If you want to know why Barack Obama is looking good for reelection despite the our nation’s economic struggles, the new Politico/GWU poll has your answer. 72% of voters in battleground states approve of Obama as a person.
The Politico/GWU poll found that despite 56% of voters saying they are concerned about the economy, President Obama has a 52% job approval rating. Obama only has a 42% approval rating on the economy, but by a margin of 48%-42% he is more trusted to handle the economy than congressional Republicans. Obama is also more trusted to create jobs (47%-43%), healthcare (52%-41%), handle Social Security (50%-37%), keep America safe from terrorism (55%-34%), and more Americans believe that he shares their values (51%-38%). The only issue that the GOP led him on was the deficit, and their lead was within the margin of error (47%-44%).
84% of voters in battleground states said that the death of Bin Laden did not change their support for Obama either way, and 59% of them were either definitely going to vote for Obama or are strongly considering voting for Obama. Only 38% of those polled said that they would definitely not vote for Obama.
When matched up head to head with Mitt Romney and Tim Pawlenty, Obama leads Romney 51%-38%, and Pawlenty 50%-36%.
If it isn’t the death of Bin Laden, then what is raising Obama’s approval numbers? The answer can be found in Obama’s personal popularity. Obama remains very personally popular. Overall 72% of battleground state voters personally like Obama. Of this group, 48% approve strongly of Obama the person, another 24% somewhat approve, 10% were unsure, 4% somewhat disapprove, and 15% strongly disapprove.
Despite the bad economy, these battleground state voters really like Barack Obama. Most Americans are not well informed on the issues. The informed American electorate is a myth. In 2010, 67% of voters got their information from television. The Internet has almost caught newspapers (27%-24%) to be the second most popular destination for information. 31% of Internet users viewed campaign videos online. This is an electorate that watches more than it reads, and Barack Obama plays very well on TV and video.
Since 2008, Republicans have been trying to personally attack or delegitimize Obama through various allegations of un-Americanism. They aren’t doing this just out of hate. They know that their only chance of winning in 2012 is to make Obama less personally popular. They have been trying for years, and they still haven’t made a dent in his personal approval.
When many Americans go to vote on Election Day, they aren’t thinking about issues or policy. Some people are voting for the candidate that they like best. The question do I want to spend the next four years of my life looking at this guy on television is a legitimate one in the minds of many voters.
For as long as there has been polling a bad economy was the one sure thing that makes a president unpopular, but Obama is defying the odds. The President’s personal popularity is politically carrying him through these tough times.
Sometimes the main question for voters is, do I like the guy? If Republicans can’t figure out how to get America to like Obama a whole lot less, they stand little chance of beating him in 2012.
It’s simple. It’s obvious, and it’s the truth.