (But You're a Racist.)