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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Challenging Numbers for the President

On the eve of the health care vote, some new numbers are increasing the depth of his political challenges.

Yesterday I noted that President Obama's job approval rating in the Gallup tracking poll went upside down for the first time. Today, with Gallup's rating staying upside down and with the addition three new polls in the last 24 hours (NBC/WSJ, Pew, and Fox News), Obama's job approval in the RCP Average has gone net negative for the first time ever as well. Currently 47.3% of those surveyed approve of the job Obama is doing as President, while 47.8% disapprove.
Public views of the health care bills being discussed in Congress have remained quite stable over the past few months. As has been the case since last July, there is more opposition than support for these proposals. Currently, 48% say they generally oppose the health care bills in Congress while 38% say they generally favor them. That is almost identical to the balance of opinion in February and January.
The survey found a 21-point enthusiasm gap between the parties, with 67% of Republicans saying they are very interested in the November elections, compared with 46% of Democrats. "If the Democrats are going to close that gap, they've got to get their people excited. And I don't see how you get those people if you vote no" on the party's health-care legislation, said Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducted the survey with Republican Bill McInturff.