July 26, 2009

"4 out of 5 of the people who disapprove of Obama, strongly disapprove. Did even GWB ever have such skewed disapproval numbers?"

Incredible that Obama's "strongly disapprove" number has hit 40%.

I'd say this is the phenomenon usually identified by the phrase you either love him or you hate him. So Obama is becoming one of those characters that people don't feel lukewarm about. Another way of putting that is: He's polarizing.

And yet Obama was going to bring us together.

Hey, remember Vicki Lynn Cole?

60 comments:

Fred4Pres said...

For people who care about policy, you are either going to love or hate it. There is little inbetween on that.

For the bigger section of the country that does not really care one way or the other, all they care about is there taxes being low and the economy being good. Taxes are definitely not going lower and the eonomy is still bad. This erosion will continue, especially if Obama assists it with more off the cuff comments in press conferences.

Flexo said...

Don't worry - Pravda will continue to report that Obama is universally LOVED in a way that no person has ever been loved and adored in history.

They did the same thing with Bill Clinton -- continually reporting that he was oh-so popular and liked, when in fact he never got so much as a majority of the vote and at least half of the country celebrated his leaving office.

I will say this though, policy-wise, I think even the most diehard conservative would trade Bill Clinton for Obama in a heartbeat. The only problem is the hubris level of both is fairly even. Obama has the edge only because he has no checks on his power.

Fred4Pres said...

I will say this though, policy-wise, I think even the most diehard conservative would trade Bill Clinton for Obama in a heartbeat.

I would say yes, but I have to conceed Rush is right about this, Clinton was only pragmatic because he had to be. Clinton was restrained by Newt Gingrich. Obama would benefit (ironically) if Pelosi and the Dems (especially) went into minority status in the House.

The Crack Emcee said...

Count me as someone who can't stand him.

dac said...

No I don't know ms. cole and I wont pay the Grey Lady to find out

Are you shilling online subscriptions to the NYT now?

Fred4Pres said...

Talking about strong disapproval...

Quick call 911! I fear for this baby.

Bissage said...

Either you love [fill in the blank] or you hate [fill in the blank].

There is no other stimulus for which my response is more predictable.

Every time I hear that I think to myself: “No, that is false.”

And in this I mildly resent being reminded that, for me, there is very little left of the illusion of free will.

And yet, I have never, to date, called anyone stupid for saying such a thing.

This is my choice.

I suffer like Jesus.

Deep.

somefeller said...

No surprise here. I've said for years that once the right-wing hate machine got rolling on Obama, he'd be despised and vilified in the worst way by his adversaries, many of whom thrive and feed on that sort of thing. As an erstwhile Hillary Clinton supporter in the primaries, one of the more frustrating things for me was the view by some of Obama's more naive supporters that he would somehow be immune to the effects of the frenzy that comes from the Limbaughs and Hannitys of the world. But, oh well, live and learn for those guys I guess. In any case, better to be despised and in the White House than the alternative.

Maguro said...

Oooh, the right-wing hate machine is back! So scary to have people strongly disapproving of the President. How hatingly hateful...just full of hate, those strong disapprovers are.

Stop the hate, everyone, and get back in line and love the President like a patriotic American should.

bearbee said...

In his final month in office Bush hit 43% strongly disapproved with a -30 approval index.

O has another 41 months to go.

For those who wish you can link to the health care bill and/or read some comments Twittered by Peter Fleckstein who is reading the bill.

MadisonMan said...

What's the difference, really, between disapprove and strongly disapprove? Is it even quantifiable?

I wonder why pollsters added more categories.

Big Mike said...

Why should anybody be surprised by the level of polarization? Long before the latest Rasmussen poll all you had to do was look at the comments on preceding posts. With the exception of Beth, most of the supporters of the president pop in, offer up a few talking points gleaned from Daily Kos or Journolist or some such, their phony "facts" get shot down, and their level of discourse degenerate into suggestions that we engage in autocopulation or else they invite us to perform fellatio on them. That's not going to help anybody like the man, is it?

