Numbers are hard things to argue with. While statisticians and pollsters can “massage” numbers with questions, samples, etc, large numbers just stay about the same. Reviewing some of the GALLUP organization's most recent polling data shows Americans are unhappy not only with the President, but with Congress, the Tea Party, and life.
Nearly half of Americans polled, (48 percent), say they are either struggling or suffering. That national angst is focused on the political leaders.
President Obama has an approval rating of just 38 percent and a disapproval of 54 percent. That is a horrible number for a incumbent President a little over a year away from a re-election contest. In normal political climates, it was be easy to predict Obama’s sound defeat next Fall with those numbers.
However, these are not normal times. The President remains more popular than Congress, who comes in at 13 percent approval, (by far the lowest in polling history), and the chief rival of President Obama, the so called “Tea Party” has only a 25 percent approval rating. Frankly put, the American people do not like any of the players on the current political scene. The majority of Americans simply do not approve of or trust the major players.
That makes 2012 an unpredictable election. Of course paid for consultants, who are actually a part of the disconnect, will argue how both sides are sure to win. But, the situation actually is fluid. A dark horse candidate could win the White House. The President could win re-election in a landslide. Events will be bigger than the candidates for Congress and for the White House. Because when the half the nation consider themselves struggling or suffering, traditional political wisdom is all but useless.
Think on it. The Democrats took the House because the American people were tired of the Republican Congress and President Bush. President Obama was elected in part because Bush was so unpopular. The Republicans took back the House because the Democratic Congress was so unpopular. Now, the Republican House, the Democratic Senate, the Tea Party, and the President all are solidly disapproved of by the American people., There are districts and states in Congress where the Republican or Democrat should win. But, in the middle that decides national power, there is no telling what will happen.
If VUI had to call it, we would give a slight edge to the President. For, at 38 percent, he is the most popular player in the national political game. And, that says a lot about the state of America.