Aug 18 2010

How Low Can “O” Go?

Published by at 2:29 pm under 2010 Elections,All General Discussions

I have been expecting for days now for President Obama’s drop in Gallup’s approval to slow or stop, but I have been surprised by the fact his free-fall continues.  Today’s Gallup numbers are stunning, with President Obama down -9% (click to zoom):

Even more important is the fact this is a poll of Adults! What this means is the picture is even bleaker if we look at Registered Voters. A rule of thumb would be to adjust the numbers away from the Democrat 2-4 points between Adults & RVs. I would wager the RV version of this poll is probably 41-52% (or -11%).

But likely voters in a midterm election, with this kind of enthusiasm gap, is even more important to understanding what could happen in November. I would expect that to represent another 2-4% shift away from the Democrat. So could likely voters be going to the polls with approval for Obama sitting at 40-53% (-13%) or worse? Seems very possible at the moment.

Wouldn’t that point to Democrats being wiped out in droves in the House and losing control of the Senate?

13 responses so far

13 Responses to “How Low Can “O” Go?”

  1. CatoRenasci says:

    Don’t forget that he has something like an 85+% approval from African Americans and a very high level of approval with Hispanics – what that translates into in the many parts of the country and many districts even in parts of the country with significant minority populations, is at least probably 9-10% LOWER approval for Obama – meaning he’s probably in the low 30% range with white voters.

    This is the sort of thing that presages a rout of historic proportions – almost certainly control of the House and possibly control of Senate.

  2. WWS says:

    I’m calling for Republicans to go +75 in the House, +12 in the Senate.

    Sound ridiculous? This mosque issue is going to be a sucking chest wound for the dems until they figure out how to contain it, and so far they just keep doubling down.

    And what will September bring? Full House trials of Charlie Rangel and Maxine Waters. That’ll make everyone feel good about the dems at a crucial time.

    And October? That’s about the time the stock market should nose dive again, once financial types start to realize that all the free cash that has been pumping up stocks for 2 years is about to evaporate. No more free goodies for Goldman Sachs and pals.

    Yep, I’m goin’ with +75 in the House, +12 in the Senate.

  3. WWS, AJ,

    Barone laid a prediction marker down for a 273 person Republican House Majority in Jan 2011…a 80 seat Republican pick up.


    ….Democratic voters are heavily concentrated in too few House seats. The reasons are mainly demographic: areas with large black, Hispanic, and (to use Joel Kotkin’s term) gentry liberal populations are more heavily Democratic than any correspondingly sized part of the country is heavily Republican.
    Democrats have regarded their current 255-178 majority in the House as solid enough to enable them to pass controversial measures like the 2009 stimulus package, the Senate healthcare bill, and the cap-and-trade legislation, which conspicuously lacks a majority in the Senate. But that majority, to use a seismic metaphor familiar to residents of Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s San Francisco district (85% for both John Kerry and Obama), may be built on sand and fill land, capable of being dislodged in a tremor that looks, on the basis of current polling metrics, to be historically significant.

    With 53% of the popular vote, Obama carried 242 districts;
    with a hypothetical 51% he would have carried 224;
    with support at his current job approval rating of 46%, he would carry only about 162,
    which is to say 28 less than the 180 Kerry carried with 48% of the vote,
    and 31 less than the 193 which McCain carried with 46% of the vote. At the 46% level of support, a Democrat is carrying far, far less than a majority of House districts.
    Historic metrics, as I argued in my July 28 Washington Examiner column, bode ill for Democrats in this year’s House elections. These metrics bode even worse.

    As AJ posted, Gallup just put Obama with a 41% Adult support rating.

    If Obama’s likely voter percentage support ratings are in the mid to low 30’s, we are looking at a Republican Seante with 100 seat Republican house pick up.

    The down ballot state and local races will look worse than 1994 for Democrats and the Federal census redistricting will hurt Democratic legislative prospects at State and Federal levels for a decade.

  4. WWS,

    Dick Morris just laid a political expectations marker on the funding of Democratic House races.

    He knows quite a bit about it from watching and analyzing how Senator Dole as Presidential candidate campaigned in 1996 to save the Repulican congressional majority at his own campaigns expense. Then using that experiance in 1998 to take down Speaker Gingrich.


    Republicans need 39 seats to take away the Democrats’ majority, so the temptation is to focus on protecting the weakest seats. But protecting a House majority is becoming more unrealistic — so what should the party do? Will it mount a goal-line stand and pour funds into its weakest 39 races — or tacitly concede the House, back up and defend the seats it can win?

    By moving resources out of the races where they’re weakest, Democrats would be swallowing a bitter pill by admitting that Nancy Pelosi’s days as House speaker are numbered. But if they focus their funds and manpower on the most endangered seats, they may well let slip away dozens more seats that they might have defended successfully.

    Futile efforts to protect a disappearing majority could lead to a loss of 60 to 80 seats, where a more prudent allocation of resources might hold the damage to 50 seats.

  5. WWS says:

    Thanks, Trent! I came up with my number before I saw either of those estimates – nice to know that all of us doing the calculating are thinking along the same lines.

    The really funny part is that you know all of the Dem pollsters (like Caddell and Nate Silver) are coming up with the same kind of numbers. The Dem’s know what’s going to happen, and yet they’re still locked into a path of self-immolation that they are powerless to change.

