Gallup: Obama’s Approval Among Independents At 38%

Gallup: Obama’s Approval Among Independents At 38%


With the discouraging employment numbers coming out earlier this week (even though the unemployment rate dropped) and the seeming unpopularity of many of the administration’s positions, this isn’t necessarily surprising news.

Here’s the graph…

18 points in one year is a hell of a drop since it represents more than double the drop among Republicans. So, obviously, this doesn’t bode well for the upcoming elections.

Or does it?

Seems like the generic Repubs and Dems are essentially tied. So, as with most elections, the politics will be local and what will matter most is the mood on the ground…not at the national level.

Basically, Obama may not have much influence on the results when all is said and done. Still, having the swing voters on your side when the midterms hit is always a good thing.

More as it develops…

  • Daryl

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    PS: I tried to send this to you directly, but your contact email ink is broken. Sorry for the bother of an off point comment to your post.

  • kranky kritter


  • kranky kritter

    Not surprising stuff. But what it all means for Obama and what it may portend for the mid-terms are 2 very different things.

    I continue to read widespread public dissatisfaction as broad unhappiness with the actions and conduct of ALL elected officials, who in the public’s view seem full of crap, out of touch, afraid to lead. Not to mention the fact that the public holds them all responsible for the economic mess the country is in right now.

    Given the substantial majority democrats now hold in congress, it’s a lock that the anti-incumbent wave of November 2010 will wash more democrats from power than republicans. Where it will go from there is anyone’s guess. My guess…many emboldened conservatives will be eager to keep up their filibustering obstructionism on symbolic issues. But Obama is smart enough to make that hard by being more conciliatory. Look for Obama to meet the GOP’s rising call for fiscal restrain with suggestionf for deep spending cuts in areas the GOP holds sacred, and then make them look like hypocrites if they balk.

    As to Obam’scurrent polling among independents, will his current weak ratings with independents translate into additional votes for the GOP’s 2012 presidential nominee? That depends entirely on who fills the shoes, doesn’t it? The GOP is still stuck trying to thread the needle with a candidate who satisfies the currently angry and uncompromisey crop of vocal conservatives, while at the same time not alienating moderates and independents.

    Make no mistake, there are pleeeeeenty oif independents and moderates who are unhappy with healthcare reform and/or government overspending, and yet still view folks on the further right as every bit as kooky as those on the further left. For Obama, I think we can be pretty sure that he’ll continue to poll weakly with independents until the shoes of the 2012 gop prez nominee are filled.

    If independents are involved enough in primaries to swing the nomination to someone like Mitt Romney, who really understands economic issues, then Obama could be in trouble. Not saying Romney needs to be the guy, but someone who can sound pragmatic and knowledgeable is IMO a must. But if Sara Palin or an unapologetic bible-thumping culture warrior takes the nom, Obama will skate to re-election. In this climate of economic peril, I believe that independents will strongly reject an overt culture warrior.

  • superdestroyer

    Who cares. President Obama is still doing to be re-elected and by a bigger margin than the last election. Have you looked at who will be running in the Republican Primary. Most of them are not fit to be a dog-catcher, let alone running the executive branch.

    The real question is how badly will the Republicans will underpeform in 2010 and 2012 and when the the MSM decide that the Republican Party is really irrelevant and does not warrant the coverage it gets.

  • the Word

    I findi it baffling that anyone who voted for Obama could be upset because of the level of health care reform that was passed unless it was from the standpoint of being disappointed with the pathetic level that was passed in an attempt to get the GOP on board. It was a major part of his campaign. It was what people said they were voting for. Perhaps this nation is just hopeless.

    To my eyes, America is acting with all of the intellectual depth of an abused wife who is thinking of going back to her abusive spouse to give him one more chance… again. We’re in desperate need of having a good friend saying “Are you out of your f****ng mind?””

    No party that takes Sarah Palin serious should be taken seriously, We need two parties with thinkers and serious ideas and “no” isn’t very bright IMO. I

  • kranky kritter

    I find it baffling that anyone who voted for Obama could be upset because of the level of health care reform that was passed unless it was from the standpoint of being disappointed with the pathetic level that was passed in an attempt to get the GOP on board. It was a major part of his campaign. It was what people said they were voting for.

    Then you must be [1] easily baffled and [2]unable to understand independents. Independents voted for Obama for a variety of reasons. And it’s pretty clear that one big reason they are less thrilled with him today is because they don’t like the details of HCR. {Among other things, of course.) I think it’s preposterous to suggest that Independents got just what they should have expected on HCR reform.

