Monday, February 1, 2010

Obama: Trust Thee Not

Obama has lost the public trust. The State of the Union was supposed to be his reset button with the public. But as I outlined in my analysis of his speech, he blew it big time. His speech had nothing to assuage the public or to regain their trust. Instead, it was a laundry list of handouts to leftist special interests. Recent polling backs that up, it also shows just how big Obama’s trust problem has become.

Let’s begin with the bad news for Obama. He got virtually no bounce from the speech. In fact, his bounce from the State of the Union was around 2-3%, right in line with the other 3% fast-fading bounces that have become his trademark for his many “speech of his administration” speeches.

What’s worse, this bounce came entirely from Democrats. Indeed, according to Rasmussen, Obama’s approval among Democrats increased from 81% before the speech to 90% after the speech, whereas his approval among Republicans and independent didn’t budge a millimeter.

This is doubly bad for Obama. First, while you might think that Obama would be happy to get 90% of the Lemming-flavored Kool-Aid brigade that has become the Democratic Party, the reality is a little different. With Obama already getting 90% support among Democrats, there is no reservoir of dissatisfied Democrats that he can tap into to raise his re-election chances. And since his approval ratings stand at only 47% right now, that means he cannot win an election with only Democratic support. . . he needs to attract moderates. Yet, that brings up problem number two.

The fact that Obama wasn't able to get a single additional point out of moderates or leftish Republicans tells us that he has lost them -- they are no longer interested in listening to him and they have stopped giving him the benefit of the doubt. Without those voters, he has no chance of re-election, and his ability to throw his weight around in Washington will be minimal.

So how bad has the relationship between Obama and independents become? Well, let’s look purely at the question of trust. . . the “do you believe Obama” questions:

• Obama told us that his administration cut taxes for 95% of Americans. But only 21% of voters believed that claim. Moreover, almost no Republicans or independents believed this (only 34% of Democrats believed it).

• Obama claimed that the economy is growing again because of his policies. But only 35% of voters even believe the economy is growing again. (70% of Republicans and 60% of independents called el toro kaka on this one -- most of the rest had no opinion.)

• Obama claimed to have created two million jobs for people “who would otherwise be unemployed” (read: “saved or created”). Only 27% of voters believed that one. (77% of Republicans and 59% of independents rejected this one -- most of the rest had no opinion).

• Obama claimed he made the country safer. He claimed he sorted out the mess Bush left in Afghanistan, Iraq, and in the fight against Islamic terrorism generally. The voters aren’t buying it. Only 38% believe we are winning against the Islamic terrorists. Only 36% of voters believe the U.S. is safer today than it was before 9/11, the lowest level of confidence ever measured.

Further, Obama has suffered a 13% drop since his Afghan speech on the question of whether or not Americans think Afghanistan will get better or worse. Only 21% of Americans think the situation in Afghanistan will get better, with 46% saying it will get worse. Similarly, only 29% now believe that Iraq will improve, with 30% saying it will worsen.
That’s a lot of distrust. Not surprisingly, the public’s view of his policies treats him no better:
• Only 9% of voters think Obama’s freeze on discretionary spending will have an impact on the deficit. Making this even worse, 65% respond that cutting the deficit should be Obama’s number one priority. . . and 65% believe he will fail.

• Obama proposed new spending on a variety of programs (he turned over a $3.8 trillion dollar budget this week), yet 57% of voters want the government to cut spending -- only 12% favoring increased spending.

• Obama proposed giving preferential repayment terms to government workers with student loans, but 51% of the public thinks government workers are already over paid.

• While 69% of the public agrees with Obama's plan to tax large banks to get the bailout money back, the public actually view this differently than he does. Whereas Obama is selling this tax as populist revenge, the public sees this as getting their money back. Indeed, while Obama wants to target only big banks and to exclude Obama-friends Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, 72% of Americans want them taxed as part of this plan, as well as anyone who received a bailout.
Finally, speaking of populism, let’s take a look at Obama’s new strategy. A great wave of seeming-populism is sweeping the country. Obama is trying to hook into that by demonizing banks and the rich. Yet, he’s misread this movement. He think the public’s dislike of big business will translate into support for increased government regulation and control. Yet the opposite is true.

For example, unlike Obama, the public lumps the government in with big business: 71% of voters think that government and big business work together to harm consumers and investors. Another 57% say the political system is corrupt and that it favors donors, with 59% saying that members of Congress meet with regulators to “help their friends and hurt their political opponents.” This translates into an extreme distrust of the relationship between government and big business. Thus, it is not surprising that 66% of Americans want smaller government and lower taxes, and that 76% prefer a free-market economy over one that is government managed. . . the exact opposite of the goals Obama is trying to achieve.

