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Tilting at Windmills

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January 18, 2009

A DEEP WELL OF PUBLIC SUPPORT.... Atrios noted this morning, "I continue to be surprised by Obama's approval/popularity." I've been thinking the same thing. Obama won on election day with about 53% of the popular vote, and it stood to reason that his numbers would climb as Inauguration Day approached, but an 84% approval rating? That's pretty extraordinary.

A new national poll suggests that Barack Obama is more popular than ever, regardless of recent speed bumps on the road to transition.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Sunday morning also indicates that most Americans see Obama's inauguration as a chance for the nation to come together.

Eighty-four percent of those questioned in the survey say they approve of how Barack Obama is handling his presidential transition.

In early December, the same CNN poll pegged Obama's support at 79%. It led analyst Bill Schneider to note, "That's the sort of rating you see when the public rallies around a leader after a national disaster." A few weeks later, the number climbed to 82%. Now, it's 84%.

CNN Polling Director Keating Holland noted, "You know the country is in the middle of a honeymoon when six in 10 Republicans have a positive view of Obama."

All of this is certain to change once Obama starts, you know, governing. But as Republicans plot strategy on how to oppose and obstruct the next president's policy agenda, they may want to remember that Obama will enter the White House with a very deep well of public support.

Steve Benen 12:45 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (24)

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Comments

So what do the 16% who disapprove have to complain about?

Posted by: Goldilocks on January 18, 2009 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK

While watching the Obamas and Bidens during their historic train journey to the D.C. inaugural, I couldn't help thinking how genuine it appeared and how refreshing after all the phony gestures of the past eight years.

Posted by: JayDenver on January 18, 2009 at 12:53 PM | PERMALINK
"That's the sort of rating you see when the public rallies around a leader after a national disaster."

A national disaster. Not a bad name for the last eight years.

http://iambilly.wordpress.com

Posted by: (((Billy))) The Atheist on January 18, 2009 at 12:56 PM | PERMALINK

Republicans tend to have short memories, if they have figured it out at all.

And, fred t, fuck off.

Posted by: phoebes in santa fe on January 18, 2009 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

Well, ok- since he hasn't done anything yet

Why am I guessing fred t had no problems with Palin's experience or McCain's ethics or Bush's accomplishments or Cheney's regard for the law? Pattern of projection, perhaps?

Posted by: Danp on January 18, 2009 at 1:10 PM | PERMALINK

And of course, given the way in which pretty much everything the Bush people did turned into a galactic fuckup, not doing anything may be part of the reason people approve of him.

He hasn't abrogated any centuries-old principles of law or liberty. He hasn't lied the nation into a reckless, pointless war. He hasn't destroyed any environments or looted any national resources. He hasn't dismantled essential structures of worker protection or financial regulation.

With a record like that, he's already a better president than George Bush, and he hasn't even taken office yet.

Posted by: bleh on January 18, 2009 at 1:17 PM | PERMALINK

fred t, a proud 16%er.

As a follower of RNC framing (he's never done anything, yatta, yatta), Mr t will move from discontented to outraged at a moments notice.

Posted by: BuzzMon on January 18, 2009 at 1:22 PM | PERMALINK

It's strange.

The present POTUS is rapidly swirling into the dustbin of history, people eager to close the lid and maybe even kick the can further down the road of what legacy will be memorable.

Meanwhile, the P-EOTUS, hasn't even been sworn in, yet he has already taken his place in history, and will soon be able to govern with historical integrity.

People are gushing all over themselves as they try and nail down why Tuesday at 12:01 will be a moment which the planet will be watching.

Think about it.

A moment.

When George fades into the dustbin...

God Bush America! (and he did)

Posted by: Tom Nicholson on January 18, 2009 at 1:31 PM | PERMALINK

"That's the sort of rating you see when the public rallies around a leader after a national disaster."

Isn't that what the Bush years have been? A national disaster?

I think that many more Americans disapprove of Bush's job performance than will say so to pollsters. This poll can be seen as another way of asking the same question.