    And please don’t overlook that “variety of reasons” bit. It’s quite sensible to think that many independents voted for Obama for no other reason than that they thought he was a better option than McCain, or found Sara Palin too weak a #2 for an old and weak looking John McCain. Given that, it’s quite reasonable to think that independents who voted for Obama did sodespite his promises on HCR or with an expectation that the actual reform would look substantively different than it actually came out.

    Unbaffled yet? Or are you going to stick to your guns that Independents should all have fully expected what we all got with HCR? It seems quite silly to me, but if it’s your mileage, then you go, girl.

  • mw

    Seems like the generic Repubs and Dems are essentially tied. So, as with most elections, the politics will be local and what will matter most is the mood on the ground…not at the national level. – jg

    yeah… no. The Tip O’Neil homily is always true – except when it isn’t. There are several unambiguous examples of national mood swamping local issues in a mid-term election. 2006 is one, 1994 is another. Necessary pre-conditions for nationalized mid-term elections include: deep dissatisfaction among independents for the party in power; a highly motivated base for the party out of power; and a lack of enthusiasm from the base of the party in power. Sound familiar?

    The good news for Obama (but not for Democrats in general), is that such a nationalized mid-term election does not have to carry-over into the subsequent presidential election. A notable example being Clinton re-elected after stunning party defeat in ’94. Perhaps if the voter anger is sufficiently satisfied in the mid-terms they are less inclined to take it out on the incumbent president in the next election. Worked out for the Dems in 94-96, not so much for the Reps in 06-08.

    The best thing that could happen for Obama’s re-election hopes, is to lose Congress in the mid-terms.

  • the Word

    @ Kranky

    I don’t find it puzzling that people would be against health care. I find it puzzling that anyone who voted for a candidate who had it as one of his main priorities should hold it against him that he did what he said he was going to do, unless it was because it was much less than he said he was trying to do.

    If they voted for him because they didn’t like the other side then hold it against him that he tried to do what he said he would, they’re idiots. What did they expect? It would be like voting for Jesse Helms and being upset he was who he was. If you don’t like what someone stands for don’t vote for them.

    With every post from you I hear Steely Dan playing in my ear. I’m guessing it is the same for you. of course I think Sam Adams is the most over rated average beer in America too,


  • Leonidas

    Disagree that most elections will be on local issues, the economy is issue 1, 2, and 3 and that all points to national focus.

  • Nicholas Benjamin

    The Democrats are going to lose seat in both Houses. But that’s not really news, we’ve known it since January.

    IMO the news since then has been pretty much no change for the Democrats, and it’ll get better. The healthcare debate is fading from memory. We’re not being blamed for the oil spill, and if the relief wells work the leak will be fixed on election day. The economy is not improving, but it’s not getting worse, and Obama’s being pretty proactive in his attempts to fix it. The GOP party label won’t help candidates in areas where that’s the major issue.

    If you look individual races you’ll find plenty of hope for the Democrats. For example both Pennsylvania and Nevada were supposed to be easy GOP pickups. But their nominees are fairly far-right in moderate states. Toomey was right of everyone in Congress except Tom Tancredo when he served there; but PA’s a blue state, and the slightly more moderate Rick Santorum lost by 18 there in 2006. He’ll lose. Sharron Angle’s attempts to move to the center are currently being hindered because her opponent copied her old website and put it up at She’s suing him for copyright infringement. Additionally hispanics hate the AZ law, NV is 25% latino, and Angle supports it.

    re: the topic of this thread
    Obama’s approval rating among independents isn’t a huge deal right now. He’s not on the ballot. In areas where Obama is well-liked he’ll support the Democrat. In areas where he’s hated the democrat will run against Obama. Don’t laugh. PA-12 is supposed to be the prototypical anti-Obama seat, and the Dems held it in a special election by running away from him. A special election. With low turnout that should have helped the GOP.

    As for where this leaves his Legislative Agenda, I’d say it’s not a huge deal. He’s got Health Care Reform already. Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell is probably dead. If the Senate doesn’t move on a carbon cap he’ll implement EPA regulations so draconian coal state Senators will be begging for another shot at one.

    Heck the budget situation actually helps him if he wants to resurrect either Health Care or Cap and Trade. The Public Option and a Carbon Cap both reduce the deficit.

    IMO Obama is quite well-placed to spend most of his second term pursuing the Holy Grail of American Presidents: peace between the Israelis and Palestinians. I wish him luck.

  • Erik

    I agree that these news are not surprising, but we should still hope that the economy would get better, and it is one of the most important issues to take care in my opinion.