Monday, March 29, 2010

Health Care May be Hazardous to Re-election

Politics Daily  has a fascinating round up of polling analysis broken down by state showing Obama in trouble in a few key states he won in 2008.  I am sure it will come as no surprise that health care has hurt him quite a bit.  Bruce Drake notes:

"In the states polled by Rasmussen where Obama is in negative territory, he often is deep in negative territory because those who "strongly" disapprove range from 40 percent to 50 percent. Sometimes, the "strongly" disapprove nearly matches or does match the percentage of those who approve. The same is true in those states where a majority disapprove of the health care reform plan he advocated."

One key state that stood out was Ohio which is particularly interesting because the state has been crucial to winning the last few elections.  The polling for health care is very bad there and it seems the hope for Democrats in the state may rest on Obama's popularity there:
PPP says 53 percent disapprove of the job Obama is doing while 40 percent approve, and 7 percent are undecided.

Independents disapprove by a 63 percent to 32 percent margin, with 6 percent undecided. Fifty-four percent oppose his health care plan while 39 percent support it, with 6 percent undecided. PPP's Dean Debnam, commenting on the Ohio Senate race, observed, ""None of the candidates in Ohio is really standing out right now. But if Barack Obama's numbers in the state remain this low it's not likely to elect a Democratic Senator this year. His popularity could be the deciding factor in this race."
Two numbers stand out, keeping in mind PPP is a left leaning pollster, 63% of Independents disapprove of Obama while only 39% over all support health care.  This doesn't bode well for Obama or Democratic hopefuls in this election.  I am not sure what could increase his popularity other than repealing health care but it appears he has his work cut out for him there.

 Because I am in Pennsylvania I naturally was interested in those results.  Obama won Pennsylvania readily in 2008 but there does appear to be some buyer's remorse setting in.  The latest Rasmussen poll tells the tale:
Rasmussen says 51 percent disapprove of Obama's performance (with 41 percent "strongly" disapproving) while 48 percent approve. Sixty-five percent oppose the health care reform plan he backed (with 57 percent in strong opposition) while 31 percent favored it. Sixty percent say he did a poor job of handling the issue, 9 percent rate it fair, and 30 percent grade it good or excellent.
 Pennsylvanians are really opposed to this health care legislation which seems to have put Obama underwater in a state he won.  The same is true in Florida and we all know how key Florida can be in determining the outcome of elections.  It looks to me Virginia and most of the states that turned blue for the first time in 2008 have recovered from their hope and change hangover.  Of course 2012 is a long way away and much can change in the interim.  Still, it looks as though if the election were held today Obama would join the ranks of the "one-termers," quite readily.

For those interested in polling, be sure to read through Politics Daily state-by-state breakdown.  One thing to note, however, Research 2000 polls are paid for by Daily KOS and seem to me the rosiest of rosy scenarios for Democrats.  Though there are a few there that can't hide the unpopularity of either Obama or his agenda, believe me they seem to be trying in those polls to hide what they can.  Keep that in mind when reading analysis of those polls.  The rest of the polling information is pretty interesting so be sure to take a look.

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