Think President Obama is popular? Think again

According to Gallup, President Obama ranks among the lowest presidents in terms of second term popularity.  In fact, he’s tied with President George W. Bush as the lease popular overall

While the mainstream press routinely reports that President Obama is riding high and that Republicans are reeling, Gallup tells a rather different story about the popularity of our newly reelected president.  Across Gallup’s entire history of presidential job-approval polling — dating back to 1945 — every president but one has had a higher job-approval rating in the January following his reelection than Obama has.  No president has had a lower rating than Obama’s.

While 52% may be comforting in terms of trying to prevail in an election, it does not set a very robust baseline from which to launch a second term.  (Interesting note: Reagan, Nixon, and Eisenhower’s approval ratings at this stage of their respective presidencies dwarf President Obama’s.) 

Michael Barone explains why so many pundits (including himself) misjudged the election

As usual, Keith Backer at the Battleground Watch blog has some really good information about the election.  (If you don’t frequent his blog, and you’re an enthusiastic election follower, then I would recommend checking it out.)

Dick Morris is back! (With his analysis of the election)

Though he swung and missed on his election prediction, Dick Morris is back with a postmortem of what went wrong. The overall reason, he cites, is due to the failure of Republican voters to show up. The core arguments he raises are threefold:

First, Romney’s get out the vote software, famously titled ORCA, failed on Election Day, impacting the turnout of conservative leaning voters.

Second, Republicans and the Romney campaign failed to effectively rebut the wave of negative advertising launched against him throughout the summer.

Third, super storm Sandy froze the election and its related polling, thus making it difficult to gauge where the Romney campaign’s position was going into the home stretch. Also, the storm provided President Obama with a short few days to seem presidential, an achievement many would argue alluded him throughout the campaign (and the prior 4 years).

But the real reason is that the whites who supported Romney didn’t turn out to vote. Just look at the fact, brought to my attention by National Review and Washington Examiner columnist Byron York, that Obama carried Ohio by 107,000 votes (some are still being counted) and that Romney got about 100,000 fewer votes than McCain! (2,677,820 for McCain v. 2,583,580 for Romney). Romney really lost by failing to turn out his base even as Obama was doing a very good job of getting his to the polls.
Why was the white vote so low? Why did so many anti-Obama voters stay home? The immediate cause was the total failure of the ORCA system for getting out the vote. This new hi tech gadgetry had never been beta tested and crashed repeatedly on Election Day. It was supposed to target the Romney supporters who had not yet voted and to give canvassers interactive maps of where to find them and to keep them appraised if they voted. But the volunteers who were to use the system to find the voters had not been adequately trained in their use and the system itself was flawed.
But the failure of the white vote to turn out was also because neither the Romney campaign nor any of the super PACs rebutted Obama’s attacks on the Republican candidate. Unanswered, the attacks transformed Romney’s Bain Capital experience into a nightmare of outsourcing and callous layoffs. Had Romney’s people or the Super PACs answered the attacks and pointed to the splendid record of job creation at Bain and told the stories of the failing companies he turned around, these voters would likely have voted and Romney would have won.

What the interest in succession says about Obama

Is the United States really in danger of a secession movement?  The short answer is obviously no.  But that is asking the wrong question: why do people across all 50 states (hundreds-of-thousands of people, by the way) feel the urge to leave the Union?  We didn’t see this type of movement after the election of George W. Bush in 2004, even though he was about as popular as President Obama during his reelection.

Many would argue that this is an overreaction to a difficult election loss.  We know that President Obama’s victory on Election Day had less to do with an affirmation of his policies, and more to do with his abilities as a campaigner.

It wasn’t that President Obama road a grown swell of support and reaffirmation of his presidency.  Rather, it was that he was seen as lesser of two evils by many.  For the first time in history, an American President was elected with less support than his first term.  President Obama even used behavior scientists to assist him in manipulating the public to secure his victory (not to begrudge him the strategy, as it worked):

Less well-known is that the Obama campaign also had a panel of unpaid academic advisers. The group — which calls itself the “consortium of behavioral scientists,” or COBS — provided ideas on how to counter false rumors, like one that President Obama is a Muslim. It suggested how to characterize the Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, in advertisements. It also delivered research-based advice on how to mobilize voters.

