The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll has a great deal of interesting data in it.  The big story the Post focused on was anger at incumbents.  I (and others) have made the case that anger at incumbents have in past years translated in November to wave elections that benefit one party at the expense of the other.

No matter how important it is to talk about change, it is also important to focus on the reasons for the need for change.  This is ALL about the economy and fiscal issues of spending, the deficit, and the debt.  Even the discomfort revolving around health care is related to economy/fiscal issues.  The broader concern is that government is getting too big, which is choking off the private economy.

Two important questions to flag from the Post/ABC News poll:

  • President Obama only has a 39% approve/56% disapprove rating for his handling of the federal deficit.  Intensity is through the roof — while just 22% strongly approve, 42% strongly disapprove. 
  • Attitudes toward the national economy remain very pessimistic.  Only 12% say it is excellent or good, while 88% say it is not so good (43%) or poor (45%). 

While the perception of the economy represents an improvement from late 2008 and 2009, it is far worse than the last major change election (2006).  In October of 2006, 55% were positive and 45% were negative about the direction of the economy (which is a reminder of how polarized the country was over Iraq in 2006, that GOPers would lose control of Congress despite a positive view of the economy).  The President is tone-deaf on the economy — he keeps talking about how the economy is improving, and yet unemployment remains high, he’s persuing anti-business policies, and the debt is skyrocket because of his growth of government.

Don’t make this complex — it is simple — the Democratic vision to grow government and spending far beyond our means is hurting the economy.  The stimulus failed to keep unemployment under 7% are promised, and it’s just one more bill that we are stuck with for the future.

Public Opinion Strategies