Posted by: Okie on January 18, 2009 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

I think a lot of Republicans are pleased that Dennis Kucinich isn't the Secretary of State and that is what you are seeing in the poll numbers. Obama will get the tolerance of most Republicans until he screws up and almost everybody wants the country to pull out of the economic turmoil as soon as possible. If things improve, he will get some credit. Our biggest fear is that he will prolong the misery by wild spending and will be unable to get control of Congress, just as Carter was unable to do. Time will tell.

Posted by: Mike K on January 18, 2009 at 1:43 PM | PERMALINK

So what do the 16% who disapprove have to complain about?

That represent's Bush's pedestal.

Posted by: artsmith on January 18, 2009 at 1:49 PM | PERMALINK

So what do the 16% who disapprove have to complain about?

I believe Mel Brooks answered that in Blazing Saddles: "Can't you see that man's a ni???"

Posted by: Roddy McCorley on January 18, 2009 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Steve,

Of course you fail to mention that Bush and the CIA tried to overthrow Chavez in 2002 and still provide funding for his political opponents but you write as if the USA has never done anything to deserve the belligerance that Chavez tosses our way.

C'mon Steve, get a clue.

Posted by: Dan on January 18, 2009 at 2:34 PM | PERMALINK

There has also been a big surge in religious participation and beliefs. I suspect some of those who voted Republican are beginning to believe that Obama was anointed by God, and consequently come to approve him.

Posted by: steve on January 18, 2009 at 2:49 PM | PERMALINK

but an 84% approval rating? That's pretty extraordinary.

Well, he has taken ownership of the role of the president in rather convincing way. It's hard to disapprove of that.

Posted by: PeakVT on January 18, 2009 at 2:50 PM | PERMALINK

Bill Schneider accidentally told the truth. Bush has been a national disaster - a long one at that.

Posted by: Ravi J on January 18, 2009 at 3:00 PM | PERMALINK

Right now and shortly after the election, Obama's approval ratings were sky high, but he only won the election with 53% of the vote. Seems to me that the number to be called into question is what his election percentage would have been without the Republican vote suppression and creative tabulation of the votes, not the favorable numbers he has now.

Posted by: Texas Aggie on January 18, 2009 at 3:24 PM | PERMALINK

Who is this fred t? I seemed to have missed him. Is that a problem?

Posted by: Texas Aggie on January 18, 2009 at 3:45 PM | PERMALINK

fred t must have been deleted. He had a comment between (((Billy))) and phoebes (about 1:00). He's a regular troll, who likes to use Palinesque talking points and charged terms like the One or BHO.

Posted by: Danp on January 18, 2009 at 4:05 PM | PERMALINK

You may be making a bad assumption when you call it a well of support. It may be more shallow than that. It's great that so many Americans are willing to give him a chance, but it's so easy to project our own thoughts and desires onto Obama that I wonder what will happen when people's unrealistic expectations aren't met.

Posted by: Jason on January 18, 2009 at 7:38 PM | PERMALINK

I think Bill Schneider hit the nail on the head. We have been through a national disaster. People realize that and know that our country is in serious trouble. We are rallying around Obama to save all of us during a time of national crisis.

Posted by: Glen on January 18, 2009 at 9:39 PM | PERMALINK

As was a major question regarding pre-election polls, do these numbers reflect cell phone users? Prior to the election it was noted that many lower-class, poor, African American and/or young voters do not have land-lines, only cell phones, and so their voices were not included in many polls. My guess is that these numbers would be several points higher if cell phones were included, or adjusted for . . .

Posted by: Random on January 19, 2009 at 12:58 AM | PERMALINK

Wait till auto bailout time comes again. That'll be a real squeeze. If you let 'em fall, you'll get a drop of 50 points in popularity. If you try to save them and add billions on top of trillions..., fear of dollar collapse will lop off 37 popularity points.

Posted by: Luther on January 19, 2009 at 1:50 AM | PERMALINK

I find myself wondering just how high the approval rating might be if we hadn't had the relentless "palling around with terrorists", Barach Hussein Obama, Obama is a socialist/a Muslim/not a Christian onslaught by the republican party during the campaign. THe hate that was stirred up by that still survives, I'm sure.

Posted by: cwotton on January 19, 2009 at 9:10 AM | PERMALINK




 

 

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