Obama's job approval slumps to 39%

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Opinion Zone,Bruce McQuain

According to Zogby International, President Barack Obama's job approval rating has hit a new low after rallying slightly in the wake of the mid-term elections. 

At 39%, the rating is at its lowest every for the President.But the most interesting numbers are to be found among the rest of the poll.  If the presidential election were held today, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Jeb Bush would top Obama at the polls according to Zogby.  Sarah Palin comes in only 1 point below Obama among those polled.

Also interesting is the loss of support Obama has suffered among Democrats.  As recently as November 15th, 78% approved of the job he was doing.  That has dropped to 72% in the latest poll. 

His approval rating among independents remained at 39% and 6% for Republicans.Another demographic of note is his declining numbers among "The First Global" generation as Zogby labels them.  That would be voters born since 1979.  They were key to his 2008 victory.  Among that group, Obama now only enjoys 42% job approval.

John Zogby sums up the result:

"Obama lost support among independents more than a year ago. Now, he is failing to please more than one-fourth of his own party’s voters. This is a perilous position for the President. Conventional wisdom calls for him to reach for the center and assume that Democrats will stay with him in 2012. But as we saw in the mid-terms, Democrats can't win without strong turnout from the young and minorities, both of which are demographics that need more motivation than others to vote."

And the "country track" numbers even add to Obama's misery shooting up to their highest percentage of his presidency with 69% of those polled saying the country is on the wrong track.

The significance of the poll numbers shouldn't be lost even 2 years away from the next presidential election. They point to a presidency in trouble by anyone's measure. Another recent poll said that a majority of Democratic voters would welcome a primary run by another candidate. That further bolsters the impression that Obama's support among even Democrats is in jeopardy.

The slight rally in job approval ratings prior to this one may have indicated a voting public waiting for the President's reaction and anticipating a positive employment and economic focus. Instead, Mr. Obama has chosen to push a largely unwanted START treaty and make legislation about the repeal of DADT and passing the DREAM act priorities. The consequent drop in approval rating signals the disappointment of the voters in the out-of-touch administration.

The question, of course, is does Mr. Obama have the political skills to stop the bleeding and turn the numbers around. Many like to point to Bill Clinton's rebound from a bad midterm election in his first term as the template Barack Obama should use.  But Barack Obama is no Bill Clinton. He's certainly not the politician Clinton is, he's not as flexible or pragmatic as the former president and, most importantly, he hasn't learned the lessons Clinton learned from his 14 years as governor of Arkansas.  Because of that lack of experience and the fact that Obama is much more of an ideologue than was Clinton, he will probably choose to maintain the disastrous course he's charted. 

If that is indeed the case and he continues to disappoint voters across the board, not only would Sarah Palin have a chance against him in 2012, but so would a credible Democratic primary opponent.

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