Commentary Magazine


PPP Poll for Obama: From Bad to Worse

Public Policy Polling teased their new poll today on Twitter by suggesting they had “very bad numbers for Obama.” They followed that tweet with this: “Think Obama’s reelection prospects are worst they’ve been in a year based on this month’s poll.”

The ominous warnings weren’t exaggerations. The numbers are terrible for the president. First of all, for the first time, PPP has Romney polling even with Obama, at 45 percent. But there’s more bad news for the president:

There are two things particularly troubling in his numbers: independents split against him by a 44/49 margin, and 16 percent of Democrats are unhappy with the job he’s doing while only 10 percent of Republicans give him good marks. Republicans dislike him at this point to a greater extent than Democrats like him and that will be a problem for him moving forward if it persists.

Romney takes advantage of those two points of weakness for Obama. He leads the president by nine points with independents at 46-37. And he earns more crossover support, getting 13 percent of the Democratic vote while only 8 percent of Republicans are behind Obama.

Additionally, if you allocate undecided voters based on their approval/disapproval numbers, Romney would lead by four. In that same scenario, Obama only leads Bachmann among undecideds by two; Pawlenty would tie the president in this category.

This poll comes on the heels of yesterday’s post by Nate Silver, in which he averaged the major general election polling and put it through his formula to account for such things as name recognition. Silver’s results showed Rudy Giuliani beating Obama in a general election matchup and Mitt Romney just two points behind. The good news for Obama in that post was that even accounting for name recognition, Rick Perry still trailed him by six points.

And in a data point that doesn’t sound very positive for either Obama or the GOP candidates, when controlling for everything except name recognition, only Giuliani (a man who has little or no chance of actually being nominated) outperforms “Generic Republican.” Nonetheless, today’s PPP poll eclipses any of that and spells serious trouble for Obama.