Obama’s approval rises; did compromise help?


3:05 pm - January 12th 2011

by Sunny Hundal    


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The Associated Press reports today that Obama’s approval ratings have jumped up sharply after the Christmas holidays.

It found that 53% of Americans approve of how Obama is doing his job, his best numbers for over a year.

And, compared with just after the November elections, more now express confidence that Obama and the new Republican-controlled House can work together to solve the country’s most urgent problems, chief among them the struggling economy.

Most people, according to the poll, now are putting their faith in Republicans to implement the changes needed to fix the economy. But a majority also now view the Democrats favorably, an oddity just two months after voters dealt Obama’s party what he called “a shellacking” in congressional elections.

And here lies the problem for Obama – while the Republican party has tried to obstruct most of his agenda, it seems voters prefer the view that both parties are working together to solve the nation’s economic problems.

On the other hand, it could simply indicate that voters are rewarding Obama for the legislative victories of the last few months. But the parallel rise in fortunes of Republicans somewhat contradicts this.

Voters want someone to get them out of the mess the country is in. They’re impatient with Obama and don’t pay much attention to what is happening in Congress.

So on the one hand Obama needs to get his agenda pushed through, on the other hand getting bogged down in long fights with Republicans depresses his stock.

It’s going to be a difficult two years from here.

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


“It’s going to be a difficult two years from here.”

True, but then there’s light at the end of the tunnel as 2 years from here One Term Barry’s successor will be sworn in as the next President of the USA.

” But the parallel rise in fortunes of Republicans somewhat contradicts this.”

That could be because the Republican message has become more coherent and simplified, especially with the emphasis put on sticking to the US Constitution and returning to the motivating spirit of the founding fathers in 1797.

Quite how that is supposed to resolve current economic problems, the budget deficit, the increasing inequality of income distribution or that some 46 million Americans have no insurance cover for personal healthcare costs beats me. But there we go.

“2 years from here One Term Barry’s successor will be sworn in as the next President of the USA.”

Following the Arizona shootings unlikely. Clinton was fucked until the oklahoma bombings, and subsequently won a landslide.

Many polls at the start of Obama’s presidency indicated that the public wanted more bi-partisan politics, more working together between the dems and repubs. What they got was Obama and dems attempting this, the repubs telling them to fuck right off, and all the dem partisans screaming blue murder at Obama for even daring to compromise and not implement everything they wanted with the flick of a wand.
In short the republicans and the more hard-left dem voters were united in the public sphere in calling Obama’s presidency an abject failure. Now that the republicans control the house, the game has changed. Failure from repub stonewalling will no longer be attributed to Obama. It will be a very interesting two years indeed.

Some seem to think that Clinton’s welfare reform act of 1993 was the principal reason for his regained popularity and his landslide re-election to the Presidency in 1994.

“The outgoing president might point to welfare reform, a legislative package agreed with the Republicans, as his crowning congressional achievement.

“He would argue that the welfare measures – including strict work requirements and time limits on how long recipients could claim the dole – have helped boost employment and remove the stigma of unemployment.

“But they have also left far fewer protections in place for people who leave their jobs. America’s social safety net has shrunk. ”
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/1114285.stm

@3, Clinton was helped by his opponents’ “Contract with America”, or as the former Prez calls it, “Contract *on* America”. Also his opponent, Bob Dole, was seen as too old – maybe like John McCain.

But who will stand for the GOP in 2012? Apart from the names that didn’t make it last time, there’s only Tim Pawlenty. Sarah Palin may well be finished after last weekend’s events, whether or not her rhetoric and/or map had any influence.

@1, now who was the last one I heard using the phrase “One Term Barry”? Ah yes, that paragon of moderation, the one who thinks Obama is an “erstwhile Indonesian citizen”, who was educated at a “madrasa” … step forward Donal Blaney!

Poor Donal – his blog’s been pulled, and nobody of any significance in the Tory Party takes any notice of him any more, and maybe they never did. Couldn’t happen to a nastier bloke.

> it could simply indicate that voters are rewarding Obama for the legislative victories of the last few months. But the parallel rise in fortunes of Republicans somewhat contradicts this

Have the Republicans’ fortunes really risen *in parallel*? The Democrats’ legislative victories all came *after* the election, in the “lame duck” session.

The election turnout was very low. This isn’t about voters oscillating between the two parties. The Republicans got people who already supported them to turn out, while Democrats disappointed with the leadership’s performance up to the election stayed at home. The combination of shock at the Republican victory and admiration for *subsequent* Democratic legislative successes has won back enough of those disappointed Democrats to make Obama’s ratings positive again. There has been virtually no party crossover – just an enthusiasm gap which the Dems have bridged too late. Whether it will open up again by 2012 remains to be seen.

“Some seem to think that Clinton’s welfare reform act of 1993 was the principal reason for his regained popularity and his landslide re-election to the Presidency in 1994.”

And those people should probably check their history and realise that the preseidential election was in 1996, two years on from Newt Gingrich leading a republican surge in congress, and one year following the Oklahoma bombings

The left have been so knee-jerk and disappointing during these elections. Really short term and well, have shot themselves in the foot. We seem to be doing the same here over across the pond.

Heck, as long as we have our smug integrity, who cares with the poverty gap growing and the elite rich still being elite eh?

The right always, always come to vote because they hate the liberal agenda. It’s the same thing here, even though they abhor democracy, you won’t see them not voting, where as in those more to the left-a combination of hating politics, disinterested in UK politics, not seeing yourself as political etc etc-means we will always come up short.

I know too many people who put themselves to the left of politics, who are educated or are in receipt of great state help, who’ve never voted or forget to vote.

Although Labour seem to be anti-AV, I have a feeling from my research that they would most likely benefit the most from it.

Christmas is always kind to presidents and presidents always get a bounce after episodes like what happened in Tuscon too. American holy days always bring out the feel good crowd.


Reactions: Twitter, blogs
  1. Liberal Conspiracy

    Obama's approval ratings rise; did bipartisan compromise help? http://bit.ly/eDzGQo

  2. Kensy Joseph SJ

    Obama’s approval rises; did compromise help? http://t.co/LJ6wQu6 via @libcon

  3. sunny hundal

    Obama’s approval ratings rise to highest for a year… thanks to bipartisan compromise http://bit.ly/eDzGQo

  4. Kasch Wilder

    RT @sunny_hundal: Obama’s approval ratings rise to highest for a year… thanks to bipartisan compromise http://bit.ly/eDzGQo

  5. Rob Chesworth

    RT @sunny_hundal: Obama’s approval ratings rise to highest for a year… thanks to bipartisan compromise http://bit.ly/eDzGQo

  6. Nick H.

    RT @sunny_hundal: Obama’s approval ratings rise to highest for a year… thanks to bipartisan compromise http://bit.ly/eDzGQo

  7. Daniel Pitt

    RT @libcon: Obama's approval ratings rise; did bipartisan compromise help? http://bit.ly/eDzGQo





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