Obama Polling Crash Adds To 2012 Perfect Storm
Posted by John Hitchcock on 2011/09/08
I previously reported on Obama’s record low polling in the NBC/Wall Street Journal and ABC/Washington Post polls, and dug into the NBC/WSJ poll to show the demographics favoring Obama and the Democrats, which meant Obama’s record underwater level was actually worse than the poll showed. Last night’s Hot Air Quotes of the Day just added to the devastating polling details.
The most recent Gallup poll, which also showed record low, underwater polling for Obama, has major bad news for the Democrats. Gallup’s month-to-month ratings showed Obama reaching new record lows in August among overall at 41 percent, Hispanics at 48 percent, and Whites at 33 percent, while tying his record low among Blacks at 84 percent.
While the Black approval rating has only dropped 8 points from its high of 92 in February 2009, the decline among Hispanics and Whites has been precipitous, with the Hispanic approval dropping 27 points from its February 2009 rating of 75 and 34 points from its high of 82 later in 2009, and White approval dropping 25 points from its February 2009 approval high of 58. What does this mean for Obama, and more importantly, for Democrats overall? In short, it means trouble and in a major way.
While Republicans will only get a nominally higher percentage of the Black vote, there will be nominally more disenchanted Blacks who decide not to vote at all. This hurts Obama’s chances at reelection, but it also hurts all other down-ticket Democrats’ chances at winning their election attempts. But the Black vote alone doesn’t spell the doom that appears to be awaiting Democrats nationwide. The White vote is much more troublesome, since 4 out of 10 who previously gave Obama a positive approval rating no longer do. A large percentage of these disenchanted voters will indeed vote for the Republican, including down-ticket races where Democrats absolutely cannot afford to lose. And again, a large percent will decide not to vote at all.
The Hispanic vote, a growing population the Democrats have been courting hard, is seriously troublesome for Obama and the Democrats as they are a key voting bloc in more than one state Obama won last time around, specifically New Mexico and Florida (which has a large and growing number of electoral votes). With over 1/3 of the previous Hispanic approval of Obama vanished, it is difficult to see a path for Obama to win in Florida again, a state with a large Hispanic population Obama won by less than 3 percent of the vote in 2008. This also means Florida, and all other states and regions with a large Hispanic population, will also lose a heavy chunk of Democrat votes down-ticket.
Again, these are new record low approval ratings for Obama in the overall, and among Hispanics and Whites, and a record low tie among Blacks, so if Democrats think they will bounce back in 2012 from the historic-level drubbing they took in 2010, they better think again. For reference, Obama’s approval rating in January 2011 was 91 percent among Blacks, 60 percent among Hispanics, and 41 percent among Whites, compared to 84, 48, and 33 percent in August 2011, respectively. That’s a decline of 7 percent among Blacks, 12 percent among Hispanics and 8 percent among Whites this year alone. This means Obama and the Democrats are in a more difficult position today than they were in the 2010 TEAnami. And to add insult to injury, the decennial reapportionment is particularly hard on Democrats.
While the decennial process of redistricting further unsettles the picture in the 43 states with multiple congressional districts, it clearly offers some advantages for Republicans. First, reapportionment, where the House’s 435 seats are redistributed according to the new Census populations for each state, has benefitted the GOP as the states gaining new districts (Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, Texas, Utah, Washington, and South Carolina) are mostly Republican. Just as fortuitously for Republicans, the states surrendering seats (New York, Ohio, Iowa, Illinois, Missouri, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Louisiana, New Jersey, and Massachusetts) are primarily Democratic.
After picking up 720 state legislative seats and seven governorships in , Republicans now control both houses of the state legislature plus the governorship in enough states to draw at least 159 House districts unimpeded by a Democratic chamber or chief executive. Democrats, for their part, will have complete control of the redistricting process for fewer than 50 districts, a sizable 3-to-1 disadvantage.
So not only do Democrats have to face the fact large chunks of their constituency will be either voting Republican or sitting at home come election day — with less people in the Democrat constituency groups and overall having a favorable opinion of Obama today than election day 2010, but also the fact the decennial reapportionment heavily favors Republicans.
The ABC/Washington Post poll just piles on the bad news for Obama and the Democrats.
Obama’s job approval ratings among Democrats, liberals and those under age 30 tie or set record lows in the survey, and the numbers are no better on his handling of the economy, jobs, or the deficit.
And for the first time since he entered office, fewer than half of adults under age 30 approve of Obama. Voters under age 30 supported Obama by roughly 2 to 1 in 2008.
While Liberals won’t be voting Republican in 2012, there will be reduced participation among that group as they are also disenchanted with Obama. Again, this not only harms Obama’s reelection chances but also all the down-ticket races.
2008 saw a record percentage of the under-30 bloc actually vote, a record percentage of the under-30 bloc vote Democrat (66 percent) and a record differential between the under-30 vote and the overall vote (+13 Democrat). And, again, Obama’s favorables among the under-30 bloc are now lower than they were in November, 2010. 2012 will see a tightening in the overall under-30 vote, a tightening in the differential, and a loss of voter base as more under-30 citizens choose to sit out the election, all of which harms Obama’s chances at reelection and all down-ticket Democrats.
Far from a 2012 bounce-back, all the data points to Obama losing his reelection bid and Democrats losing even more seats in the US House of Representatives and in the State Legislatures. And, with more Democrat Senate seats up in 2012 than in 2010, and more than twice as many Democrat seats as Republican seats, it is almost a given that Republicans will win back the majority in the US Senate. There is even an outside chance that Republicans will gain a filibuster-proof Senate majority for the first time since 1911.
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