A new Fox News poll finds Democrats with a 7-point lead over Republicans in the generic ballot. When asked which party they would vote for if Congressional elections were held today, 46% of voters answer Democrat while 39% pick Republicans. Among those voters interested in the upcoming election, however, Republicans edge Democrats by a single point, 45-44%. This 8 point swing towards the GOP is the “enthusiasm gap,” on which the November elections may turn.
Overall, only 42% of voters approve of Obama’s job performance. Almost half of voters, 49% disapprove. These numbers are up from the record lows he earned in early March. Obama’s numbers, though, are marginally worse than they were four years ago, just weeks before the 2010 GOP landslide victory.
Obama’s job approval numbers are even worse on specific issues, though. A sign of how bad recent news has been for Obama is the fact that his “highest” approval ratings are on the economy. Just 43% of voters approve of his handling of the economy, while “only 51% disapprove. His approval ratings on other issues are much worse: Health Care (42%); Iraq (37%); Foreign Policy (35%); Immigration (33%); Ukraine (31%); and, Israel-Palestinian Conflict (30%).
Obama’s disapproval numbers are highest on immigration, with 57% of voters opposed to his handling of the issue. Obama seems to have a reverse-Midas political touch. The more an issue is in the headlines, the worse voters view his handling of it. If Obama disappeared for the next few weeks, his approval numbers would likely rebound.
Despite Obama’s troubles, the GOP has an image problem of its own. Democrats hold a 5-point edge in political affiliation of poll respondents. The problem for Democrats, though, is that this is the only factor holding up Obama’s approval. Among Independents, the President’s approval rating is just 30%.
The Republican edge among those most interested in the upcoming election may be enough to deliver another lopsided GOP victory. Obama won’t be around forever, though. The GOP will eventually have to make its own case to the public.