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Obama’s approval rating back in the dumpster

By CAPITOL HILL BLUE Staff
and AFP News Service
March 13, 2012

President Barack Obama: On the ropes? (AFP Photo/Mark Wilson)

President Barack Obama, battered by rising gas prices, a lagging economy that resists recovery and foreign policy missteps in Afghanistan, fell dramatically in public approval in a poll released Monday.

The ABC News and Washington Post poll shows Republican frontrunner Mitt Romney would beat Obama if the Presidential election were held today.

“Gas prices, more than anything else, hurt Obama but he has problems elsewhere,” Democratic strategist Allan Moran told Capitol Hill Blue Monday. “His bad news is good news for Republicans.”

The ABC News/Washington Post polls show just 46 percent of Americans approve of Obama’s job performance, his lowest rating ever in that survey.  Obama’s disapproval rating stands at 50 percent.

The situation was a reversal from early February when 50 percent approved of the president’s performance and 46 percent disapproved.

The survey was released as the battleground for the Republican presidential nomination moved to the deep South for Tuesday’s primaries in Alabama and Mississippi.

If the presidential election were held today, the poll found that Romney would beat Obama 49 percent to 47 percent.

The president was barely ahead of former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum, who is running second in the Republican pack — 49 percent to 46 percent.

Previously, Obama held significant advantages over both.

According to the survey, the drop was attributed to soaring gas prices threatening to crimp America’s slow recovery from a recession.

The American Automobile Association (AAA) predicts gasoline prices across the United States could average $4.25 a gallon by May, up from over $3.60 today.

Between 1998 and 2004, prices ranged from $1 to $2.

Prices vary wildly between regions, however, and last week, gasbuddy.com, a website that tracks prices in all 50 states, reported $5.09 a gallon at one Mobil and two Chevron stations in greater Los Angeles.

Given that 76 percent of Americans drive themselves to work, and a trip to the store can often mean a long drive to the mall, higher gas prices are a critical issue — especially in a presidential election year.

The polls also found 59 percent of Americans had given Obama negative ratings on the economy, and 65 percent disapproved of his handling of the gas price situation.

The telephone poll was conducted March 7-10 and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Santorum’s win in Kansas on Saturday — taking 33 of the 40 delegates — was offset by Romney victories in Wyoming and in the US territories of Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the US Virgin Islands.

Romney has now won 17 of 26 state or territory votes, compared to seven wins for Santorum — eight if you include a straw poll in Missouri — two for former House speaker Newt Gingrich, and none for Texas congressman Ron Paul.

With 455 delegates, Romney has almost 40 percent of the 1,144 needed to secure the nomination. Santorum trails with 199 delegates and Gingrich has 117, according to authoritative aggregator RealClearPolitics.

This lead means Romney’s competitors must win some 70-75 percent of the remaining delegates — which are handed out proportionally by district in many states — in order to snatch the nomination.

“Uniting the opposition to Romney in a single candidate is the only chance, or the best chance, of seeing this process continue for a while,” said Charles Franklin, a professor at Marquette University Law School.

“With Gingrich, there is also the question of when does dogged determination become a pointless crusade. Surely that point is coming pretty soon,” Franklin, co-founder of pollster.com, told AFP.

Whatever happens on Tuesday, Gingrich has vowed to stay in the race all the way to the Republican Party convention, which will crown the eventual nominee at the end of August.

Santorum’s campaign support group called last week on the former House speaker to quit.

“With Gingrich exiting the race, it would be a true head-to-head race and conservatives would be able to make a choice between a consistent conservative in Rick Santorum or Mitt Romney,” a statement said.

Despite a bulging war-chest and a vast campaign team, Romney failed to seal the deal on Super Tuesday as doubts linger among key Republican voting groups about a candidate who would become the first Mormon presidential nominee.

Romney, who celebrates his 65th birthday on Monday, has portrayed himself as the underdog in Alabama and Mississippi, Bible Belt states where a majority of primary voters describe themselves as born-again or evangelical Christians.

Despite well-documented marital infidelities, Gingrich has done well in the south, winning convincingly in South Carolina and Georgia — albeit his home state — and recent polls shows him edging ahead in Tuesday’s contests.

In Alabama, a Rasmussen survey Friday showed Gingrich leading with 30 percent, ahead of Santorum with 29 percent and Romney with 28 percent.

A poll in Mississippi by American Research Group showed Gingrich in the lead at 35 percent, ahead of Romney at 31 percent and Santorum at 20 percent.

Copyright 2012 AFP and Capitol Hill Blue

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15 Responses to Obama’s approval rating back in the dumpster

  1. woody188

    March 13, 2012 at 9:53 am

    That’s what happens when you claim you can assassinate anyone anywhere for any reason you deem necessary. Sounds an awful lot like a dictatorship…

  2. Almandine

    March 13, 2012 at 3:18 pm

    • woody188

      March 13, 2012 at 3:28 pm

      #3 was done with help from the SPLC which is why it kills me to see media quote them as any sort of experts.

