This article was co-written by Jim Hobart and Glen Bolger.
As President Obama uses his two favorite Presidential toys, the Teleprompter and the bully pulpit, to push his health care plan, public poll after public poll continues to show his numbers dropping across the board. While his job approval remains comfortably over 50%, (55.9% according to the average at www.realclearpolitics.com), his numbers on issues like the economy and health care are hovering around or below 50%. Voters have become more wary of the way Obama is handling these issues as indicated by a growing belief that the President is increasing spending and growing government far too quickly.
In a recent Gallup survey, fully 59% of Americans say the President’s proposals call for too much spending. Not surprisingly, 90% of Republicans share this view, but a look at the numbers among Independents and Democrats reveal why the continued spending hikes are a real problem for the President. A significant majority (66%) of Independents echo the Republican view that the President is spending too much, and, in the most surprising data from the survey, 28% of Democrats say his plans call for too much spending. In previous surveys, while we have seen some doubting of the President among Independents, he always had outstanding numbers among his own party. The 28% of Dems who say the President’s plans call for too much spending are a sign that, at least on spending issues, Democrats no longer see the President as walking on water.
From the same Gallup survey, more than half (52%) of Americans say that Obama’s proposals call for too much government expansion. The vast majority (82%) of Republicans, share this view, as well as more than half (60%) of Independents, and even 17% of Democrats. Again, while the number of Dems who say Obama’s plans call for too much government expansion is low, he is no longer getting the near unanimous support from his own party that he once was.
Underscoring the concern that he is doing too much is a recent AP poll (how does the media have so much money to do all this polling in this day and age of shrinking budgets?). In April, their poll found that only 32% believe the Obama Administration is “trying to change things too quickly,” but that number is up to 49% now – a stunning 17 point increase in just three months.
Voters across party lines are growing increasingly nervous about Obama’s numerous policy proposals that increase spending and expand the role of government. As his pushes for cap and trade legislation and health care reform demonstrate, he and his administration are certainly not through, and a message of Obama pursuing a government that is too big and costs too much has the potential to resonate throughout the 2010 election cycle.