Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Pew Research Relief: Obama Popularity Dropping As Expected

Declining Presidential approval ratings are as predictable as the falling tides. Historically speaking, no President is immune from buyer's remorse.

A recent poll by the Pew Research Center - released March 16, 2009 - put Obama's approval at 59% compared to 64% last month. The Pew poll found that a growing number of Americans see him as listening more to the liberals than to the moderates in the Democratic Party. Elsewhere, I saw Gallup has determined that the major factor in these lower poll numbers has been a decline in support among Republicans, from 41% to 26%.

To a certain extent, this is simply a normal occurance. It is impossible for newly elected Presidents to maintain their initial popularity. As they make decisions they will disappoint people. As they endure in office, the allure of their earlier promises turns into the grim realization that they have not been able to produce the changes they promised. This is why the first 100 days are so critical to understanding the success or failure of a President. After the first 100 days, it will become increasingly difficult for President Obama to get much accomplished from his perspective.

Luckily for Republicans, Obama's administration appears to be headed into the ditch already, in part, because he will insist on giving more bailouts to AIG. This looks like a bad idea to most of us, since AIG gave out $165 million in bonuses even though the company received more than $170 billion in federal rescue money.

Given Obama's political inexperience and lack of management skills, his declining popularity should do more damage to his overall power and influence than would normally be expected at this point in a President's term of office.

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