The Corner

Obama at 50

First Read asks today why Democrats are acting panicked as if Obama is at 35 or 40 percent job approval rather than 50 (or 47–48 if you go by the averages). I’d suggest two reasons. 1) Obama’s approval numbers actually are around 35 or 40 among whites (37 percent in the recent Quinnipiac, 42 in the latest Gallup breakdown), which is why senators and congressmen without significant minority populations in the areas they represent are panicky. 2) I can’t prove it, but I’m guessing that Obama’s job approval numbers still reflect warm personal feelings toward him. His numbers on key domestic issues tend to be even worse. Obama’s personal appeal doesn’t transfer over to Congressional Democrats while the unpopularity of his domestic agenda does (not to mention their own popularity). All of this may be why Obama seems to be holding up okay, while his party begins to crumble around him.

Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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