Commentary Magazine


Funny How They Don’t Tout the Polls So Much

Democrats and their old and new media fan clubs have been touting the administration’s poll figures for months now. But something is afoot – and you can tell by their relative reluctance to bring up poll figures that the pattern is not one they like.

First, we see an interesting trend in the president’s approval numbers:

During March, the President’s overall approval on a daily basis has ranged from 56% to 60%. During February, the range was from 57% to 62%. In January, the range was from 60% to 65%.

If this keeps up, by November 2010 (just to pick a month at random) he’ll be in George W. Bush territory.

Congressional Democrats aren’t doing much better. One poll has the congressional generic race tied. Another has Republicans narrowly ahead. Could it have something to do with AIG bonuses, the Democrats’ corruption scandals, the pork-barrel spending, or the tax-hike plans? (You can see why Democrats want to talk about Rush Limbaugh.)

But most interesting is the shift in sentiment toward the Democratic agenda. To be blunt, the public has had it with bailouts. For example, 76% oppose more money for car companies. Or perhaps it is spending in general that has turned off the public. We see, “A new national poll indicates that support for the stimulus plan that passed Congress last month is dropping and suggests that there is no appetite among Americans for another spending bill.”

What does all this mean? A fair reading, I think, is that the president’s popularity is fleeting – and his policies are running into the buzz saw of public opinion. Congress will have a choice: follow his agenda or the public’s aversion to pork-a-thon spending and bailout mania. Congressmen are exquisitely attuned to their own self-interest and survival, so I’m betting they’ll pick option #2.