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Obama approval numbers continue to tumble in new Washington Post-ABC News poll, political landscape “tilts” toward GOP

by | Oct 15, 2014


By Dave Andrusko

Pro-abortion President Barack Obama

Pro-abortion President Barack Obama

First the outstanding news, then a needed caveat. From today’s Washington Post

“Heading into the final weeks of the midterm campaign, the political landscape continues to tilt in favor of the Republican Party, with President Obama’s overall approval rating at the lowest level of his presidency and GOP voters signaling greater likelihood than Democrats that they will cast ballots, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll.”

Here are some of the specifics of the survey of 1,006 adults, as explained by the Post’s Dan Balz and Scott Clement.

#1. “Most worrisome for Democrats is that their candidates will be weighed down by unhappiness with the president. Obama’s overall approval rating stands at 40 percent, the lowest recorded in a Post-ABC News poll during his six years in office, though only a point lower than last month. Among independents, his rating is 33 percent.” The President’s approval has been well under 50%, it seems, for forever.

#2. The now-familiar enthusiasm gap: “Seventy-seven percent of Republicans say they are certain to vote, compared with 63 percent of Democrats.”

#3. How about those who say President Obama will be a factor in their voting? Balz and Clement write

“Among independents, 23 percent say they want to send a message to oppose the president while 8 percent want to support him with their vote. Meanwhile, more than 4 in 10 Republicans (46 percent) say they will vote to send a message of opposition to the president, while just 30 percent of Democrats say they are voting to send a message of support for Obama.”

YourvotecountsSo, to be clear, that is a -15 among Independents (23% to 8%) and a net difference of -16 between Republicans (46%) saying they are sending a message of opposition and Democrats saying they will be sending a message of support (30%). Those are impressive numbers, no matter how you slice it.

By now just about everyone knows that Republicans need to produce a net gain of six seats in the Senate to assume control. Receiving only passing attention is the House, which is universally expected to remain in the hands of Republicans.

As the November 4 elections draw near, the question is will Republicans gain a few seats or more. We learn from “Poll shows Obama approval low, GOP enthusiasm higher than Democrats’” that

“On the question of which House candidate, Republican or Democrat, people plan to vote for, Democrats hold a tenuous edge of 46 percent to 44 percent among registered voters. But among likely voters, Republicans hold a more sizable advantage, 50 percent to 43 percent. Self-identified independents favor Republicans 51 percent to 32 percent, and among the roughly one-quarter of the likely electorate that has an unfavorable view of both political parties, Republicans hold a lead of 53 percent to 32 percent.”

The separate issue, of course, and one that could alter outcomes is the parties’ respective capacity to “get out the vote.” As Balz and Clement observe

“Democrats often have more trouble turning out their base voters in midterm elections. This year they have made unprecedented efforts to register new voters and turn out those who often vote only in presidential races.”

More tomorrow.

Categories: Politics
Tags: Politics