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Based on the weekly survey data, compliments of the DKOS Research 2000 poll, I created three tables tracking President Obama's approval ratings from July 27 to the present.

I don't think there is any real need to belabor that this drop happened, However, the effect of August was to depress ratings among both Democrats and Independents, net drops of 18 and 15 points since 7/27, respectively.

In contrast, despite their screaming the drop among Republicans is a whopping -4 points, if for no other reason than there is not a whole lot of downside room to move when your party is already calling for open rebellion in a multitude of channels. Still, the GOP got some mileage out of accusing Democrats of genocide, euthanasia, fascism, communism and being minions of the Antichrist.

As Satan from the movie Constantine says - I do love the old names. :)

More (but not much!) below the break...

Quick notes on the drop

  1. It happened fast (three weeks)
  1. It happened mostly with Democrats and Independents.
  1. It happened when our leaders started waffling on the public option.
  1. And, yes, it's equal opportunity on both ends of PA Avenue. Dems in Congress got thwacked too.
  1. And look closely - it's a worse trend among Independents than Dems. Why? Hmm...I think it's because as of right now we look like a bunch of suckers.


Barack Obama Approval Ratings - Democrats


Date Approve Disapprove Unsure
7/27/2009 88 10 2
8/3/2009 87 10 3
8/10/2009 87 9 4
8/17/2009 83 11 6
8/24/2009 80 11 9
8/31/2009 77 14 9

...

Barack Obama Approval Ratings - Independents


Date Approve Disapprove Unsure
7/27/2009 70 28 2
8/3/2009 67 29 4
8/10/2009 67 28 5
8/17/2009 66 31 3
8/24/2009 62 35 3
8/31/2009 57 39 4

...

Barack Obama Approval Ratings - Republicans


Date Approve Disapprove Unsure
7/27/2009 8 90 2
8/3/2009 7 92 1
8/10/2009 7 91 2
8/17/2009 6 92 2
8/24/2009 4 93 3
8/31/2009 4 94 2

Quickly, the good news

As I have said in diaries this week...and in comments all summer long... I think this debate was there for the Democratic leadership on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue to win - quickly - all along. They just didn't want to... yet.

I'm not a give-me-PO-or-give-me-no-just-give-me-PO person. I'd love to see Medicare, as-is, reformed and extended across all ages someday. Single-payor, yo. Incrementally would work fine by me. I think that very proposal would sail through in a matter of days, especially now that the Republicans have branded themselves the defender of Medicare.

Of course... then again they are the tax cut champions and they voted wholesale against the largest middle class tax cut in U.S. history. (Hat tip to Clammyc for reminding me of that last night.) So I would actually count on them going against their word yet again.

And that would be just dandy. Electorally it would kill them.

So yes. I think this entire debate can be sorted out quickly.

Perhaps now it's the right time.

Because August made us all look like a bunch of suckers.

And people don't like being pwnd.

Originally posted to cskendrick on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 04:17 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Yup. (11+ / 0-)

    The numbers are quite clear.

    Just wait until we have a mandate with no public option.

    •  If we do the Democratic party as-is is done. (11+ / 0-)

      In the long run the schism was coming.. the Republicans are wayyyy too far right to be sustainable as a national party in their current configuration.

      The Democratic leaders wanted to move right to finish them off but the schisms within the party are too great to pull that off.

      So... they've been softening up the left wing of the party for some time in anticipation of the break.

      Oh this is indeed a complex game.. but it's not chess.

      It's two games of chess. One against the Republicans.. the other against liberals.

      And no one knows how to fight liberalism better than the Democrats.

      •  Data Remains Consistent With Dems Merely Caving (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        ek hornbeck

        to industry and not even caring seriously about the Republicans.

        I fear your idea of their strategy requires the Democratic party to turn against the private power establishment to a degree they've never done in my 50 years.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 05:31:22 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A true stick strategy (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          ek hornbeck, adrianrf

          Would be to drop medicare premiums for seniors to so low a level (for a while!) as to shut health insurers out of the over 65 market completely.

          Let me verify this but I think that doing this would not require a single vote from Congress.

          They would not like this.

          That would be the stick that would get the industry coming back.

          Yet, as you say, it would require something the Democrats are unlikely to do.

          And no one knows how to fight liberalism better than Democrats.

  •  Playing to the center (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cskendrick, Jimdotz, papicek

    Maybe ---it is really protecting the blue dogs in their conservative districts.

    Or maybe ---it is getting the votes to pass health care reform.  If Pres Obama insists on public option maybe the votes wont be there.

    Dont let the LIARS win. Stand up for TRUTH! Stand up for Health Care Reform!

    by timber on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 04:27:13 AM PDT

  •  Those are some pretty stark numbers. (7+ / 0-)

    They match my intuition, but it's nice to see them laid out so clearly. Thanks!

    I wonder though if Obama paid that numerical price deliberately as part of a long-term strategy to  be able to say that he tried and tried and tried to be bipartisan, but alas, it was not to be, so we just had to do HCR alone.

    If so, was it worth it? Or maybe he really meant it when he said he wanted a bipartisan solution?

    What legacy do you want to leave?

    by Jimdotz on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 04:32:10 AM PDT

    •  Or as many progressives worry (6+ / 0-)

      to give him some sort of street cred to say - See? I ditched the hippies!

      That's the competing scenario.

      I think we might see the simpler, more direct and incrementalist approach of changing the Medicare age qualifications.

      It won't be PO (which means the centrists can say we stuck it to the liberal hippies) and it will tongue-tie the Republicans (who have painted themselves into the corner of 'defenders' of Medicare).

