It was almost inevitable, really: the level of expectation that was created by Obama’s arrival in the White House was always going to be hard to meet, but it seems that things are really not going well for him:
Perhaps the greatest measure of Obama’s declining support is that just 50% of voters now say they prefer having him as President to George W. Bush, with 44% saying they’d rather have his predecessor. Given the horrendous approval ratings Bush showed during his final term that’s somewhat of a surprise and an indication that voters are increasingly placing the blame on Obama for the country’s difficulties instead of giving him space because of the tough situation he inherited. The closeness in the Obama/Bush numbers also has implications for the 2010 elections. Using the Bush card may not be particularly effective for Democrats anymore, which is good news generally for Republicans and especially ones like Rob Portman who are running for office and have close ties to the former President.
If you think about that, it’s pretty astonishing. Everyone I know in the US was jubilant when Bush left, including Republicans. The fact that such a large number would rather have him in charge than Obama is a pretty damning indictment of Obama’s success, or lack thereof.
In a possibly related bit of polling, we also find that the Democrats overall are not retaining “mindshare” among voters:
According to a CNN/Opinion Research Corp. survey released Thursday, 40 percent of people questioned say the U.S. would be better off if Democrats ran Congress while 39 percent feel things would be better if Republicans took charge on Capitol Hill. The 1-point margin is a statistical tie.
Support for Democrats is down from a 10-point advantage in August and a 25-point margin in January.
It seems that our cousins across the water sobered up from their election hysteria a lot more quickly than we did. Perhaps they’re not as simple-minded as we are led to believe.
(Mind you, they do have two distinctly different parties to vote for, unlike us. Here, the only difference is the colour of their ties.)