December 22, 2009


Obama's Falling Poll Ratings: Why He Has To Worry (Michael Scherer, Dec. 22, 2009, TIME)

2. Health-care reform has become a burden.
Something has gone wrong on the long trail to historic health reform. For one thing, Americans no longer support what is going on. The recent Wall Street Journal/NBC poll found that 44% of the country believe it would be better not to pass any plan at all, while 41% said it would be better to pass the plan. As recently as October, the same poll showed those numbers practically reversed. One reason is a misalignment of priorities. The health care debate has, ironically, intensified American contentment with their current health coverage. The July Battleground poll found that 84% of Americans were "satisfied" with their health care. The same poll in December found 91% of Americans satisfied with their health care. [...]

4. Keynes doesn't play in Peoria.

Obama has followed a traditionally Keynesian economic path in responding to the recession — temporarily increasing government spending to make up for slack in the economy. But voters, who continue to suffer from the downturn, are not so impressed. In a recent focus group with independent voters who voted for Obama, Republican pollster Ed Goeas found significant concern about government spending. "There was a tipping point that occurred," he said. "The biggest thing I have seen beyond the intensity and the independents moving has been this focus, in the middle of a very bad economy, on spending." He continued, "They have moved from a maybe-we-have-to-do-this to a how-are-we going-to-pay-for-this. It's going to be our children and our grandchildren." Both the White House and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi have announced that they recognize this concern and plan to devote a significant part of the spring addressing the deficit. As Lake puts it, "We haven't proven to the voters that we are spending money to produce jobs for them."

Reason #6: the press follows the polls. Check out the photo accompanying the story and you'll see the Adoration phase is over.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 22, 2009 12:05 PM
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