It is, of course, far too early to count Barack Obama out of anything political. For all of the bumps in the road his Administration has encountered, he remains a potent political figure, not just by virtue of the office he holds, but also by virtue of the political skills he continues to possess.
Yet, let there be no doubt that the Administration has encountered bumps in the road:
The last few weeks have been a nightmare for President Obama, in a summer of discontent in the United States which has deeply unsettled the ruling liberal elites, so much so that even the Left has begun to turn against the White House. While the anti-establishment Tea Party movement has gained significant ground and is now a rising and powerful political force to be reckoned with, many of the president’s own supporters as well as independents are rapidly losing faith in Barack Obama, with open warfare breaking out between the White House and the left-wing of the Democratic Party. While conservatism in America grows stronger by the day, the forces of liberalism are growing increasingly weaker and divided.
Against this backdrop, the president’s approval ratings have been sliding dramatically all summer, with the latest Rasmussen Daily Presidential Tracking Poll of US voters dropping to minus 22 points, the lowest point so far for Barack Obama since taking office. While just 24 per cent of American voters strongly approve of the president’s job performance, almost twice that number, 46 per cent, strongly disapprove. According to Rasmussen, 65 per cent of voters believe the United States is going down the wrong track, including 70 per cent of independents.
The RealClearPolitics average of polls now has President Obama at over 50 per cent disapproval, a remarkably high figure for a president just 18 months into his first term. Strikingly, the latest USA Today/Gallup surveyhas the President on just 41 per cent approval, with 53 per cent disapproving.
2012 remains a ways away, so there is time for the President to recover before he has to face re-election. But 2010 and the midterm elections? We are halfway into August already, so the Administration and the Democratic party have only two and a half months to engender a political turnaround. Increasingly, it appears that they will not be able to do it.