The PJ Tatler

Is Benghazi Costing Obama the Election?

Bill Kristol on Obama’s plunging job approval numbers:

On September 11, 2012, Rasmussen Reports had President Obama’s job approval at 52 percent approve, 47 percent disapprove. Today, October 27, the numbers have reversed—47 percent approve, 52 percent disapprove. The economic news over these past six weeks has been on the whole a bit better than expected, so it’s hard to believe that’s the cause of the change. The campaign and the debates could of course have played a role. But the main real-world event that might have affected voters’ approval or disapproval of President Obama’s job performance is Libya.

Actually, Obama’s approval slide is even worse than that:

Gallup’s daily tracking poll today — which also showed Obama losing 51-46 to Republican nominee Mitt Romney among likely voters — puts the president’s approval rating at just 46 percent.

That’s a staggering 7-point swing from Wednesday, when Obama’s approval rating sat at 53 percent. And it marks Obama’s lowest point since late September.

Obama’s disapproval rating, meanwhile, jumped to 49 percent. That accounts for another 7-point change since Wednesday, meaning the total swing has been 14 points. The disapproval rating is the president’s highest since mid-August.

I don’t know if it’s Benghazi that is causing Obama’s numbers to drop. Ask your friends if they’ve even heard of Benghazi and you have a snapshot of most of the electorate. Outside of the political class and political junkies like most of us, how many voters can tell you even a few of the particulars of the cover-up?

I think it’s more a final judgment on Obama by voters that will be followed shortly by even better poll numbers in swing states for Romney. That 47% approval rating could track very closely with Obama’s final numbers on election day — that’s how it usually works anyway. Very few voters cast their ballot for someone who they think has done a lousy job.

If that’s the case, we should see a gradual shift in the swing state polls toward Romney this week.