The Campaign Spot

Election-driven news and views . . . by Jim Geraghty.

Resurgent Republic Poll: 60% Say Obama Weaker Than Expected


The latest national survey from Resurgent Republic is revealed.

Ed Gillespie, a former RNC chairman, said the result that jumped out the most to him was that 60 percent of respondents said that Obama has been a weaker leader than they expected when his term began; 33 percent said he was “much weaker” than they expected. He says he thinks this helps explain what he calls “incendiary” language coming from President Obama and his allies.

Pollster Whit Ayers says “it’s not just the economy; he promised to be a strong and unifying president, and increasingly, voters doubt that he has been that or that he can be that.”

Among the other results:

By almost every measure, President Obama’s prospects for reelection are bad.

Most Americans:

• Think the country is on the wrong track (67 percent);

• Think his policies have made things worse for most Americans (50 percent);

• Disapprove of Obama’s job performance (50 percent);

• Disapprove of his handling of the economy (57 percent);

• Think it is time to give someone else a chance to be President (52 percent).

Moreover, intensity is very much on the side of those who view Obama unfavorably, including among Independent voters:

• Those who believe he has turned out to be a much weaker leader than they thought he would be outnumber those who believe he turned out to be muchstronger by 33-13 percent (with Independents at 36-7);

• Those who think his policies have made the economy much worse outnumberthose who think they made it much better by 32-13 percent (with Independents at 33-6);

• Those who strongly disapprove of his job performance outnumber those who strongly approve by 36-23 percent (with Independents at 37-14 percent);

• Those who strongly disapprove of his handling of the economy outnumber thosewho strongly approve by 45-18 percent (with Independents at 48-10).

However, it’s not all good news for Republicans:

Independents, who had rated congressional Republicans significantly betterthan congressional Democrats in January, now rate both parties equally poorly. Among Independent voters, the favorable/unfavorable rating of congressional Republicans has moved from 44/40 in January to 43/47 in April to 36/49 today. Independents rated congressional Democrats 31/56 in January, 39/50 in April, and 35/51 today.

Independents think more like Democrats than Republicans on the need for new revenue as part of the solution to the debt problem. Voters overall agree with language that emphasizes a “balanced approach” including eliminating “tax breaks and special deductions” by a 53 to 43 percent margin, including a 52 to 45 percent margin among Independents and a 76 to 20 percent margin among Democrats. Republicans prefer spending cuts alone by a 71 to 27 percent margin.

On the other hand, Americans may be completely oblivious to what the current tax rates are:

BUT, two-thirds of American voters think 20 percent or less is the maximum tax rate the federal government should take from anyone’s income, with remarkable consistency by party. Sixty-five percent of voters say the maximum tax rate should be 20 percent or less, including 71 percent among Republicans, 62 percent among Independents, and 63 percent among Democrats. Just 7 percent of voters say the top tax rate should be 40 percent or higher, including just 11 percent of Democrats.

For a quick refresher, the 25 percent tax rate begins for those filing singly who make $34,501 or more, and those married filing jointly making $69,001 or more. The top tax rate of 35 percent kicks in for single filers or those filing jointly making $379,150 or more.

Tags: Barack Obama , Polling , Resurgent Republic


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