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Saturday, November 26, 2011

Obama Goes From One Of The Most Influential People To One of The Least

By Susan Duclos

In April 2011, TIME listed Barack Obama as one of the top 100 most influential people in the world but news reported by TVNewser shows that GQ (originally Gentlemen's Quarterly) has Barack Obama listed as one of the least influential people alive out of a list of 25.

Less than a year away from the November 2012 presidential election finds Obama in a bit of quandary, not only is he being seen as less influential at home and around the world, but with a flailing economy and high unemployment, polls are seeing a downward pattern as well as a loss of support from key voting blocs compared to his numbers in 2008.

Via National Journal:

Only 44 percent of registered voters approve of Obama’s performance, while half of the country disapproves of his performance, according to the survey. His job-approval rating is only at 42 percent among independents.

White voters continue to view Obama negatively -- just 37 percent back the job he has done as president, the poll found, including only 34 percent of blue-collar whites. The numbers are better among whites with a college degree –- 42 percent support Obama –- but that’s still a notable drop-off from the support he received in 2008. Then, 47 percent of whites with a college degree voted for Obama, according to exit polling.

Obama is also suffering a significant dropoff in support among Hispanics: 56 percent approve of the president’s performance. He won 67 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2008. The contest for the Latino vote, which is concentrated in battleground states like Colorado and Nevada, will be pivotal.

Other numbers in the survey paint a similarly challenging picture for Obama. Only 45 percent of voters think he deserves reelection; 48 percent think he doesn’t. He has a dismal 33 percent approval rating on the economy.

Most damaging, 81 percent of respondents say they are somewhat or very dissatisfied with the country’s direction – including 50 percent who say they are very dissatisfied. That “right track, wrong track” question has historically been a key indicator of a president’s reelection chances.

With the Solyndra and Fast and Furious scandals still being investigated, reports from the CBO that Obama's stimulus plan cost more, did less and actually harms the economy in the long run combined with Obama vehemently pitching for more stimulus (just not calling it stimulus), Obamacare taking front page news again with the Supreme Court agreeing to hear constitutionality arguments and a potential judgment just months before the 2012 elections and Obama's disapproval ratings hitting new highs, Obama is facing an uphill battle in his reelection campaign.

Even Democratic pollsters are telling Obama to abandon his 2012 bid for reelection.

Perhaps most indicative of the Obama campaigns desperation at this point is the Hail Mary they are throwing in sending VP Joe Biden to three key states, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida, believing that "Biden might be more of an asset to President Barack Obama's re-election campaign than the president himself."

The Biden plan underscores an uncomfortable reality for the Obama team. A shaky economy and sagging enthusiasm among Democrats could shrink the electoral map for Obama in 2012, forcing his campaign to depend on carrying the 67 electoral votes up for grabs in the three swing states.

Obama won all three states in 2008. But this time he faces challenges in each, particularly in Ohio and Florida, where voters elected Republican governors in the 2010 midterm elections.

The president sometimes struggles to connect with Ohio and Pennsylvania's white working-class voters, and with Jewish voters who make up a core constituency for Florida Democrats and view him with skepticism.

They are sending the man, Biden, who recently answered (video at link) the question of whether the Republican Party was strong enough to beat Obama, said "Oh, absolutely! Absolutely, it’s strong enough to beat both of us...."

This is the man who said "we can't win without Florida" at a time when Florida polls showed Obama with 57 percent disapproval and 53 percent believing Obama doesn't deserve a second term.

Generic Republican candidates are ahead of Obama in Ohio and Pennsylvania as well.

Headlines highlighting polls showing Obama vs (insert name here) in head-to-head match ups have no predictive value until after the GOP primaries when one candidate is chosen to run against Obama in 2012 and Conservatives and Conservative-leaning Independents have a chance to coalesce behind the nominee of choice.