“In the way it used research, this was a campaign like no other,” said Todd Rogers, a psychologist at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and a former director of the Analyst Institute. “It’s a big change for a culture that historically has relied on consultants, experts and gurulike intuition.”

Obama prevailed by suppressing Republican and independent voters.  His carpet bombing of key states with negative advertising prevailed in making Romney appear radioactive and thus, suppressed those voters who would have otherwise carried the Governor to victory.  Michael Medved discusses this reality in his recent column from the Daily Beast:

The most striking change in the results this year involved a precipitous and alarming decline in voter participation, a drop-off that stemmed from a deliberate strategy by the Obama campaign and almost certainly provided the president with his margin of victory. Meanwhile, much of the conventional wisdom about the results has been fatuous and unsubstantiated, ignoring the troubling reality of disillusioned voters.

For instance, there’s no basis for the common claim Obama won through a superb, unprecedented, supremely effective get-out-the-vote effort by the Democrats. Even downcast Republicans have hailed the opposition’s turnout operation as magnificent, but they fail to note that it resulted in far fewer voters showing up for President Obama.

The president drew 7.6 million fewer votes than he did in the hope-and-change election of 2008. His vote total, 61,911,000, is far closer to the numbers in Sen. John Kerry’s losing bid in 2004 than to his own triumphant support four years ago. Even the reviled President George W. Bush earned more raw votes, from a much smaller potential electorate, in his own reelection bid than Obama did in his.

It should come as no surprise that after running such a negative campaign, hundreds of thousands of citizens won’t no more of you.

Early voting buoys Romney – Right Turn – The Washington Post

Early voting buoys Romney – Right Turn – The Washington Post.

Worried about the latest NY Times poll? Don’t be

Dickmorris.com.

Opinion: Here comes the landslide – The Hill – covering Congress, Politics, Political Campaigns and Capitol Hill | TheHill.com

Opinion: Here comes the landslide – The Hill – covering Congress, Politics, Political Campaigns and Capitol Hill | TheHill.com.

Ohio Poll: Romney and Obama are tied at 47%

According to a Suffolk University poll released today, Ohio is tied with each candidate garnering 47% support.  If you include those voters who are “leaning” towards one candidate or another, the number improves for Romney: 48% to 47.2%.  What we may be seeing is that Obama is hitting a ceiling of (ironically) about 47%.

If you factor in the party affiliation as a “weight” in the poll, you also see encouraging signs.  Even though the Democrats are ahead on the polling sample (by +4), they’re still tied.  What that means is that independents are breaking sharply for Romney.

(Here’s some context: 2008, Democrats has a +8 in voting turnout, and in 2004, Republicans had a +4.  Thus, the +4 Democratic advantage in this poll may even be in the high side…and Romney is still ahead.)

GOP ground game a major improvement since 2008

Washington Times: 

The biggest single change in our Ohio ground game is changing from phones to doorknobs,” Mr. Bennett said. “People screen calls or the calls go into answering machines — not the same as talking to a voter.”

In Virginia, another key state Mr. Obama captured four years ago, volunteers have rapped on 11 times as many doors as they did in all of 2008, the RNC said.

Rally in Virginia:

Thousands of coal miners, along with their families and friends heard the mountain top message, and agreed to “take their fight to the ballot box” on Nov. 6, during the Rally in Support of Coal Jobs Sunday at Poplar Gap Park near Grundy, Va. Matt Romney, Susan Allen and her son, Forrest Allen, and several more spoke before Charlie Daniels rocked the mountain.

Romney up in latest swing state poll: Rasmussen

Rasmussen is reporting that in their most recent analysis, Romney is maintaining his lead within their swing-state poll: 49% to 46%.  In the past 4 surveys conducted, Gov. Romney has maintained a noticeable lead.  The town-hall debate last week has apparently had no impact on the movement of the swing-state polls.

Something is also telling about this survey.  Rasmussen includes the following states within the poll: Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Wisconsin.  Many would argue that the poll may be underestimating Romney’s strength overall, as states like Michigan and Pennsylvania are only marginally swing states.  One wonders if the poll would show an even larger gap if it were to include Romney-leaning states such as Missouri.