National Review Online highlights a Quinnipiac poll showing President Barack Obama is getting a mediocre 49%-44% approval/disapproval rating among Ohioans, down from 62%-31% in early May. As this is my home state, I’m particularly interested in how the state polls, not to mention that Ohio is always an important bellwether state for national politics. Ohio’s economy continues to suffer as the American economy hemorrhages manufacturing and industrial jobs (jobs which might not be considered “green” enough to survive anyway under the cap-and-trade system on the table). This is in keeping with the recent Rasmussen poll that has the so-called “passion index” widening another point against the President.
A quick note: polls can be an important snapshot of the mood of the country, and a helpful tool in gauging the atmosphere among the voting public, but nobody should live or die by them. Conservatives and Republicans might be heartened that Obama’s numbers are going down, indicating the stratospheric messianic aura about him is fading to mediocrity, and there is surely ample cause to believe that.
It’s hard to imagine, though, that Obama will continue to fall throughout his Presidency. At some point, the economy will begin to turn around, not through massive government stimulus spending, but through the natural economic rebuilding that always takes place after a contracting period. At that point Obama’s numbers will pick up as his supporters try to incorrectly point to the growth of government as the cause.
This is, of course, taking the optimistic view that the economy, through the perseverence and determination of the American people, actually does improve, and that the crushing debts and deficits don’t immediately bankrupt the nation. This may actually be less likely than you might think, given that on top of a massive budget deficit and numerous spending bills, the Obama administration seems hell-bent on handicapping industry with its manufacturer-punishing cap-and-trade system, raising energy costs with the same bill, and adding on to the public debt in a major way with an expensively unsustainable public health option.
What it boils down to is my hope that, for the good of the country, the economy does improve, regardless of whether it means Obama gets a bounce. But the path we’re headed down gives me grave doubt about the nature and strength of a potential recovery, which means that to my reading, Obama might want to get accustomed to lowering poll numbers.