It’s been the year of very strange polls. Internals that don’t match up with the headlines numbers, wacky samples, and all the rest. I’ve had an impossible time trying to figure out where the electorate really is, and even who it is. With that in mind, here are some more numbers.
The first is the biggie from The Hill:
Two-thirds of likely voters say President Obama has kept his 2008 campaign promise to change America — but it’s changed for the worse, according to a sizable majority.
A new poll for The Hill found 56 percent of likely voters believe Obama’s first term has transformed the nation in a negative way, compared to 35 percent who believe the country has changed for the better under his leadership.
Your gut at least has to tell you that 56% of likely voters won’t vote to reelect a President they think has actively hurt the country. They might not show up for Romney, either — he still has yet to make that sale. And for what it’s worth, that 56% stacks up nicely with Obama’s mid-40s approval ratings in most of Rasmussen’s recent daily tracks.
Now let’s go to Gallup, which has some really damning numbers out today. Here’s the racial breakdown:
Obama has dismal support from whites, and he’s barely above water with Hispanics. As Jay Cost asks, “Does this look like a winning coalition?” Well, no. And it looks even less so when you get to two of Obama’s real problem groups: Reagan Democrats (who mostly went for Hillary Clinton in the 2008 primaries) and now independent voters (who broke huge for Obama during the general).
You have to wonder who those 7% “Conservative Republican” voters are who approve of Obama’s job performance. Maybe they misheard the question. At 66%, Obama isn’t doing too badly with “Conservative” members of his own party — but an incumbent really ought to be doing 80% or better with all his own people this close to Election Day. The tendency is for party voters to rally to their man as the campaign heats up, but for at least one group of Democrats, this isn’t the case so far.
But look that that number for Independent voters, members — like myself — of neither party.
I don’t think an incumbent can win anything, ever, when over two-thirds of the voters in the middle think he’s doing a lousy job. Again, they might not pull the lever for Romney, but they don’t have to. The Supreme Court has got the Tea party into such an agitated state, that they may make 2012 look like 2010 on steroids.
Expect a new round of Tea Party attack narratives to begin any day now. And if the Democrats get truly desperate, they may even align themselves with the Occupy Astroturf hooligans again.