Dick Nixon had a hard core of 25% who stood by him no matter what, and Dubya was slightly below that when he left office. I'm guessing that Obama's approval ratings will drop down to somewhere in the 22 - 27% range and stay there until he's booted out in the 2012 Democrat primaries or in the General election. The question is how soon this will happen. I'm still offering up an "engineering estimate" here, but I'm guessing sometime in summer of 2011.

Greg Toombs said...

He's polarizing.

That's clearly what Obama wants.

Let's make a list of all the people Obama has vilified since his inauguration. I'll start with the police, the rich and Wall Streeters. There's a lot more but it's too early for me this morning.

I'm not a fan of Obama.

EnigmatiCore said...

I don't think there is anything really head-scratching here. Something else Rasmussen measured gets to the crux of the matter:

"The President is now seen as politically liberal by 76%. That’s up six points from a month ago, 11 points since he was elected, and the highest total to date. Forty-eight percent (48%) now see him as Very Liberal, up 20 points since he was elected"

Consistently, about 40% of Americans self-identify as conservative and about 20% self-identify as liberal. It is completely unsurprising that as Obama comes to be viewed as a liberal that nearly all of the self-identified conservatives would disapprove, nearly all of the self-identified liberals would approve, and a few percentage points of the moderates would approve and a few percentage points would disapprove.

The Drill SGT said...

VDH did a nice piece the other day on how Obama's Presidency would be different if he had only governed in a manner consistent with all his talk about post-partisan, reaching across the aisle, etc, etc.

His adminstration has started out in a very partisan fashion gambling on early successes and getting failures. That doesn't give him anything to fall back on except his celebrity status and he is soooo over exposed, that he's burning through that rapidly as well. It's going to be a long dark 3 years.

EnigmatiCore said...

"In any case, better to be despised and in the White House than the alternative."

Do you believe that the Carter presidency was a net-positive for the liberal agenda?

AllenS said...

Dear Bark H. Obama,

As a recipient of the $250 social security stimulus, if you give me like $25,000, I'll love you long time.

PatCA said...

LOL, AllenS, that says it all. All the folks feeding at our growing govmint trough love him. Like the people in our working class neighborhoods who are getting free federal lunches and breakfasts served up on the school grounds. When do the gladiators arrive?

When presidents act, numbers jump. He is trying to change our entire economy and culture--I'm glad people are interested and increasingly critical.

Darcy said...

Big surprise, eh? I'm thankful that he's exposed himself as so blatantly liberal/socialist. Because he, uh...is?

But the words coming from his lips were so dreamy during the campaign! People forgot to actually listen.

NKVD said...

I know we all have a price, but we shouldn't sell ourselves for too little. I am holding out for 25 billion dollars. That amount might actually be worth something in a post-O world.

Darcy said...

Yeah, what's a long time, AllenS? I don't know. That wouldn't last me long?

EnigmatiCore said...

"What's the difference, really, between disapprove and strongly disapprove?"

Speaks to intensity. A person who feels strongly is more likely to act (for voters, by voting) than one who does not.

Jim said...

I keep thinking back to the YouTube video that made the rounds last year of the woman who was absolutely sure that Obama was going to pay her mortgage and for her gas, etc.

While she was an obviously extreme example, I think there was an awful lot of those kinds of hyperbolic expectations of Obama.

[Largely those were of his own making, after all a guy who claims that the waters will recede and that we are the ones we have been waiting for is obviously trading on semi-idolatrous imagery.]

How does that woman feel today? Is she doubling down on her wishful thinking, is she more realistic in her expectations, or is she shattered to find that Obama isn't anything close to the image he attempted to project?

It's not an original thought, but people never want to admit that they were wrong. As with the Iraq War, it is much more comfortable to believe that they were "lied to" than admit that reached the wrong conclusion. So I believe it is with Obama as well.

So many people put so much faith into Obama's candidacy (and that's what it boiled down to, faith, because he had not much more than pure rhetoric to offer), that when the reality failed to meet up with the promise there was always going to be an inevitable feeling of betrayal from a significant portion of his supporters.

They thought they were buying a 5,000BTU air conditioner and wound up with a desk fan. Are they going to blame themselves for allowing themselves to be so easily led? Of course not. They're going to convince themselves that they were lied to instead. It's just human nature.

