By 51 percent to 41 percent, Americans say Obama doesn’t deserve to be reelected in 2012, according to the IBD/TIPP poll out today. The numbers are slightly worse for Obama than they were September, when respondents opposed his reelection 50 percent to 44 percent.
In other words, voters don’t seem to be buying the class warfare strategy:
Half of Americans give Obama poor or unacceptable marks in creating jobs and economic growth vs. 24 percent who say he’s doing well.
Among independents, it’s 51 percent-18 percent. 33 percent of swing voters give him an “F” vs. just 2 percent who give an “A.
That underscores Obama’s intensity problem. In addition to his deteriorating support among independents, just 77 percent of Democrats say Obama deserves re-election while 88 percent of Republicans say he doesn’t.
That intensity problem is what Obama’s trying to fix right now with his base. His aggressive tone on the jobs bill isn’t winning over independent voters, but it’s shoring up his support with the liberals he needs to get on board with his campaign operation. Don’t expect that to last forever though. Once the Republicans nominate a candidate and the threat of a third-party challenger subsides, Obama won’t have to keep pandering to his left-wing base. Progressives will be energized to support his reelection out of pure opposition to the GOP candidate. And Obama will have plenty of leeway to shift to the center.