"President Barack Obama's approval rating hovers at an all-time low. The White House had predicted passage of the health care overhaul would boost his fortunes, but that has not been the case, and that legislation itself remains decidedly unpopular," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.As baffling as it might seem, some Americans still have faith Obama will make the right choice to fill the Supreme Court vacancy left by John Paul Stevens' retirement. This is less baffling, however, when you examine who still has faith in Obama's judgement. Jennifer Rubin sifts through the poll data and finds Obama has all but lost the coalition that elected him:
"At this point Americans are slightly more confident than not that President Obama will make a good choice for the Supreme Court, but they split with 42 percent saying the nominee will be too liberal and 42 percent saying the nominee will be about right," Brown added.
Obama’s broad-based ideological coalition has fractured. Among liberals, 77 percent approve of his performance (accounting, no doubt, for high approval among Jews and African Americans, who are more liberal than the population as a whole), while 54 percent of moderates and only 38 percent of independents, 10 percent of Tea Partiers, and 11 percent of Republicans approve of his job performance.The good news for Obama, the media will continue to cheerlead for him. Instead of focusing on Obama's lost coalition we will see headlines gleaned from polling data that touts confidence in his ability to choose the right nominee compared to Senate Republicans. CNN writes, "Poll: Majority say Obama will make right choice on nomination." From The Hill, we see "Voters trust Obama over GOP to make right SCOTUS pick." Perhaps Quinnipiac, CNN and The Hill haven't been made aware of the fact but Senate Republicans are not responsible for picking Supreme Court nominees. I remain dumbfounded why any pollster bothers to survey such questions.
Obama has essentially lost the carefully assembled, broad-based majority that elected him. He is now kept from drifting into George W. Bush–like polling by the loyalty of devoted African Americans, Jews, and liberals. It’s not a winning model for re-election, but then he hasn’t governed in a way to maintain a majority of support from Americans.
Health care remains decidedly unpopular with 53% disapproving of the legislation while 39% approve. Perhaps this explains why Obama has stopped talking about health care. No doubt his cheerleading media will oblige him and drop the issue from their headlines.