That's why you're seeing so many people who "strongly disapprove" of Obama. More and more people are deciding that he lied to them in order to get them to vote for him.

[It's reminiscent of what happened to Bush's approvals. People convinced themselves that Bush lied to them about Iraq, so they turned on him in a very visceral way.]

The problem for Obama isn't just his falling approval ratings which are problematic enough in and of themselves. The problem is the reason those ratings are falling is that he is losing credibility. Like the boy who cried wolf, fewer and fewer people believe him when he says the stimulus is working, that cap and trade is a jobs bill or that his healthcare fantasy of expanding coverage can be done without massive new government spending.

It's increasingly likely that even if unemployment nubmers begin to drop within the next 12 months it will be too late. People will have stopped believing anything he has to say.

Jason (the commenter) said...

EnigmatiCore : Consistently, about 40% of Americans self-identify as conservative and about 20% self-identify as liberal.

Dear Mr. President,

You are a minority, and not because of the color of your skin. Perhaps you thought a tide was turning and Conservatism was dead. But consider this: perhaps you were chosen for purposes of self-flagellation. Conservatives are known for such things. Also for drama and revolutions. ]

Tread softly in the lions den; you're too pragmatic to have the faith of Daniel.

Paul Zrimsek said...

Obama was going to bring us together except for the ones whose opinions don't count. There's the source of your 40%, and there's more where that came from.

Pogo said...

Near Mount Rainier last week, I could see Emmons Glacier on the eastern slope, its terminus melting to form a milky river.

Reflecting on that scene on the train back home, I considered how slow-moving and glacier-like has been the post-Hooverian American state, as it makes its inexorable descent.

On its crushing path downwards, it will squeeze from us every drop it can. But this pressure will yield no diamonds; instead, it eventually grinds its subjects extremely finely.

Whether the water and sand disapprove of the process remains unrecorded.

Jim said...

"A person who feels strongly is more likely to act (for voters, by voting) than one who does not."

And this is of vital importance in off-year elections such as 2010. Typically only the most motivated voters go to polls in non-presidential elections.

As bearbee pointed out, Obama's passion index is rapidly approaching Bush's 2008 numbers, and even he admits that we haven't nearly seen the end of the rise in unemployment numbers.

Think about how 2008 turned out for Republicans - or even 2006 if you want to compare apples to apples. That's what 2010 is shaping up to be for Democrats barring a miraculous turnaround by the end of this year.

[Which, ironically enough, it could begin to do if cap-and-trade and ObamaCare go down to defeat in the fall. Much of the uncertainty in the economy will then dissipate and we may see a siginificant uptick in business activity. If I were a Democrat concerned about my electoral prospects for 2010, killing those bills would be my first priority.]

The Real Barack said...

Look Pogo- give me a chance.

Let me be clear. Once I transform health care, I will do the same for education with govt paid pre-school right up through college. All schools must get more money from the govt.

Then, I will move on to your bad food habits and finally your poor choices in TV channels and enetrtainment.

That's what I want to achieve in my first term.

Darcy said...

Hey, Barack! You forgot throwing grandpa and granny under the bus. They cost too much, after all.

Rialby said...

My initial reaction is sadness. Sad for this country so divided. Sad for Obama who was taught by syncophants to believe he could do no wrong. Sad for his supporters who invested so much emotion in his ascendancy to the Presidency.

One would hope that he changes course and steers towards the middle but there is no evidence to suggest that dream can become reality.

section9 said...

THIRD BUSH TERM, BABY!


THIRD BUSH TERM!!!!


Liberals-people who don't get that P.T. Barnum had a valid argument.

rhhardin said...

I'd recommend going back to bribes and breaking kneecaps.

Darcy said...

I'm not sad at all. I'm mightily pissed at the people who voted this man into office. If/when we have avoided Obamacare and cap and TAX, I will calm down. Not that these voters care what I think.

I hoped. For a bit. It didn't take long to see that idea as futile with regard to Obama's intentions.

Darcy said...

And hi, Pogo!

Pogo said...

Back at ya, Darcy.

Steven said...

I will say this though, policy-wise, I think even the most diehard conservative would trade Bill Clinton for Obama in a heartbeat.

Clinton wasn't Clinton until the congressional Democrats were massacred.

