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If Obama Can’t Make It in New York, He Can’t Make It Anywhere

This article in National Journal is, for Obama supporters everywhere, depressing.

Perhaps nothing sums up the precariousness of President Obama’s reelection chances better than a Quinnipiac Poll released on Thursday morning. In “the most heavily Democratic large state” (in the estimation of National Journal’s Almanac of American Politics), 49 percent of voters disapprove of the job the president is doing, while only 45 percent approve–the first time that Obama has received a negative score in New York, according to Quinnipiac.

Voters split 48 percent to 46 percent over whether he deserves reelection. That’s a terrible result considering that this in a state that Obama won with 63 percent of the vote three years ago. Still, he has managed to hold onto a lead over a generic Republican, with 49 percent saying they would vote for him to 34 percent for the GOP candidate.

“The debt-ceiling hullaballoo devastated President Barack Obama’s numbers even in true-blue New York,” said Quinnipiac Poll Director Maurice Carroll.

The poll clearly reflected the toll that the summer long debate on the debt ceiling took on the president’s popularity. The high disapproval rate represented a huge drop from his June 29 approval rating of 57 percent, compared with 38 percent disapproval. Disapproval rose among all three party identifications: Democrats (a 7-point increase), Republicans (a 12-point increase), and independents (a 9-point increase).

In any event, if a liberal president who carried New York with 63 percent of the vote has an underwater approval rating, with almost half of New Yorkers disapproving of the job he’s doing, then his perilous political state is undeniable. If he can’t make it there, he can’t make it anywhere.

What a few of us thought in advance, which is that the debt ceiling debate would hurt everyone involved but especially the president, has come to pass. The damage he has sustained is considerable; and when combined with the decision by S&P to downgrade America’s credit rating and the ongoing weakness of the American economy, it’s not clear how the president will recover. Indeed, my guess is that he has yet to reach his nadir. Can an approval rating in the 30s be far away?

If and when Obama reaches that terrain, the desperation and rage on the part of Democrats will be quite a spectacle to behold.



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