COMMENTARY | The Quinnipiac Poll, which gives President Barack Obama a 42 percent approval rating and a 48 percent disapproval rating, demonstrates that the president’s post-Tucson Massacre bump is over and he is in serious trouble.
The same poll also showed that Obama’s reelect number was just 41 percent, with 50 percent stating that he does not deserve reelection.
The reasons for President Obama’s low poll numbers are obvious.
First, the economy remains a problem for most people. High unemployment persists, as does a number of other economic indicators that suggest malaise.
Second, the budget deficit remains enormously high. President Obama and his party seem to be more interested in obstructing a solution rather than cooperating in making one. A government shutdown looms and many suspect that Obama and the Democrats are allowing it to happen as a political tactic.
Third, health care reform remains an issue. Just over one year after it was signed into law, the healthcare reform law, known as “Obamacare,” remains even more unpopular than ever.
Finally, the War in Libya and the attendant unrest throughout the Middle East has many people unsettled. While many people believe that saving lives in Libya and even getting rid of Muammar Gadahfi are righteous goals, they find President Obama’s approach to achieving these goals unsettling. In any event, adding a third Middle Eastern war to the two already being fought smacks of a bad habit to some people.
President Obama is also afflicted with a kind of lethargy in the executive, a seeming inability to get out in front of events and lead to influence them. Even his intervention in Libya seemed to be reactive rather than proactive, changing as it does from day to day in its goals and its scope.
People can be angry at a President Bush or a President Reagan for what they perceive as leading the country in the wrong direction. But they will also appreciate that they led somewhere. The most unsettling thing in American politics is for a president to be thought of as rudderless and clueless. Jimmy Carter suffered from that perception during the last months of his administration. Now it is President Obama’s turn.
Can Obama turn things around? He could, but would have to do so by changing his leadership style. He would have to triangulate like President Clinton and hammer out a deal on the budget with Republicans. He would have to act unilaterally like President Bush and surge in Libya to knock out Gadhafi once and for all. He seems currently undisposed to do either.
Source: Obama Gets Lowest Approval, Reelect Score Ever, Quinnipiac University National Poll Finds; More Voters Oppose U.S. Involvement In Libya , Quinnipiac Poll, March 30, 2011