    No wonder they’re in such a bitchy, whiny mood!

    “Deep inside man’s inmost soul, so Demons dwell, and take their toll!”

    “Those whom the Gods would destroy, they first make insane.”

  6. archtop says:

    One thing to be on the look out for this Fall…the dying MSM will do ALL in it’s power to save the Dems.

    Look for “gotcha” interviews for GOP candidates, playing up any good news in the economy, ignoring stories that portray Dems or Obama in a bad light, and finally some sort of “October Surprise”/scandal.

  7. kathie says:

    ………….Operation Iraqi Freedom is over…………….Did any one hear from the President of the United States thanking those who served, marking the day, SAY ANYTHING? This is pathetic, it breaks my heart, many died, many heros were made, many citizens gave to the Iraqi people. AND IT IS OVER AND NOTHING IS SAID! What kind of a country do we live in?

  8. dhunter says:

    I look for an October suprise just like 2008.
    What if theres’ another run on the banks by Soros big money.
    What if Pinnochio bombs Iran or sides with Israel when she does?
    This I think unlikely since I believe Pinnochio would actually side with his fellow Muslims in anything that diminishes U.S. power.
    That said I put nothing past these Dems to maintain their power and strangelhold on Americans!

  9. ivehadit says:

    Does anyone find it odd that all of a sudden we are announcing TONIGHT that the troops are leaving? Is this related to August 20, 2010?

  10. Fai Mao says:

    I’d say that President Jelly-Jar can go down to about 26% to 28%.

    I get that number from adding the percentage of Blacks in the population with those who are hard left.

  11. WWS,

    It would help if I could count. An 80 seat Republican pick up on 178 seats puts them at 258.

    A 53% Republican turn out put them at 270 and that is a _92 seat_ pick up, which was Barone’s structural marker.

    See below:

    First, I estimated the number of districts Bush would have carried in 2004 if he would have won 53% of the vote, by assuming that his percentage rose 2% in every district and Kerry’s percentage fell by 2%. Result: Bush would have carried 15 more districts than he actually did. Second, I estimated the number of districts Obama would have carried in 2008 if he had won 51% of the vote, by assuming that his percentage fell 2% in every district and McCain’s percentage rose by 2%. Result: he would have lost 18 districts that in fact he won.
    Using those estimates, I constructed the following matrix, showing the number of congressional districts carried by each president actually and hypothetically:
    Republican with 53% of the vote: 270
    Democrat with 53% of the vote: 242
    Republican with 51% of the vote: 255
    Democrat with 51% of the vote: 224
    The results are rather striking. Had Bush won the same percentage of the vote that Obama did, he would have carried 270 districts to only 165 for his Democratic opponent. That’s a big, big majority. No party has held as many as 270 seats in the House in the last 30 years. In contrast, if Obama had won the same percentage of the vote that Bush did, he would have carried only 224 districts, not very much more than the 211 his Republican opponent would have carried.
    Look at it another way. With 53% of the popular vote, the Republican carries 270 districts while the Democrat carries only 242. That’s a difference—a really significant difference—of 28 seats. With 51% of the popular vote, the Republican carries 255 districts while the Democrat carries only 224. That’s a difference—and even bigger difference—of 31 seats. And, one must add, that a party that holds 255 House seats has a pretty solid majority in that body, while a party that holds only 224 seats has only a tenuous majority. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi would have had a hard time prevailing on cap-and-trade and healthcare if her party had only 224 House seats. She probably would not have brought those measures forward, at least in the form that passed, with only that level of support.

  12. Pres. Obama is set to go a lot lower in approval ratings due to the unemployment numbers:

    1) A screaming headline at

    New Jobless Numbers Just Out: Weekly jobless benefits claims hit 500,000, highest number since November

    2) A screaming headline at gatewaypundit with link:

    Jobless Claims Rise “Unexpectedly” to Highest Level in 9 Months

    3) And a link to the actual jobs report:

    And its major fact —

    …the week ending Aug. 14, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial claims was 500,000, an increase of 12,000 from the previous week’s revised figure of 488,000. The 4-week moving average was 482,500, an increase of 8,000 from the previous week’s revised average of 474,500.”

    The employment numbers signaling the fall into the “double dip” have arrived.

  13. WWS says:

    Here’s another one of those “unexpected” indicators going south, and I’d argue that this one is much more important than the unemployment numbers because this tells us what is *going* to be happening to unemployment for the rest of the year.

    “Philly Fed Manufacturing Index Unexpectedly Contracts”

    to make a crude mathematical analogy, the Manufacturing Index is a measure of the underlying function, while unemployment is simply the derivative. Efforts to cure unemployment through monetary stimulus have failed because they are attempting to fix a derivative while ignoring the function that drives it. Impossible.

    A drop like this shows that the economy is about to nose dive. (again)

    “The manufacturing sector in the Philadelphia Federal Reserve region contracted in August for the first time since July 2009.

    The index fell from 5.1 to -7.7. The consensus expected manufacturing to expand slightly to 7.5.

    All of the subindexes that make up the general business activity indicator entered a contraction phase except for prices paid. Unfortunately, the combination of increased supplier costs and lower selling costs will hurt manufacturers profitability.

    The contraction in new orders grew in size as the index fell from -4.3 to -7.1 while the contraction in unfilled orders slowed to -7.1 from -8.6. Shipments declined from 4.0 to -4.5.”