Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The Color of Polls

A near-majority of Americans now no longer trust the President's handling of the economy, while 50% disapprove of his handling of health care:

The public's confidence in President Barack Obama's ability to handle the economy is eroding amid concerns about higher federal spending and expanding government power, a USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds — a development that could complicate his efforts to push a health-care plan through Congress in the next few weeks.

In the survey, taken Friday through Sunday, Americans by 47 percent to 49 percent disapprove of his handling of the economy, and 44 percent to 50 percent disapprove of his handling of health care.

And there is more bad news for Barack Obama politically from a historical perspective:

His overall approval rating was 55 percent, the lowest of his young presidency. That puts Obama 10th among the 12 post-World War II presidents at this point in their tenures. When he took office, he ranked seventh.

"His ratings have certainly come back to Earth in a very short time," Republican pollster Whit Ayres said.

The disconnect is also showing between the President's personal popularity and disagreement with his policies:

59 percent say his proposals call for too much government spending.

52 percent say they call for too much expansion of government power.

Expectations about when the economy will recover are souring. In February, the mean or average prediction for a turnaround was 4.1 years; now it's 5.5 years.

There's limited faith in his economic stimulus package, especially when asked about its likely impact on their own finances. A third predict it will make things better for their families in the long term; a third say it will make things worse.

To paraphrase one of the President's mentors, it appears that Barack Obama's chickens are coming home to roost. This may be taken the wrong way by some, but it must be considered that there are some who are responding positively to the Presidential approval poll out of fear of being seen as racist if they let their true views of the President be known.

If that hypothesis is true, then it is sad that political correctness has now managed even to dillute our political polling. I have never believed that the President should be judged by the color of his skin, but neither should we avoid passing judgrmrnt on the President or his policies because of the color of his skin.

If Americans really want a colorblind society, the most powerful office in that society must be colorblind in every direction.

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