The AP is trumpeting the headline that Barack Obama’s poll numbers are higher now than they’ve been since the killing of Osama Bin Laden, at 57%. This headline obscures some other data that digs a little deeper and shows how bitterly divided the country is right now over its president.
- Only 42% of voters think the country is on the right track.
- Only 37% say Obama’s tenure has been above average or outstanding, while 36% think it has been below average or poor.
- There is an enormous skepticism about Obama’s ability to deal with the federal deficit. Only 40% of those polled think next year’s economy will be better. And only 25% of those polled think the economy is doing well.
- Here’s where the divide is most clear: In 2009, at the beginning of Obama’s first term, almost 70% of Republicans thought he would improve the economy, while only 21% feel that way now. With independents, the number dropped from roughly 75% to about 33% now. Meanwhile, almost 90% of Democrats like Obama’s performance. What this implies is that not only is there a divide between the Kool-Aid Democrats on one side and clear-eyed Republicans and independents on the other, but those who favor Obama simply ignore the central fact that the economy is failing and the deficit is a behemoth that will crush us all.
In sum, the AP headline may paint a rosy picture of Obama, but a peek beneath the surface reveals that there is a bubble that may only take a pinprick to burst.