Obama at 44

Guess what—the Real Clear Politics average of leading polls currently shows Obama with an approval rating of 44.0 percent. What happened to his long-time, constantly re-iterated “lowest ever” rating of 43? What happened to his “worsening” and “plummeting” approval rating as it sank below 43, even sank into the high 30s? The fact is that Obama today has the same approval rating that he’s had for almost the last two years. Notwithstanding the giddy effusions of conservative opinion writers that Obama is the greatest disaster since the Edsel and getting more disastrous by the minute and that his humiliating defeat in 2012 is a foregone conclusion, he remains well within range of recovering and winning. The fact that Republicans/conservatives keep indulging in the pleasurable fantasy that Obama is a sure loser, rather than recognizing that defeating him is going to be difficult and steeling themselves for that difficult task, is for me the strongest single indicator that he may not lose.

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James N. writes:

Obama will be reelected because the conditions that led to his election have not been reversed.

Republicans and Democrats agree that the purpose of the state is redistribution. As to how much, and to whom, and under what circumstances, there are disagreements. But no elected officials of either party believe that it is wrong to take from you and give to another of their own choosing, for reasons that make sense to them.

Republicans and Democrats agree that you have “rights”—lots of them. They also agree that any question ABOUT your “rights,” or whether or not something IS a “right,” should not be decided by a political process because that is “divisive.” So, they both agree that the voice of “the People” as contemplated in the Ninth and Tenth Amendments to the Constitution can only be voiced by nine unelected life tenure judges, and that five of them, at any time or for any reason, can give new “rights” and take away old ones, particularly if those old ones arise out of majority voting.

Republicans and Democrats all believe in “diversity.” Ignoring completely the results of all social science research on this subject, and contrary to millennia of human experience and wisdom, they believe that the more “diverse” our country, its institutions, and any private entities within her become, the more cohesive and productive we will become.

Republicans and Democrats almost all believe in “free trade” and “immigration.” These things are good for various constituencies of both parties while they wreck the economy and the nation.

In order to win elections in Republican districts, the candidates have to pretend that they don’t believe these things. But Obama isn’t pretending.

To paraphrase Harry Truman, “given the choice between a socialist and a socialist, the people will choose the real socialist every time.”

Alexis Zarkov writes:

Real Clear Politics takes a simple average of 7 polls (I checked the numbers) to get that 44 percent approval. On the other hand, Pollster.com uses a very sophisticated algorithm to compute and plot trend lines for Obama’s approval rating and uses more polls. As of today, Pollster.com gets 42.8 percent using their technique. The components also differ slightly. For example Pollster has Rasmussen (10/24-10/26) at 43 percent while RealClear uses Rasmussen (10/25-10/27) at 44 percent. They both have Gallup at 43 percent and CBS at 46 percent. Zooming in on the Pollster plot, we see that Obama bottomed out at a little under 43 percent in early to mid September with a suggestion (from the graph) that he’s on a very slight uptrend. RealClear doesn’t give a plot so we can’t see how their average is changing with time making it difficult to interpret their 44 number. I (and others) trust Pollster far more than RealClear. As I have stated before, based on research, polls are very poor predictors this far from the election. The state of the economy provides a much better indicator. Hibbs Bread and Peace model shows Obama getting 46 percent of the popular vote in 2012 as of May this year. Since the economy, as measured by the inflation adjusted per capita disposable income, shows no improvement from May, Obama is scheduled to lose. Thus for many reasons, this “Obama at 44” carries virtually no significance.

James N. replies:

If Obama loses because the economy has not improved, and he is replaced by someone who thinks that the economy can be improved by “less income inequality,” more “programs,” and more debt, what will have been accomplished?

Alexis Zarkov writes:

I agree with James N. in part. Most Republicans, especially RINOs like Mitt Romney, don’t offer us much of a difference. The Republicans have never tried to unwind the welfare state as put in place by FDR and LBJ. Even Ronald Reagan didn’t reverse the growth of the federal government. All he did was restrain, somewhat, the rate of increase. For those of you who remember your calculus, he decreased the first derivative (speed), which made the second derivative (acceleration) negative. His critics attacked him for “cutting” the budget. He did no such thing. In Washington a “cut” is a failure to maintain the accelerating (positive second derivative) budget growth.

Nevertheless Obama has not played the game as it’s been played for the last 14 elections. He’s accelerated federal spending to a degree we’ve not seen since WWII. He overreached in the extreme with Obamacare both as to substance and process, and the voters punished his party in 2010. Those Democrats who won in close races in 2002 were thrown out of office. I don’t see him carrying a whole bunch of states he needs to win such as Florida, Ohio, Virginia, and Pennsylvania, to name only a few. In other words, Obama is a center left or even a pure left candidate in a country that’s center right on a national level. According to the Bread and Peace model, personal income needs to grow over a president’s term for him or his successor candidate to get elected. Except for recessions, the U.S. economy (GDP) always grows at an average rate of 3.3 percent per year every years. Thus even zero growth is a job killer for a president. When personal income grows at the average rate, the president or his successor will get a little over 50 percent of the popular vote. This is the well know incumbent effect and indicates risk aversion on the part of the voters. They would rather go with a known good than take a chance on something that might be better. As for income inequality, we have no calibration on that to make predictions. In my opinion, it’s a non-issue and will not help Obama other than stir up the people who already support him.

Jim C. writes:

The reason he will lose is that the independents, who tend to be more intelligent than the reds and the blues, have been wise to this punk for a while. Their memories of this smirking twit will be fresh when they enter the voting booth. Count on it.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at October 28, 2011 10:12 AM | Send

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