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The Agent of (Negative) Change

According to a new poll for The Hill, two-thirds of likely voters say President Obama has kept his 2008 campaign promise to change America—but it’s changed for the worse.

The survey found 56 percent of likely voters believe Obama’s first term has transformed the nation in a negative way, compared to 35 percent who believe the country has changed for the better under his leadership.

As one would expect, the belief that the president has changed the country for the worse is strongest among Republicans (91 percent). Somewhat surprisingly, only 71 percent of Democrats believe Obama has changed things for the better. I say that because a strikingly high number of Democrats—one in five—are willing to admit they believe Obama has changed the United States for the worse.

We’re now less than 120 days away from an election in which a sizeable majority of Americans believe the incumbent president has changed America for the worse.

This is the kind of finding that will have a deflating effect on Obama’s political team. Indeed, from the perspective of a re-election campaign, this news is devastating. And there’s very little Obama can do at this stage to reverse it.