This lack of trust is reflected in the rest of Obama’s numbers as well. Only 27% trust Obama’s economic plan. A full 72% say that he is too liberal. Only 44% think he views society as fair, i.e. he doesn’t like us, and only 29% rate him as particularly ethical.

My how the mighty have fallen. . .


Unknown said...

Andrew: Now let's pray that those stunning negatives can be translated into positive views from competing Republicans. From the presidency to the House, confidence and trust levels are at historic lows. Thanks for confirming my "guesstimates" into hard figures.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, I figured there would be hard data out there and this was it -- very strong data. Obama is in huge trouble!

In terms of the Republicans, I think that Scott Brown really represented a sea change of sorts in that regard. Since his victory the Republicans have gained the momentum and seem to be bringing back the voters they've lost -- of course, it doesn't hurt that the RINOs are all losing their primaries, that the conservatives have moved into leadership spots, and that even Steele is talking like a tea party person.

Game Master Rob Adams said...

Let's get more Reps in the Senate!

AndrewPrice said...

ACG, Let's get more Reps all throughout government!

Writer X said...

Giving preferential treatment to Gov't workers with student loans? How'd I miss that? And how did he say that with a straight face?! Favoritism, much?

Great laundry list of why the majority of voters have not only lost trust but respect as well. He's become a punchline instead of a president. And he's become (at least to the non-liberal fringe groups) exactly the opposite of what he promised he'd be as Candidate Obama. He's dug himself such a deep hole, that I don't think he can get himself out--and he doesn't appear to want to change course one iota.

AndrewPrice said...

Writer X, I think you've hit the nail right on the head. He's not what he promised, and because of that, he's done so much damage to his relationship with the voters that it's going to be extremely difficult for him to recover under the best of circumstance.

And he's not facing the best of circumstances right now.

What's more, he and his team either don't want to reconnect with the middle again or he doesn't know how. In either event, the longer he keeps running hard left doing the opposite of what he promised and acting like the corrupt despot handing out goodies to his allies, the more likely it will be that the damage will become permanent.

In fact, I would argue that while the American people are some of the most forgiving in the world, he's about run out of second chances with them.

StanH said...

It blows me away that he still has 27% that think his economic policies will work. But - - it does work as a real metric of the depth of the hard core left…in other words 73% disagree.

As a whole those are some really bad numbers, and again proves the wisdom of the Founding Fathers, and the American people. Though Barry has an elected “super” majority, nothing happens without the consent of the governed, almost like a parliamentary systems “vote of confidence,” …the public say’s “el toro kaka!” LOL!

Thank God! …he has been as ineffective, as we all feared, he would be…Barry doesn’t disappoint in that regard. I don’t like to think about how much he screws up when nobodies looking, for good or ill he is the president for at least three more years…I hope there are couple of adults in the room?

If real America will stay focused we can start to turn things around in the USA. Dig the Barry’s bad numbers.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, You're 100% right -- the public always has the last words in a democracy. Too bad for Obama that he misread what his election meant. He thought it was just the crown on top of a huge shift by the electorate to the left. But these numbers show that didn't happen.

I'm relieved he hasn't been able to do more damage, but sadly he's got three more years and a weak president is an invite for bad guys to do their worst.

Let's hope the Republicans take both the House and the Senate and can impose good governance on him!

In terms of the 27%, I agree -- that represents the size of the hard left and the stupid left. I suspect the "hard left" is probably around 10-12% and the stupid left (the people who believe that hope is a strategy) make up the rest. That leaves about another 16% in the moderate left and then 60% in the conservative camp.

Tennessee Jed said...

nice work on digging that data out. I had been wondering about all this. As a prelude to 24, I happened to turn on O'Reilly even though I rarely watch him anymore. He mentioned Obama had gotten a little bump in the polls, but no details. Once you dig beneath the surface . . .

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Thanks! I think this goes a long way to confirming much that we all knew internally.

You hardly see any mention of "bounces" anymore in the MSM because they know Obama isn't getting one -- he's been consistently getting 3% until it fades a couple days later.

And I think the reason is, as I state above, that he's simply lost the public. He's still got the Democrats and they get excited whenever he makes a promise, but then they fade a bit when he doesn't deliver. The Republicans and independents have stopped paying attention.

This bodes very, very poorly for the Democrats -- both in the coming elections and into the future. I think a good case could be made that they have ruined themselves for a generation.

MegaTroll said...

Nice work! This confirms what we seem to be hearing and seeing all around the country. Thanks!

AndrewPrice said...

You're welcome Mega.

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