President Obama’s approval numbers have slipped badly in a key battleground state, suggesting his honeymoon with the American people may be ending.
When voters in Ohio were asked whether they approved of the president’s performance, 49 percent said yes, 44 percent said no, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Tuesday. That was the lowest rating Mr. Obama has received in any national or statewide poll Quinnipiac has conducted since his inauguration. It represents a drop of 13 percentage points in the president's approval rating since May.
Holding Obama responsible
“These numbers indicate that for the first time voters have decided that President Barack Obama bears some responsibility for their problems,” Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement. Ohio’s economy has been hard-hit by the recession. In May, the Buckeye State had an unemployment rate of 10.4 percent.
When asked about the president’s handling of the economy, Ohio voters, by a 48 to 46 percent margin, give him a failing grade. That means Obama is now out of favor with some of those who voted for him in the key swing state in November, “and should be an indication to the White House that his honeymoon with voters may be ending,” Mr. Brown said.
Biden on misreading the economy
Vice President Joe Biden recently spoke bluntly about the state of the economy – and the administration’s growing ownership of the problem. Appearing Sunday on ABC’s "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," Mr. Biden said, “the truth is, there was a misreading of just how bad an economy we inherited.” The administration had predicted the nation's joblessness rate would peak at 8 percent, but in June it hit 9.5 percent, the highest level in 26 years.
As Biden said Sunday, “It’s now our responsibility.”
Midterm election concerns
While a drop in the president’s approval ratings could translate into problems for Democrats in the midterm elections, one poll does not a trend make. The Real Clear Politics site average of national polls shows Obama’s approval rating at 58.3 percent positive, 36.3 percent negative for the period June 18 to July 6. The site's accompanying chart shows his approval numbers dipping slightly while the disapproval line is rising.