President Obama is making it clear he intends to press for a sweeping progressive agenda during his final two years in office. Yet according to a new poll from Fox News, American voters strongly disagree with Obama’s policy prescriptions. More telling, they have an almost existential disagreement with even Obama’s vision of the country.
An overwhelming majority of American voters, 73%, believe that a “dysfunctional family” is a better descriptor of America today than the “tight-knit family” painted by Obama. Only 15% of voters feel safer today than when President Obama first took office. More than a third believe we are less safe today.
Less than 20% of voters think their family is doing financially better than they were when Obama took office. Despite the fact that the economy officially recovered from recession soon after Obama entered the White House, almost one-third of Americans, 28%, say their family is in worse shape financially. This is a sobering statistic considering the economy is supposedly entering its 6th year of economic recovery.
President Obama has seen a slight improvement in his personal approval ratings since the Republican landslide in 2014. On the eve of that election, his net approval rating was -13 points, with 41% approving and 54% disapproving of his job performance. Today, his net approval has improved to -6 points.
Obama’s existential problem is that his proposed policies are much more unpopular than he is. More than half of voters, 54%, believe his policies in the Middle East have failed and a strong plurality believes Obama downplays the threat of radical Islam, for example.
Obama’s chief focus during his State of the Union address were policies he claimed would target assistance to the “middle-class.” Just 35% of voters, however, believe federal policies should specifically benefit the middle-class. More than 60% believe policies should be designed to benefit the entire economy, rather than segments of it.
Americans still disagree with the idea that taxes should be raised on the wealthy to fund benefits for other Americans. Interestingly, there has been no change in number of Americans who believe this throughout Obama’s entire time in office. This appears to be a “hard value,” immune to ceaseless echoes of the alternative view from the bully pulpit.
The voters fundamental disagreement with Obama’s policies ought not to surprise us, given the nation’s political history of the last six years. Obama won election twice, albeit against perhaps the worst Republican presidential campaigns in modern history. His reelection victory in 2012 was far narrower than is commonly remembered today.
Outside of those personal political victories, though, his tenure has been a disaster for the Democrat party and its left-wing policy vision. Twice, American voters have swept Democrats from office. The Republicans have gained a net 14 seats in the Senate since Obama first took office. In the House, the GOP has its largest majority in the modern era.
In statehouses across the country, Republicans hold political power not seen since before the Great Depression. In large swathes of the country, and even many states, the Democrat party simply doesn’t exist as a competitive political force.
President Obama is a singular politician, however. He has no capacity to adapt to changing events or circumstances. Most of the policies he continues to push today are exactly the same as the basket of items he first proposed when he took office. He has not grown, in any meaningful political way, in office.
Unfortunately for him and his legacy, the American public has.