The PJ Tatler

Have We Reached Obama's Point of No (Poll) Return?

The Hill released a poll today that will probably put Obama’s campaign staff into the fetal position. Up to now, polls have consistently found that President Obama is personally popular, that his job approval hangs below 50%, but that a majority of voters still blamed President George W. Bush for the nation’s economic problems. The Hill’s poll, though, finds the blame shifting from Bush to Obama.

It found that 66 percent believe paltry job growth and slow economic recovery is the result of bad policy. Thirty-four percent say Obama is the most to blame, followed by 23 percent who say Congress is the culprit. Twenty percent point the finger at Wall Street, and 18 percent cite former President George W. Bush.

The results highlight the reelection challenge Obama faces amid dissatisfaction with his first-term performance on the economy.

The poll, conducted for The Hill by Pulse Opinion Research, found 53 percent of voters say Obama has taken the wrong actions and has slowed the economy down. Forty-two percent said he has taken the right actions to revive the economy, while six percent said they were not sure.

Elections that include a sitting incumbent usually turn out to be about that incumbent: Keep him on the job, or fire him. These new, bad numbers for the president come just as he has outspent the Romney campaign on negative ads in June, and they’re a comprehensive rejection of his job performance. Obama isn’t offering a compelling positive vision of what a second term would look like, and the Hill poll suggests that that isn’t even available to him. A majority simply won’t buy it.

Unemployment has not decreased despite Obama’s trillion-dollar stimulus. Homeowners can see the failure of Obama’s policies in their stagnant or declining home values. Employers see Obama’s failures in the liabilities that ObamaCare forces on them with each new hire. Nearly everyone has seen their health insurance premiums go up after ObamaCare passed.

In another ominous sign for the president, a new report out today says that most US households have seen their net worth decline about 35% over the past few years. The group that has lost the most dollar value is also the group most likely to vote: Senior citizens.

Among households headed by someone age 65 or older, median net worth decreased by $25,762, from $195,890 in 2005 to $170,128 in 2010. In contrast, people under age 35 watched their net worth decline from $8,528 to $5,402, a loss of $3,126.

However, if you look at these losses as percentages, young households lost 37 percent of their wealth, while senior citizens lost 13 percent of the value of their assets. Families headed by someone between age 35 and 44 suffered the greatest losses, of 59 percent of their wealth over the five-year period.

The economic/political question “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?” answers itself.