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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Obama Approval

Talking Points Memo offers a perceptive observation about state-by-state approval data:
A look at key swing states suggests that the current political situation has really become a lot like last year -- from one state to another, Obama's approval ratings are pretty close to election results from 2008. Using those election results as a benchmark, it's as clear a sign as any that the honeymoon is truly over -- we're right back to 2008 campaign mode, in terms of average voter opinion.

In all these states, and in the country overall, Obama had a very strong honeymoon period, but that really does seem to have worn off. There may be one difference, though, and it's a crucial one: Obama's own supporters aren't as revved up as they were back then, while the opposition has become very energetic. And that can make all the difference in 2010.

Brendan Nyhan cautions that passage of health care legislation would not necessarily raise Obama's numbers. He looks at analogous bills under previous presidents -- LBJ's Medicare bill, Reagan's budget and tax bills, Clinton's deficit reduction bill, and Bush 43's tax cut -- and finds no bump in approval ratings.