President Barack Obama's job approval rating is down to 42%, with a decline in approval from Democrats the leading factor.
The latest Zogby Interactive poll of 4,518 likely voters conducted from August 28-31 found 48% disapprove and 42% approve of the job Obama is doing. The poll found 75% of Democrats approve of Obama's performance, a drop of 13 points among Democrats from an interactive poll done July 21-24 of this year. That same poll found 48% of all likely voters approving of Obama's job performance, and 49% disapproving.
Another interesting finding:
17% give Obama an excellent job rating, 25% rate him good, 16% fair and 41% poor. Combining the two highest and lowest rankings shows 42% rating Obama positively and 57% negatively. (This is the standard Zogby International has used for many years in measuring job performance.)
Pollster John Zogby concludes by stating "President Obama is now firmly between a rock and a hard place. Democrats want a strong healthcare reform bill with a public option. Republicans and more conservative Democrats do not agree. If Obama fails to get a bill that his base supporters want, the entire Democratic Party risks alienating them; especially 18-29-year-old First GlobalsTM, who could very quickly become disenchanted with politics. Obama needs to enter the fray in a very public way, which may mean knocking heads with both wings of his own party."
New York Times' Op-ed columnist, David Brooks, explains what he calls the "Obama slide."
The administration hasn’t been able to pull it off. From the stimulus to health care, it has joined itself at the hip to the liberal leadership in Congress. The White House has failed to veto measures, like the pork-laden omnibus spending bill, that would have demonstrated independence and fiscal restraint. By force of circumstances and by design, the president has promoted one policy after another that increases spending and centralizes power in Washington.
The result is the Obama slide, the most important feature of the current moment. The number of Americans who trust President Obama to make the right decisions has fallen by roughly 17 percentage points. Obama’s job approval is down to about 50 percent. All presidents fall from their honeymoon highs, but in the history of polling, no newly elected American president has fallen this far this fast.
Brooks contends Obama needs to stop the slide by moving more to the center, but in reality, that would cost him even more of his liberal base.
Brooks also insists that if Obama allows Democrats in the Senate to use "reconciliation" to push through Obamacare against the opposition of the majority of Americans, it would be "suicidal", politically speaking of course.
Barack Obama is between a rock and a hard place here and it is a position he has put himself in.