POLITICS: White House

Don't bring me down: Obama lags in states where vulnerable Democrats are fighting to win re-election

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,White House,Congress,Barack Obama,Senate,Polls,2014 Elections,Becket Adams

President Obama's approval rating has slipped considerably in states where elections in November could decide who controls the U.S. Senate, according to a new poll from NPR.

Only 38 percent of survey respondents in states that include close Senate races said they approve of Obama’s handling issues both foreign and domestic.

The president’s approval rating is about four points higher in national polls.

The survey, which was conducted from June 6-11 by Democrat Stan Greenberg of Democracy Corps and Republican Whit Ayres of Resurgent Republic, sampled 1,000 likely voters in Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina and West Virginia.

The margin of error was plus or minus 3.10 percentage points.

Asked if they’d vote for a Democrat or a Republican if their state’s election were held today, 46 percent of respondents said they’d vote Republican, while 43 percent said they’d vote for a Democrat.

Separately, 47 percent of respondents said they trusted Republicans on issues concerning the economy, while only 37 percent said they trusted Democrats. And perhaps a little more surprising, 45 percent of survey respondents said they trusted Republicans on health care compared to the 37 percent who said they trust Democrats.

Now, it's important to note that eight of the 12 battleground states sampled in the survey voted for former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election, meaning Obama was bound to have a poor showing.

Still, considering that incumbent Democratic lawmakers are running tough re-election campaigns, association with the president and his policies could play a large role come November.

Then again, likely voters in these 12 states aren't just unsatisfied with the president and his allies. They’re also deeply unhappy with Republican lawmakers.

Forty-five percent of survey respondents said they strongly disapprove of the job Democrats have done running the Senate, while only 13 percent said they strongly approve.

Similarly, 44 percent of respondents said they strongly disapprove of how Republicans have run the House, while only 7 percent said they strongly approve.

Nevertheless, and despite this widespread disapproval, respondents took a much softer tone when asked to rate their incumbent senator.

Twenty-eight percent of survey respondents said they strongly disapprove of the job their incumbent senator has done, while 19 percent said they strongly approve.

However, only 15 percent of survey respondents said they somewhat disapprove, while a much larger 22 percent said they somewhat approve.

And that's usually the story with incumbent politicians. Voters are generally more willing to forgive their own lawmakers than they are lawmakers from other states. That's why Congress can both suffer from a low approval rating while boasting of an even lower turnover rate.

But that could possibly change in November.

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