Obama’s Disapproval Rating Almost Doubles with Democrats

A new McClatchy-Marist poll was released today and it contained some that should give both the White House and President a cause for concern as they implement the President’s new centrist strategy. According to the poll, Obama’s approval rating has dropped to a new low of 42%. This decline is being fueled by a near doubling in his disapproval rating among Democrats.

According to McClatchy, Obama is struggling because Democrats are rebelling against his move to the middle. Obama’s approval rating dropped among Democrats from 82% last month to 74% in December. More troubling than the decline in approval is the increase in disapproval. Obama’s disapproval rating with Democrats has jumped from 11% in November to 21% in December. Obama’s rating has also dropped with liberals. He has gone from 78% to 69%, and his disapproval rating has jumped from 14% to 22%. This entire shift can be attributed to Obama’s compromise on the Bush tax cuts, and his base’s outrage and rejection of the deal.

The President could compensate for the loss of some Democrats if his move to the middle was gaining him support with Independents, but as of right now this is not happening. Obama’s approval rating remains flat lined at 39% and his disapproval ratings is stuck at 52%. This White House made the mistake of believing that their base was different from that of the GOP. It isn’t. A significant piece of the Democratic base does not want a compromiser president. They want a fighter. What has most angered the part of the base that is upset is that Obama appeared to quickly give in to the Republican demands on the Bush tax cuts.

The appearance of a quick acquiescence returns us to what I see as the biggest problem this administration has. They don’t understand or engage in the theater of politics. Much of what we see in politics every day is a show designed for the media and the base. The problem for this administration is that they don’t want to engage in the presidential showmanship. For example, let’s take look at what Obama could have done on the issue of the Bush tax cuts. Obama could have come out right away and said, “I am going to be sitting down and engaging in tough negotiations with the Republican leadership. They are going to have to meet certain demands of mine before any deal is reached, and my top demand is good faith gesture of passage of an extension of unemployment benefits.”

Instead of rushing into a deal with Republicans, the White House could have taken couple of weeks to update America on the progress of the meetings. Even if they would have had the framework of a deal hammered out, Obama could have continued to lobby for his priorities. That’s part of the showmanship of politics. Obama could have announced an 11th hour deal on Christmas Eve to extend unemployment benefits and a temporary extension of the tax cuts. The President would have avoided looking like someone who weakly gave in to GOP demands. He would have appeared to a fighter who went tooth and nail with the Republicans and took it down to the wire. With a little patience and few strong public statements, Obama would have avoided a rebellion by his base.

The deal Obama made was good practical politics, but it has been an emotional disaster for some on the left. Much of this backlash is Obama’s own creation. The President spent six weeks campaigning all across America on the issue of no additional tax cuts for the top 2% only to quickly reverse himself a month after Democrats lost the 2010 elections. To the base, this about face is hurtful and confusing. There are some on the left who don’t trust Obama anymore.

The White House needs to start understanding the emotional component of governing. Their statements and decisions have emotional consequences. Obama’s base isn’t as logical and rational as he is. Obama needs to emotionally reconnect, and understand that some on the left want a fighter, not just a decider. The good news is that one strong battle with Republicans will get the base back. They aren’t gone forever. Deep down inside they still support Obama. They just need to see that Obama supports them too.

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12 Replies to “Obama’s Disapproval Rating Almost Doubles with Democrats”

  1. Jason, you hit the nail square on the head. I could not agree more that Obama needs to be more of a communicator and he needs to learn the political gamesmanship and he needs to learn it now. If the President had followed your simple gameplan, he could have avoid part of the outrage from the left. The White House should hire you.
    The deal was the best he could do regardless the outrageous reaction from the left. A little pre-conditioning and his base would have come out swinging, at the Right and not the President.

    Great job, I hope those on the left read it and understand that their anger is the result of bad public relations, and not the deal itself. Yes it wasn’t the perfect Left-inspired solutions, but it will help the majority of Americans. With some pre-thought, Obama could have easily put Republicans in the hot seat and shown the American people he did the best for them.

  2. Great article, Jason. Too bad the people who need to read it won’t. I agree with Muse the White House should hire you. They are piss poor at public relations.

  3. I agree with your comments. One reason that Obama may have rushed to compromise with the Republicans is that they were going to use the tax debate as a stalling tactic to avoid voting on DODT, DREAM, and START in the lame duck session. They don’t want Obama to be able to claim that he passed any important legislation while Democrats were in control of Congress. Sadly, his fellow Democrats are proving to be a greater road block than the Republicans.

  4. Why not send the info to the White House? Speak with a Representative or the President, himself.

    Personally, I have not abandoned our, President. If there is something that I don’t like that he has said or done; I going to the website and send him an e-mail.

  5. Me either. I’m a proud supporter of our President. I agree with the article because PO sometimes forgets that the rest of us aren’t as calm and unemotional as he is, or as smart as he is. He does need to lead us sometimes. But that doesn’t mean his decisions are less right. Poor man. He gets nothing but crap from everyone!

  6. Firstly, the dems in congress had the chance to vote on all this stuff and wouldn’t do it. Screw em. Now Obama had to do what he had to do to get a few million people by. The Congress wasn’t having any part of it before.

    I dont know much about this, but Obama needs to come to an understanding with the Dems in Congress. The cons can vote in a block saying that its an overcast day while passing a resolution that the sky is blue. The Dems couldn’t come to a consensus on what time of day it is.

    The more I read about this agreement the more I dont mind it. The congressional dems fake horra at the bill is cute, but its time they grew up.

  7. Fake horra – I like:-) It’s all show. I’m tired of these clowns acting like they had nothing to do with this. Where were they the last 2 years?

  8. They were busy getting filibustered by the party of no. The repugs care more about there party then actually doing anything good for the country.

  9. when are people in the left gonna realize majority rules,not their worped idea of what reality is.making me wanna join the tea party and do all kinds of work to get liberals out.dont buy obamas move to the center for a second.they want financial crisis to move their agenda foward,must be stopped,very soon

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