The Tipping Point? President Obama has TIPPED Already!

This past week, my wise and insightful partner Glen Bolger posted a blog entry labeled, “The Tipping Point.” It is definitely worth reading.

The premise of the bit is while a majority of voters have become disapproving of the President, there is still a well of good will toward the President personally.   A series of data points from the NBC/WSJ polling were used to compare the President’s job approval and favorability (44{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} approve – 51{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} disapprove versus 44{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} favorable – 44{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} unfavorable as measured in the August survey).

IMPORTANT: These numbers are from ALL adults.  When we look at white adults (it is safe to say that the GOP nominee will be significantly less competitive among non-Anglo portions of the electorate), the numbers show a President who’s ALREADY TIPPED.

Even following the disastrous-for-Democrats mid-term elections, President Obama’s image was net-positive among white voters (45{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}-38{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}); it is now upside-down by a wide margin (36{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}-52{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222}).  In short, the President’s job approval among white adults has dropped a net 22 points since January.  And, his personal favorability has dropped about the same (net 23 points).

For years, campaigns have sought to “tip” the opposing candidate over and disqualify them by turning their image (favorable-unfavorable) upside-down.  When we look at the competitive portion of the electorate, President Obama is there already.

So what does the future look like given a stagnant economy? If the President’s re-election is successful it is because he did one or both of the following:

  1. Run the most negative campaign in history.  He needs to turn the GOP nominee into a mirror image of Obama.  Word on the street is that the President will have a billion dollars to do the job.
  2. Alter the electorate, again.   In 2008, President Obama was the first Democrat since LBJ to break 50{09f965da52dc6ab4c1643a77bd40d1f729d807040cd8db540234bb981a782222} on the back of record turnout among African Americans, Hispanics and younger voters.  He will need to repeat 2008’s performance.

…And if the election were held today, that wouldn’t be enough.

Public Opinion Strategies