The Campaign Spot

Is Another Big Dip in Obama’s Approval Ahead?

Throughout 2009, my reader “Number Cruncher” would look at the polling in New Jersey, plug the breakdown among Democrats, Republicans, and independents into his own sense of how the electorate would look on Election Day, and, almost every time, conclude that Chris Christie would win by a few percentage points. (In January, he assessed a late Massachusetts poll here.)

Recently, Number Cruncher thought that the reemergence of the illegal-immigration issue — and in particular, Democrats lining up against Arizona’s law, and then applauding Calderone’s criticism — might end up being a big factor. Yesterday he weighed in:

Drudge has teased Rasmussen Results with Obama at 44 percent . . . I believe this is a VERY major development. Unlike some previous dips (for example Cambridge Cops), this dip will have lasting implications, because this issue is not going to go away. In fact I would say this issue has more staying power than healthcare (I don’t believe its more important) because changes to healthcare will come relatively slowly (i.e. we can forget about it now); immigration reform is a hot issue with states passing their own laws in defiance of the lack of federal action. As the immigration debate continues, he could actually dip below 40 percent. Last month it was hard to picture the GOP with a more favorable conditions going into the mid-terms; that has changed. Immigration or should I say ILLEGAL immigration debate has caught the attention of the country. The Arizona Law, even in the most liberal states polls net positive. Nationally, the Arizona law polls 55%-33%-12%, which indicates that 62.5% with an opinion favor the new Law (55%/88%=62.5%). With a nation in extreme debt, the last thing the mainstream voter wants is a border policy which allows more people to drain on our already stressed public assistance services, this includes many who are drawing on those services, who are life long Democrats.

This morning, Rasmussen puts Obama’s approval rating at a new low, 42 percent. Gallup is not showing this phenomenon quite yet.

Today, Number Cruncher writes in:

Can’t say I didn’t see this coming, the poll movement clearly tracked to real events. Immigration Reform killed Bush because he base never trusted him again. The Immigration/secure our borders debate isn’t a trust issue for Democrats, but it has had another nasty effect. The debate has “outed” Obama and Democrats in general. Even the most casual voter, now clearly understands that Obama’s priorities are not commensurate with defending the image of the country; real bad perception to be stuck with. I speak to you as one who is not crazy about the AZ Law, but one who clearly understands it I would not be surprised if Monday Night polling was under 40%. Forget any notion of 30-to 40 seats. Try 60 to 80.

We’ll see; the logic is sound, but there have been times where I thought Obama’s numbers would sink and they didn’t; and events that I thought were second-tier issues (the Cambridge police comment) have seemed to drive bigger swings than I expected. If we do see a slump in Obama’s approval in multiple polls, I wonder if the greater factor will be illegal immigration, or the perception that nothing’s been fixed in the Gulf Coast after a month . . .


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It’s all familiar and boring, the recasting of an American archetype into a new mold to instruct, because they can’t come up with archetypes of their own.