The American people overwhelmingly lack confidence in President Obama’s competence, with some 60 percent of voters saying they do not have faith in his ability to make the right decisions for the country, according to a new Washington Post/ABC poll.
The results are a new low for the president, who is facing condemnation for his handling of the Gulf oil spill and who tends to an economy that, a year and a half into his presidency, remains weak and uncertain.
The poll also brings miserable news for House Democrats. A mere 26 percent of voters say they are inclined to support their House Representative during the elections this fall, while 62 percent say they will likely look for someone else. By 49 percent to 45 percent, voters say they will back a Republican over a Democrat.
The good news for Obama is that the economy is probably his biggest problem, and the economy could improve. Just 43 percent approve of his handling of the economy, while 54 percent disapprove. Almost everyone surveyed said the economy is doing poorly, so the attitude toward the situation can only get better.
Whatever one thinks of Obama’s policies, the economy is likely to bounce back. Obama’s fate will in part depend on whether the revival is strong enough to get the unemployment rate down significantly.
But the economy will not bounce back in time to save House Democrats. Which of course could also help Obama, since if the Republicans are running the House during 2011 and 2012, Obama can blame them for everything that is wrong with the world or, if things get better, take credit for improvements himself. And the Gulf spill will long be forgotten. It’s already being forgotten, isn’t it?
So don’t start counting the president out.