AllenS said...

Darcy said...
"Yeah, what's a long time, AllenS?"

Do you know any Viet Nam vets? If so, ask them, and they'll tell you want the phrase means, and how long the love will last.

Darcy said...

AllenS: Oh. ;-)

Synova said...

I met a lady once who announced, as we met even, that people either loved or hated her.

I thought that was very strange because who makes that sort of effort? We have a few friends we "love" but most of our friends are acquaintances who we get along with and socialize with without liking or disliking them much either way and most of our not-friends are the same only we either find them slightly annoying or even just don't bother because we're busy, nothing about them at all. There might be one or two people we have to bite our tongue around or we wish would just stay in their own cubicle and shut-up... but we deal... because we are adults. I've got one fellow on a forum where he and I acknowledge that we have a personality conflict and simply can not get along but we also publicly acknowledge that we're certain the other person is a good person, it's just one of those things.

So this lady says "People either love me or hate me" and I thought that was very odd.

But I figured it out.

She didn't allow anything other than those two extremes. If you didn't *love* her with your attention and responses to her, she did not allow anything in between that and hate. There was no space for being a cool acquaintance or even an acquaintance of the friendly sort that exchanged a wave or nod and continued on her own business.

You had to *love* her or you were her enemy.

I was quickly her enemy.

I've never met someone like that in my life, before or since.

Synova said...

"Do you know any Viet Nam vets? If so, ask them, and they'll tell you want the phrase means, and how long the love will last."

In the Philippines I'd only heard the term "short time".

(No, not to *me* but guys talk and sometimes the girls make their offers even when you're standing right next to your man and I *think* it was one of the options on the hotel rates for rooms.)

Cedarford said...

section9 said...
THIRD BUSH TERM, BABY!
THIRD BUSH TERM!!!!
Liberals-people who don't get that P.T. Barnum had a valid argument.


Oh, I'd add in "values conservatives" which gave us the excretable reckless spender Bush II, now trying to foist Palin on the Party. Who said they hated McCain but saluted the hero POW and said, "he may be treacherous and incoherent...but by God, guns, and the flag he wraps himself in - it's his turn."

PT Barnum attracts a diverse clientale.

After the TelePrompter President, who knows what "gift" the system will proffer on the public and the collapsing Superpower that is America??
Bring on the military junta and the 2nd Constitutional Convention.

Joe said...

Since before Obama was elected, my wife's very liberal online friends never defended him. Ever. They attacked Bush, McCain, Palin and everyone else, but they never defended Obama. After he was elected, they said nothing about him until very recently and now they are going on the attack again, but still won't defend him.

This is reflected here on Althouse. The liberal posters attack other posters, right wingers, Limbaugh, etc., but very few defend Obama and even fewer defend his policies with specifics.

Bruce Hayden said...

I would say yes, but I have to conceed Rush is right about this, Clinton was only pragmatic because he had to be. Clinton was restrained by Newt Gingrich. Obama would benefit (ironically) if Pelosi and the Dems (especially) went into minority status in the House.

I disagree to some extent. My view, almost from the first, was that Bill Clinton was a pragmatic opportunist, out for himself and his immediately family. At least until she ran against Obama last year, I always saw his wife as the liberal ideologue. I still think that what Bill Clinton liked was the power, sex, and the intellectual challenge.

And this is part of why I think that so many are going negative on Obama. He is a liberal ideologue. He was able to convince everyone while he was running that he was some sort of third way middle of the road candidate. I don't know how he did it, since he told us all along what he really wanted to do as President. Still, a lot of people projected a lot of stuff onto him.

The problem here with Obama is that he has let his ideology get in the way of governing. The "stimulus" bill did no such thing, but rather, just paid of liberal constituencies. His budget was bloated and filled with 8,000 or so earmarks. He botched the auto takeover, and, again put paying off political constituencies above the good of the country. And now he isn't flexing one inch on either the environment or health care. All in the midst of probably the worst recession of most of our lives. At a time that we need tax cuts, he is trying to raise them to pay for programs that we really don't need, at least with that level of urgency.

I may be overly generous, but I just don't see Bill Clinton having made those decisions if he had been in the same positions. Rather, when he had to flex due to circumstances, he put the best face on it and did.

