Obama's Issues Crumbling By Dick MorrisLater on in the column, you will read the paragraph that puts it all together:
June 13, 2009At last, there is convincing evidence that Obama's poll numbers may be descending to earth. While his approval remains high - and his personal favorability is even higher - the underlying numbers suggest that a decline may be in the offing. Even as he stands on his pedestal, the numbers under his feet are crumbling. According to a Rasmussen poll, more voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats to handle the economy, by a margin of 45-39. Scott Rasmussen notes that "this is the first time in over two years of polling that the GOP has held the advantage on this issue." Last month, he had the Democrats holding a one-point lead, but they lost it in June's polling. And the Democratic leads over Republicans on their core issues are also dropping. Particularly interesting is the Democratic decline over healthcare, from an 18-point lead in May to only 10 points now. A Gallup poll also confirms that the president's personal ratings are high, but the underlying data less so. While 67 percent of voters give Obama personal favorable ratings and 61 percent approve of his job performance (Rasmussen has his job approval lower, at 55 percent), they give him much lower ratings on specific issues. Gallup shows Obama getting only 55 percent approval on his handling of the economy (down from 59 percent in February) and finds that only 45 percent approve of his handling of federal spending while 46 percent approve of his treatment of the budget deficit. [CONTINUE READING]
Interestingly, Obama's polling is now the exact opposite of President Clinton's in the days after Monica Lewinsky. Back then, the president's approval for handling specific issues was his forte, while his job approval remained high but his personal favorability lagged 20 points behind. Ultimately, it is a politician's performance on specific issues that determines his electability. Personal favorability withers in the face of issue differences. Obama is about to find out that you cannot rely on image to bolster your presidency when the underlying issues are crumbling.Keep in mind that this was written back on June 13, 2009.