Tuesday :: Jul 23, 2013

The Numbers Start Slipping

by Steve

The inability of Team Obama to translate a strong reelection in November into a hit-the-ground running political and policy agenda for the second term has manifested itself in declining poll numbers for the president nationally and in California, where polling shows that Democrats are increasingly disillusioned with Obama.

The media ascribes these poll numbers to the conventional wisdom roster of reasons, including distractions like Sandy Hook, Hurricane Sandy, the GOP scandal machine, and recent NSA-related revelations, but this reasoning needs another look. Hurricane Sandy didn’t hurt the president. Sandy Hook did hurt the president, but he wasn’t an innocent bystander. The public saw that he wasn’t interested enough to go hard and fast at the NRA to get something done. The GOP scandal machine worked for a while because Obama’s team, so adept at handling crises in campaign mode, was seen as inept and unprepared for everyday challenges in the White House. As for the NSA-related issues, I’ve seen no ongoing poll numbers yet that show large public opinion slippage for the president over these revelations.

No, I think the declining poll numbers are due to what I identified several days ago: a perception that with more than three years to go in this presidency, there’s little evidence that this White House has a plan or the ability to carry out a remaining agenda against an opposition bent on doing nothing and getting away with it.

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