Can anyone here envision what Obama is going to do when he is faced with a Republican Congress? He may only be faced with a Republican House after this next election (given the dynamics of the Senate election cycles), but I just don't see him being all that generous or bipartisan, and once the Republicans have a national podium again (like the House), his total incapability of being bipartisan is going to be glaringly obvious.

Bruce Hayden said...

Interestingly though, despite disapproving of the job that Obama is doing strongly, almost vehemently, I don't hate the guy, or anything close to it. I sometimes think that I should, with the damage that he has done, and continues to do, to this country. But I can't.

Of course, if I were to hate anyone in politics (and hate is such a strong word that I hope I never use it for anyone we talk about), I think that it would be his handlers (excluding his teleprompter), and maybe also a lot of the liberal elite who think they are so smart, spending my money, instead of their own, to solve what they envision to be the country's problems. People like Pelosi, Kennedy, Kerry, Rockefeller, etc. And those who exploit their power for their own good at our expense, like Murtha and Dodd.

somefeller said...

There's a lot of jumping up and down here for poll numbers that are still generally favorable for Obama with regard to job approval and personal approval (two different items). Rasmussen isn't the only pollster in town, after all (see Gallup, for example), and the GOP isn't exactly pulling in support. Also, let's remember that some of the dissatisfaction with Obama is coming from liberals who feel he isn't doing enough for their causes.

Obama had a bad week, much of it self-inflicted with the Gates comments. But despite everything, it looks like he'll have his Supreme Court nominee approved in a few days, and some sort of health care reform approved by the end of the year. People like a winner, and I suspect you'll see numbers turning then.

Bruce Hayden said...

[Which, ironically enough, it could begin to do if cap-and-trade and ObamaCare go down to defeat in the fall. Much of the uncertainty in the economy will then dissipate and we may see a siginificant uptick in business activity. If I were a Democrat concerned about my electoral prospects for 2010, killing those bills would be my first priority.]

That is a dilemma that I think a lot of us face. Now that ObmaCare and Tax and Bribe (aka Cap and Trade) are in serious trouble, the stock market is rebounding. If the Democrats in Congress and President Obama were to just do nothing else right now, I think that we would come out of this recession just fine.

But, if either of the later bills passes and becomes law, we are highly likely to have a Republican House after 2010, and maybe even the Senate. And if they both pass and become law, I don't see the Democrats retaking power for a generation. In the case of health care "reform", every time that grandma is denied an operation or people can't find a doctor you like or a specialist close, they are going remember why that was, that it is all due to a brain dead "reform" scheme that was implemented unbelievably badly for ideological and venal reasons.

Synova said...

"Interestingly though, despite disapproving of the job that Obama is doing strongly, almost vehemently, I don't hate the guy, or anything close to it. I sometimes think that I should, with the damage that he has done, and continues to do, to this country. But I can't."

What he said.

Bruce Hayden said...

Obama had a bad week, much of it self-inflicted with the Gates comments. But despite everything, it looks like he'll have his Supreme Court nominee approved in a few days, and some sort of health care reform approved by the end of the year. People like a winner, and I suspect you'll see numbers turning then.

Since Judge Sotomayor is Hispanic, she could have two heads, and will still be confirmed. Obama has 60 votes in the Senate, and that is all it takes (and while the Democrats filibustered a lot of lower court judges, they knew they couldn't do Supreme Court nominees). Plus, of course, Republicans are far more likely to give a President deference here than Democrats do - note Obama's justification for voting against both Justices Roberts and Alito.

I am more optimistic about the fate of health care "reform". So far, Obama, Pelosi, et al., have shown absolutely zero interest in, or ability to, compromise on anything. And without a lot of it, there isn't going to be any health care "reform" bill passed. Pressure is just going to ramp up as more and more Americans learn what this means to their pocketbooks and the care that they and their families can expect.

EnigmatiCore said...

" still generally favorable for Obama with regard to job approval"

Depends on the definition of 'generally'. In polls of all adults, there are more saying they approve than disapprove. In polls of likely voters, this is not the case. Further, if one compares Obama to other Presidents, he fares near the bottom in job approval at the same stage of the first term (and of those in the same ballpark, only Carter was trending downward in the same way).

traditionalguy said...

