Bush had atrocious approval ratings for his final few years in office, particularly because he lost a lot of support from Republicans and conservative leaning independents. Those folks may not have liked him but they now say they would rather have him back than Obama. 87% of GOP voters now say they would prefer Bush, a number a good deal higher than Bush's approval rating within his party toward the tail end of his Presidency. Democrats predictably go for Obama by an 86/10 margin, and independents lean toward him as well by a 49/37 spread.Perhaps that explains the results of a hypothetical match up of President Obama and Ron Paul polled by Rasmussen:
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of likely voters finds Obama with 42% support and Paul with 41% of the vote. Eleven percent (11%) prefer some other candidate, and six percent (6%) are undecided.While Paul is not my preferred candidate, there is no doubt I would prefer the libertarian-leanings of Paul to Obama's far left progressive agenda. Hopefully we find the right mix between now and 2012. Somehow I think we will.
Ask the Political Class, though, and it’s a blowout. While 58% of Mainstream voters favor Paul, 95% of the Political Class vote for Obama.
But Republican voters also have decidedly mixed feelings about Paul, who has been an outspoken critic of the party establishment. Obama earns 79% support from Democrats, but Paul gets just 66% of GOP votes. Voters not affiliated with either major party give Paul a 47% to 28% edge over the president.
As always the ever-important race is the one that looms before us in November. The good news for November comes from Sean Trende at Real Clear Politics:
That said, I think those who suggest that the House is barely in play, or that we are a long way from a 1994-style scenario are missing the mark. A 1994-style scenario is probably the most likely outcome at this point. Moreover, it is well within the realm of possibility – not merely a far-fetched scenario – that Democratic losses could climb into the 80 or 90-seat range. The Democrats are sailing into a perfect storm of factors influencing a midterm election, and if the situation declines for them in the ensuing months, I wouldn’t be shocked to see Democratic losses eclipse 100 seats…Trende is a great analyst so read the rest. There is a caveat, however, Trende tends to agree with other analysts that the picture could change dramatically should we head into a "V"-shaped recovery which would likely aid in boosting Obama's approval numbers. The bad news, if you can call a "V"- recovery bad news that is, Larry Kudlow sees just that on the horizon. I would take my chances that Democrats would still get their hats handed to them in spite of a recovery but Kudlow seems to be cheerleading the news ever since he had dinner with Obama. There is a long way to go on unemployment and it would take a monster job producing economy to turn unemployment around by November. The best scenario, in my opinion, the economy comes roaring back once we retake the House and maybe even the Senate too.
The President’s weakness in these states reveals another problem for his party. Since he is weak in Republican areas and swing areas, and yet doesn’t have horrible approval ratings overall, he must be very, very popular among his party’s base. Some polls have his approval ratings among African Americans at 95%. Even in Massachusetts, Martha Coakley managed to win the First, Seventh and Eighth Districts, which are home to the state’s liberals and minorities.
The problem for the Democrats is that these voters are packed into a relatively few states and Congressional districts nationwide, diluting their vote share. This is why the median Congressional district is an R+2 district. Thus, the President could have a relatively healthy overall approval rating, but still be fairly unpopular in swing states and districts. The increased enthusiasm that Obama generated among minorities, the young and the liberal is useful, but only if it is realized in conjunction with Democratic approval in a few other categories.