    • Jim B.

      March 13, 2012 at 4:22 pm

      Almandine,

      I’m so disappointed by these “Marxism” links, because when I click on them, my hopes are dashed….There is nothing in them about Groucho, Harpo, Chico, or Zeppo. Yet, I will say….the people who appear in them, do sound like or look like Margaret Dumont…. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Margaret_Dumont

      Jim

      • Almandine

        March 13, 2012 at 5:29 pm

        Yeah, I was kinda bummed out too for lack of all that gallows humor caused by NDAA, NLRB, HHS, EPA, Fast and Furious, ACORN, SEIU, New Black Panthers, Patriot Act extension, Individual mandates, govt takeover of private enterprise, engineered gas price hikes…

        Oh well, maybe during the “official” campaign.

        • Jim B.

          March 13, 2012 at 5:51 pm

          :)

  3. woody188

    March 13, 2012 at 4:40 pm

    And what’s all this about H.R. 347, the Federal Restricted Buildings and Grounds Improvement Act that was just signed by Obama that makes it possible to arrest protesters and charge them with a felony? That’s one year in jail!

    Gee, I wonder why nobody likes Obama OR Congress…

  4. Hal Brown

    March 13, 2012 at 5:49 pm

    “Obama’s approval rating back in the dumpster”, whoever thought of that headline? Apparently something was left out of the first paragraph between the word “nine” and the word “dramatically” that might have made the meaning of “dumpster” clear:

    President Barack Obama, battered by rising gas prices, a lagging economy that resists recovery and foreign policy missteps in Afghanistan, fell nine dramatically in public approval in a poll released Monday.

    Nice going, though, since if you Google Obama and dumpster the Capitol Hill Blue article come up first.

    Dumpsters, of course, are where garbage and refuse is put to be collected and permanently disposed of. How a rating can be in a dumpster and sent to the co-generation plant to be burned is beyond me, but then again I may be missing something obvious.

    I do have a point to raise besides picking on the editors.

    I think certain people may be in for a big surprise. Among them are those who identify themselves as Republicans, those for whom Obama can do nothing even worth the resale value of snot, and those for whom no politician except perhaps Ron Paul can every do anything even spit worthy.

    I know you are waiting with baited breath for me to tell you why. After all, those who read my comments consider me the be all and end all of political sages.

    Anyone running against Obama who is currently staking their vote-worthiness on the conditions described in the article above has to be counting on things not getting significantly better prior to the election. I have no doubt they are hoping they get worse.

    If by design or luck, or a combination of the two, gas prices decline to $3.25 a gallon and are still heading down, and if unemployment is approaching a real world 7.5 %, and private sector job growth continues to show upward momentum, and last and for most people, least, Obama decides to hasten the troop withdrawal from Afghanistan, all the Republicans will be left with is their base who hate Obama because they are convinced he’s not a true freedom loving Christian American.

    Of course nature can produce an earthquake, or there could be a terrorist attack, and this would provide the Republicans with something compelling to blame Obama for.

  5. Almandine

    March 13, 2012 at 8:12 pm

    I have no doubt “official” unemployment, inflation, you-name-it will be better then, especially if you accept the stats from the BLS (Bureau of Lies and Swindles). Don’t forget, this is an election year and who’s in charge of govt propaganda?

    http://www.shadowstats.com/alternate_data/unemployment-charts

  6. griff

    March 13, 2012 at 10:09 pm

    Funny how gas prices shot up shortly after we began bringing democracy to the Middle East and, aside from a short but steep drop in prices in 2008 due to Wall Street troubles (read: speculators didn’t have the cash to bid up prices so the silly, antiquated free market laws of supply and demand took over), gas prices have been steadily rising. Funny, too, that gas prices began rising again as soon as Wall Street got their bailout.

    No connection whatsoever. Move along people, nothing to see here.

    Gee, we acquired all those oil reserves for BP, Exxon, et al. and that’s the thanks we get.

    This government can do some thing about all these problems – unemployment, gas prices, and every thing else. They simply will not.

    Some of them may actually know what it would take, but it isn’t lucrative, and it surely isn’t safe.

    Face the cold, hard truth folks – Obama won’t fix any thing and neither will the Republicans.

  7. glennk1949

    March 15, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Polls at this distance in time are useless. No, less then useless. The truth is we need a non-of the above selection on all Nat’l ballots.

    • Almandine

      March 16, 2012 at 11:51 am

      Agreed… but think of the perpetual campaign that would require.

  8. Walter F. Wouk

    March 18, 2012 at 3:24 pm

    “Face the cold, hard truth folks – Obama won’t fix any thing and neither will the Republicans.”

    Agreed, however Obama can — and will — make things worse by stifling the progressive opposition.

  9. Almandine

    March 18, 2012 at 7:25 pm

    Can we define “progressive”?… i.e., is there some kind of “progress” that term refers to?