BO is suffering from a reaction similar to the moment in Wizard of Oz that Dorothy saw the real wizard behind the curtain of seductive powers emanating from his control room. We still love and respect the Presidency from memories of Lincoln, Washington, Jackson, TR etc. So there is still time for Obama to atart acting his real self and win us over. That assumes there is a real self under his con-man skills. He will still win 90% of the black, hispanic, muslim and newer immigrants vote for being a Dem. So the next election will be very close, and we had better start now demanding that voter ID by drivers liscense or other photo and pre-registration laws be enacted.

Ralph L said...

Bill Clinton was ineffectual (thank goodness), not non-ideological, and only pragmatic in the sense that he got rolled easily. Remember how often he stepped in it and made himself look weak the first six months. About the time he'd regrouped to launch Hillarycare, the Trooper sex story and Whitewater hit the fan.

Dumb Plumber said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dust Bunny Queen said...

Interestingly though, despite disapproving of the job that Obama is doing strongly, almost vehemently, I don't hate the guy, or anything close to it. I sometimes think that I should, with the damage that he has done, and continues to do, to this country. But I can't.

I can. I do.

I hate anyone who does purposeful harm. Even if they 'think' in their ideological purity that they are doing right they do harm, they are deserving of disdain and even hate when it becomes apparent, as in the case of Obama, they don't care. They don't care even about the enormity of the harm they are doing and they...Obama, his wife, his handlers and all of those who are enabling and profiting by the harm that is being done, deserve hatred.

Hatred at the very least.

Pastafarian said...

"Interestingly though, despite disapproving of the job that Obama is doing strongly, almost vehemently, I don't hate the guy, or anything close to it."

I know how you feel; I don't really hate him either -- YET.

Once his $24 trillion shopping spree bill comes due, and cap-and-tax and the "employee free choice act" finish off manufacturing in the US for good, I'll hate him. If he does as much damage as he's promised he will, I'll hate him (and his cohorts in congress, and his useful-idiot supporters) as much as I've ever hated anyone.

These aren't just abstract theories he's peddling; a few ignorant assholes who have never run anything bigger than a lemonade stand are attempting to destroy and remake our entire economy to fit their half-ass undergrad Che Guevara fantasies. People's livelihoods are at stake; I actually worry about my children's future.

If that degree of arrogance and malice isn't worthy of pure white-hot hatred, I don't know what is.

You know what? I've changed my mind in mid-comment. I hate the son-of-a-bitch.

mariner said...

Bruce Hayden:
But, if either of the later bills passes and becomes law, we are highly likely to have a Republican House after 2010, and maybe even the Senate. And if they both pass and become law, I don't see the Democrats retaking power for a generation.


You have a touching faith in our electoral process that I no longer share.

Democrats have so thoroughly corrupted elections that I don't know if it will be possible to turn them out of office.

Der Hahn said...

Polarizing?

That word, I do not think it means what you think it means.

If the difference between Obama's strongly approve and strongly disapprove number was small, then maybe you could say people loved him or hated him.

It's not small and it keeps growing.

downtownlad said...

Prediction: For Obama's entire Presidency, Ann will never quote a non-Rasmussen poll when it comes to Obama's approval rating.

That can go for the past as well - she has yet to quote a non-Rasmussen poll.

downtownlad said...

Just like Ann has failed to mention anything about the Dow Jones industrial Average since it was in the 6000's.

raf said...

I can't believe you guys don't understand this: OBAMA IS NOT POLARIZING.

The 40% of the people who disapprove of him are the ones who are polarizing. If only it weren't for them, we could all get along.

Invisible Man said...

Let's not beat around the Bush. The people who hate Obama, hated him day one with little to go by other than that he's a Democrat and his name is funny. The case of ODS is so far stronger than what we saw about BDS that it isn't funny. Just reading this site and watching how unhinged from reality the ODS'ers is example enough. He's a Muslim, He's a Socilaist, He's Hitler, He wants to kill your Grandma, He wants to force abortions. There is no charge that the ODS'ers won't jump on. Nothing but hate fuels some of these people.