The number of likely voters who approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as President is at 45 percent. (Note: other pollsters poll "Adults" instead of likely voters. Polling adults inflates President Obama's approval rating.)
The President's continued pushing of a politically lethal health care plan is to blame. But the three horsemen of the Democratic Party's Apocalypse: Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Waxman and President Obama keep on riding the Death Horse.
As the Wall Street Journal put it today: "'What we're seeing now, both in terms of numbers and the feel out there, this is how big waves feel early on," said Charlie Cook, editor of the Cook Political Report."
Here is a great political summary of the post-summer vaca world the Dems find themselves in, written in the New York Times, by David Brooks, and I strongly encourage everyone to read the entire column, not just the excerpts below:
All presidents fall from their honeymoon highs, but in the history of polling, no newly elected American president has fallen this far this fast. Anxiety is now pervasive. Trust in government rose when Obama took office. It has fallen back to historic lows. Fifty-nine percent of Americans now think the country is headed in the wrong direction.
The public’s view of Congress, which ticked upward for a time, has plummeted. Charlie Cook, who knows as much about Congressional elections as anyone in the country, wrote recently that Democratic fortunes have “slipped completely out of control.” He and the experts he surveyed believe there is just as much chance that the Democrats could lose more than 20 House seats in the next elections as less than 20.
There are also warning signs in the Senate. A recent poll shows Harry Reid, the majority leader, trailing the Republican Danny Tarkanian, a possible 2010 opponent, by 49 percent to 38 percent. When your majority leader is down to a 38 percent base in his home state, that’s not good.
The public has soured on Obama’s policy proposals. Voters often have only a fuzzy sense of what each individual proposal actually does, but more and more have a growing conviction that if the president is proposing it, it must involve big spending, big government and a fundamental departure from the traditional American approach.
Brook's then talks specifically about health reform:
Amazingly, some liberals are now lashing out at Obama because the entire country doesn’t agree with The Huffington Post. Some now argue that the administration should just ignore the ignorant masses and ram health care through using reconciliation, the legislative maneuver that would reduce the need for moderate votes.
This would be suicidal. You can’t pass the most important domestic reform in a generation when the majority of voters think you are on the wrong path. To do so would be a sign of unmitigated arrogance. If Obama agrees to use reconciliation, he will permanently affix himself to the liberal wing of his party and permanently alienate independents. He will be president of 35 percent of the country — and good luck getting anything done after that.
Perhaps, and only perhaps, because it is written in the New York Times, the Democrats will listen. (This analysis posted yesterday, tracks Brook's conclusion nicely.)
The first sign that the Dems are listening will be that the House leadership announces they are going to wait until the U.S. Senate passes health care reform before the House votes on it. This means the Carville strategy of killing health care in the U.S. Senate and "blaming" the Republicans for the failure of health reform is being pursued.
Given the political collapse of President Obama's standing with the American public, the "blaming" part of the Carville strategy seems out of touch. Cheering and high-fiving would likely be the public's reaction.