Some interesting numbers have come out today talking about the people’s approval of Obama’s first year.

CNN Poll: Obama a failure so far, plurality says

By: David Freddoso

01/12/10 2:30 PM EST

On the heels of the earlier CBS poll, a new CNN poll finds that a slight plurality of Americans believe Obama’s presidency has been a failure so far.

Forty-eight percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Tuesday say Obama’s presidency has been a failure so far, with 47 percent saying Obama has been a success. The poll’s January 12 release comes just 8 days before Obama marks one year in the White House.

Obama’s lowest marks come on the budget deficit (62 percent disapprove), health care (59 percent disapprove) and the economy (54 percent disapprove). Obama gets his best mark on his handling of Iraq War, of which 53 percent of respondents approved, and his foreign policy in general, of which 51 percent approved.

One thing to bear in mind: the numbers are probably kind to the president, because this poll sampled U.S. adults instead of registered or likely voters.
Read more at the Washington Examiner.

So, how did we get here?

A good place to start would be the state of the economy. Unemployment is currently at 10%, even though we were told by Obama that if we passed the stimulus bill, unemployment wouldn’t exceed 8%. And even the 10% figure isn’t accurate.

The official rate of 10%, used by the government, is the total unemployment as a percentage of the civilian labor force, known as U3 by the Bureau of Labor statistics. However, if you use the U6 numbers, which is the total of unemployed workers, part time workers and those who want work but quit looking, as a percent of the civilian labor force, is 17.3%. The only reason the unemployment rate did not increase for December was that a large number of people quit looking for work, essentially decreasing the population in the labor force.

Stimulus versus Unemployment

And what about that stimulus bill?

Obama promised, and claimed, that the Stimulus bill was pork free and the antidote to the flailing and failing economy. Well actually, what he said was that earmarks would not be allowed in the stimulus bill. And there are no earmarks to the bill. No, no, in a much more devious manner, the Dems wrote their pork directly into the discretionary spending itself, thus giving themselves the cover to say ‘no earmarks’ while piling on the ‘pork’.

Elements of the Stimulus Bill

Which brings us to deficit spending.

Fifty-six percent of people questioned in a CNBC survey released Friday morning say President Barack Obama and Congress should worrry more about keeping the budget deficit down even if that means delaying the economic recovery. That’s 23 points higher than the 33 percent who feel boosting the economy should be the top priority, even if that means larger deficits now and in the future.

A look at Obama’s spending, as compared to past administrations is rather dramatic.

Deficits by Administration

So what does this mean as we examine a year of Obama?

In early December, a poll found that just 50% prefer Obama to Bush, with 44% preferring Bush.

As Politico states, considering the horrendous numbers of Bush at the end of his administration, having just a 6% gap does not bode well for Obama, especially since his argument for pretty much everything at this point is to blame Bush.

Well, this spring, Rasmussen, USA Today/Gallup and Battleground all had Dems leading the generic ballot by 5%, 10% and 9% respectively. Rasmussen, USA Today/Gallup and Battleground show generic ballot polling at 9% GOP, 3% Dem and 1% GOP respectively as well as Bloomberg polling the GOP at 4%. Considering the losses of the GOP in 2008 and the complete disheartened state of both the GOP and Conservatives in general, this is a rather dramatic turnaround.

Going beyond generic polling, the specifics are even more interesting.

Case in point is the off season elections for governor in Virginia and New Jersey, where the GOP won big in Virginia (double digits) and won New Jersey- a very blue state- by 4 points.

Especially interesting to political watchers is the upcoming Massachusetts’ special election for Kennedy’s senate seat, which is now in play for the GOP. The GOP, such a minority in Massachusetts that they probably warrant protection status, is on the verge of doing what no one thought possible.  

The Dems are the victims of catastrophic success. Their total control of Washington with no fear of GOP checks, made them complacent to the responsibilities that the American people tied to the 2008 elections.

More to the point, the Dems- specifically Obama, Reid and Pelosi- completely misread the dynamics and context of 2008. The American people were financially terrified, extremely disgruntled with the status quo, and completely caught up in the campaign rhetoric of Obama. From where they sat, Obama could possibly be worse. Well, they’ve changed their minds, and Obama helped them do it.

His complete lack of focus on the economy, specifically through job creation, didn’t help. The stimulus is generally regarded now by the people and most experts to have been a failure. The Congresses irresponsible spending, in the face of American households being forced to cut way back, reeked of a political class completely out of touch and tone deaf to the needs of the nation.

Couple this with the pursuit by both the administration and Congress of healthcare reform and Cap & Trade- both seen as not being priorities right now- further inflamed a populace suffering buyers remorse.

Obama’s broken promises, whether in government transparency or no increase taxes, ring even more hollow.

For the Dems, the toll is coming due, and it’ll be a vicious bill. For the GOP, they must learn from this and not fall victim to the Dems same mistakes. Catastrophic success has no party bias. 

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