      And in the long run it can be ratcheted down to a full Medicare for All plan.

      That's my guess...my hope.

      The challenge for liberals is not to get hung up on exactly one solution or nothing. PO is the compromise we've discussed all summer so it's on their minds but there are sooo many ways to win this battle - and win it substantively.

      Also, it's quite clear to me that the Obama movement has no problem sweeping dissenters out of its way, no matter who they think they are. They just haven't shown that steel lately. But they are fully capable of playing hardball with anyone, not just progressives.

      •  Modifying Medicare in steps... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cskendrick

        ...solves a lot of problems. First is the retirees who haven't gotten to current Medicare eligibility from both the public sector (my sister retired from 38 years in the classroom, but is 5 years short of Medicare eligibility) and private sector (think the UAW members who chose to take a buyout, but are many years from Medicare eligibility).

        Medicare: Government-run Health Care since 1965

        by Egalitare on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 06:29:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Anyone who has followed this man's career - (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      barath, beaky

      read his books, listen to his speeches, reviewed this decisions on the way he votes, would know that this is exactly what he does each and every time.

      I wonder though if Obama paid that numerical price deliberately as part of a long-term strategy to  be able to say that he tried and tried and tried to be bipartisan, but alas, it was not to be, so we just had to do HCR alone.

      He always does this - do in the end he can say just that. I reached out to everyone, I listened, I tried. And now it's time to come to a decision whether or not they support what I am doing.

      What's interesting to me is this is exactly what a person of leadership should do, and what we want them to do. Bush was the complete opposite. Never listened to the other side, never tried to work with the other side (that's us) and we despised him for it and tore him a new one. He was a partisan p.o.s. of the highest order. He rammed things down the throat of those who did not vote for him, which was a 1/2 of those who voted.

      But now that we won, we want our guy to do the same thing.
      The irony and hypocrisy of that never ceases to amaze me.
      So bad if Bush does it, but Obama must do it.

      And I still say that if Obama had listened to the netroots, and most especially this blog during the primaries and the general, he would have lost.
      The advise given here was nothing but panic, chicken little ridden hysteria.
      And in the end, the plan they stuck to was right.
      And now all of sudden, this same blog's advice, people with no experience other than getting scared, worried and panicky when the going gets rough, is being offered again but now with the caveat we ARE right, and we'll primary you if you don't listen.

      Amazing.
      Because Obama et al. - they're just so naive and so stupid all of sudden.
      Only we know how conniving the GOP is.
      They don't.
      They know that the Republicans need this to fail - that he cannot be given this major major victory. It would finish them off for a long time.
      It would be historic - like Medicare passing was.
      They knew this, and will vote against it. He knows this.
      But in the end will say I reached out and I have the proof.

      I could be wrong. I don't think I am though.

      "Oh no...you changed your hair color? It's just so dark. You like it? And with your skin tone?" My Beloved Mom, December 25 2007, once again on notice.

      by Christin on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 05:33:10 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Here's the difference between Obama and Bush... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        cskendrick

        Obama was elected by a significant majority to stop the war in Iraq (in progress), fix the economy (in progress), and reform Health Care (about to happen). All the while, he has tried to do these with Republican support, but the "Party of NO" did nothing for him except for three votes in the Senate on the Economic Rescue and Recovery Act (Specter, Snowe, Collins) that were reviled by fellow Repulicans to the point that Specter is now a Democrat.

        Bush was elected in 2004 by a bare majority to manage national security, but what did he do first in 2005? He tried to ram through privatization of Social Security! Given the market meltdown he later presided over, isn't is a testment to the wisdom of the American People that Bush didn't get what The People didn't want?

        Well, The People want what Obama is doing -- it's why We elected him. So if he spends some of his political capital doing what he said in 2008 that he would do, so be it. But he only promised to try. If Republicans won't cooperate, it's their loss.

        What legacy do you want to leave?

        by Jimdotz on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 06:17:14 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The nonstop efforts to discredit non-OFA voices (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jimdotz

        Are not only becoming tedious and alienating but empowering standing up and apart from the centralized messaging.

        Word to the wise - the Republicans tried top-down messaging already.

        Did you notice what happened to their permanent majority?

        There's a lesson in that.

      •  Uh, during the 2008 campaign (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jimdotz

        we had Obama's back. And we have it now.

        If we wanted him to fail we'd say nothing at all.

        The accusations of treachery and malice are beneath credibility, never mind contempt.

  •  If only the DFHS would STFU... (0+ / 0-)

    The world would be perfect.
    And The President will continue to get advice like this as long as Rahm is in town.
    Rahm knows triangulation failed Clinton, and knows Obama can't make it work, but Rahm protects his interests by continuing to press for it.

    St. Ronnie was an asshole.

    by manwithnoname on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 05:05:14 AM PDT

  •  There it is, in black and white (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cskendrick, aravir, beemerr

    He's losing the center, not because people don't want a public option, but because Democrats are going soft on it.

    Let's hope they see the light.  Make those phone calls, send those emails.  Keep up the pressure.

  •  I just got (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    vigilant meerkat

    an interesting email from a representative of Fire Dog Lake and it seems the most current spin the White House is going to use is "The Trigger", cs.

    From the email:

    Incredibly, Barack Obama may advocate for passing a bill with a "trigger" - meaning he'll wait for our health care crisis to get even worse before implementing a public health insurance option.  

    Needless to say, I'm less than pleased.

    "Ancora Imparo." ("I am still learning.") - Michelangelo, Age 87

    by Dreaming of Better Days on Fri Sep 04, 2009 at 08:10:46 AM PDT

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