It is seven months before election day and President Barack Obama finds himself in an increasingly precarious position. He is unable to get to 50 percent in the Realclearpolitics polling averages of either his job approval rating or his head-to-head matchups with likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney. Perhaps even more ominous, the former Massachusetts Governor is only five points behind the president, and Romney has not even secured his party nomination yet. At the same time, the generic Republican Congressional ballot is polling ahead of the Democrats.
President Obama’s presidency is now 39 months old, and his economic recovery is 33 months old. He has expanded federal debt by $5 trillion, and the Federal Reserve Board has added an additional $2 trillion to the economy through its “quantitative easing” bond-buying program. With that kind of government “stimulus” underway you would think we would be in the midst of the greatest economic boom in history. Yet job creation and economic growth are weak, and the general economy is a “disaster,” as Obama advisor David Axelrod says. The share of national income going to the wealthiest top 1% is at its highest level since the 1920s, as the president himself said yesterday.
The president’s job approval rating has been hovering in the upper 40th percentile since mid-February. So we are not talking about Jimmy Carter or even George H.W. Bush-type numbers — Obama is stronger than that. However, after suffering brutally bad midterm election results 16 months ago, he has only improved his job approval by three points, and still remains in territory that is unlikely to get him re-elected. As for the election prospects of Democrats in Congress, a president with ratings as weak as Obama’s is likely to continue to hurt his party come November.