By almost every measure, President Obama's prospects for reelection are bad.USA Today reports:
- Think the country is on the wrong track (67 percent);
- Believe Obama has turned out to be a weaker leader than they expected (60 percent);
- Think his policies have made things worse for most Americans (50 percent);
- Disapprove of Obama’s job performance (50 percent);
- Disapprove of his handling of the economy (57 percent);
- Think it is time to give someone else a chance to be President (52 percent).
About 59% of "switchers," voters who backed Obama in 2008 but voted for a Republican in the midterm elections, say the president's party is more liberal than they are and that their political views align more closely with Republicans. Among the 400 switchers polled, 16% said they would vote for Obama again; 25% said they would back the Republican nominee; and 59% were categorized as "persuadable switchers."
"The problem is that they don't see Obama and Democrats in their (ideological) neighborhood," Jim Kessler, vice president for policy at Third Way, said of the switchers. "But we feel it's possible for Democrats to move themselves along the continuum to a center direction."
If the economy is a leading indicator, the president's prospects are not going to improve anytime soon. Investor's Business Daily reports:
Real wages are falling sharply, pinching Americans' buying power and raising the risks for a fragile economy and President Obama's re-election hopes.
With more than 4 unemployed workers available for every job opening, pressure on wages has been intense.
Inflation-adjusted weekly earnings have fallen significantly in recent months, likely falling more than 1.5% vs. a year earlier in August. That would be the biggest drop since the height of the financial crisis in late 2008.
Real disposable income per capita — seen by some researchers as the most important factor in people's well-being and voting patterns — has leveled off well below pre-recession levels and may be rolling over.
The median income of U.S. households fell 2.3% in 2010 to the lowest level since 1996 after adjusting for inflation, the Census Bureau reported Tuesday.
The annual report also said the number of families living in poverty rose 2.6 million to 46.2 million, the largest increase since Census began keeping track 52 years ago. Long-term unemployment has left millions of people out of work and struggling to find jobs.
"It's all about joblessness," said Timothy Smeeding, director of the Institute for the Research of Poverty at the University of Wisconsin. "Young guys don't have work, and poverty would be even higher if so many 25- to 34-year-olds weren't living at home with their parents."