A Bloomberg National Poll conducted June 17-20 shows worrisome results for Barack Obama and his chances of reelection in 2012, with a 44 to 34 margin saying they are worse off now than they were when Obama took office, less than 25 percent saying they see any signs of improvement and two-thirds of the country saying they believe the country is on the wrong track.
The portion of Americans who say they believe the U.S. is on the wrong track is higher than it was at any point during Ronald Reagan’s presidency, when unemployment peaked at 10.8 percent after the 1981-82 recession, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll. The ABC poll showed the wrong-track number during Reagan’s first term peaking at 57 percent in October 1982. The Bloomberg poll shows 66 percent of Americans think the U.S. is going in the wrong direction now.
Other results from the poll show that 36 percent of respondents say they definitely will not vote for Obama in 2012 with 30 percent saying they will. More concerning for Obama though is the spread when likely Independent voters are questioned.
Among likely independent voters, only 23 percent said they will back his re-election, while 36 percent said they definitely will look for another candidate.
Believe it or not, the figures above are not even the worse news for Obama.
The bad news is the results when respondents are asked about Obama's job performance on the economy.
Obama’s performance ratings drop significantly when the focus turns to his management of the economy, jobs and deficits. By a margin of 61 percent to 32 percent, Americans disapprove of the job Obama is doing to tackle the budget deficit. Fifty-seven percent of respondents disapproved of his efforts to create jobs and overall 57 percent disapproved of his handling of the economy.
There is a silver lining here for Obama because by a margin of 61 percent to 37 percent Americans say they believe that Obama will have had his chance to make the economy “substantially better” by the end of 2012.
Emphasis mine because while that is good news for Obama is it also bad news for Obama because nothing he has done has impacted the economy and while respondents believe he will have had his "chance" to make a difference, Obama has shown no desire to change the way he is handling the economy and the 2012 election is a little under a year and a half away.
Barack Obama has already blown that chance.
[Update] Top of the Ticket has a must read and reminds readers of Reagan's closing lines in Cleveland during the last debate of the 1980 campaign against President Jimmy Carter.
Are you better off now than you were four years ago? Is it easier for you to go and buy things in the stores than it was four years ago? Is there more or less unemployment in the country than there was four years ago?
Is America as respected throughout the world as it was? Do you feel that our security is as safe, that we're as strong as we were four years ago?
And if you answer all of those questions yes, why then, I think your choice is very obvious as to whom you will vote for. If you don't agree, if you don't think that this course that we've been on for the last four years is what you would like to see us follow for the next four, then I could suggest another choice that you have.
Those questions are as relevant today and they were then.
Kudos to Andrew Malcolm for reminding us of them.