WASHINGTON (CNN) – For the first time since he took over in the White House, Americans don't see eye to eye with President Barack Obama on the important issues, according to a new national poll. But the CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey does indicate that a majority approve of how Obama's handling his duties as president.While I feel a little comforted with the fact that Americans "no longer" see eye to eye with the president, can anyone explain how a nation in which less than half of the people agree with the man on top can still enjoy a 55% approval rating? It's mind boggling to me that people who disagree with the president on "important issues" still approve of his handling of the job. Is it that they find his enormous ears to be endearing? Is it his toothy (very toothy) smile? Do they think it's cute when he kinda sorta almost starts talking ebonics when he's talking to a mostly black audience? I don't get it. Anyone? (For my real explanation, continue reading)
According to the poll, which was released Tuesday, 48 percent of people questioned say that they agree with Obama on the issues that matter most to them, with 51 percent saying no. That's a switch from April, when 57 percent said they agreed with the president on important issues, with 41 percent disagreeing.
Allahpundit at Hot Air(my favorite blog) is reporting that it's not just CNN finding these grim "single issue" numbers for Obama, either. Rasmussen and Harris are finding precisely the same thing. On virtually every single issue the voters do not support the president. But, like me, Allahpundit is stomped by the overall approval numbers. He thinks something is fishy, using the approval numbers on Iraq as an example:
Actually, I’m more interested in the numbers on Iraq. Why would the GOP lead by 19 points? And why would that lead have almost doubled in just the past month? Iraq’s been completely off the media radar screen. Either the respondents are so disillusioned with Hopenchange that they’re now reflexively answering each question with the equivalent of a middle finger to The One or there’s something fishy going on here.Well, yes, Allahpundit, they can. Personally, I am more inclined to believe the issue by issue numbers for this reason: While issues like Iraq have not been pushed in the media very much, the accusations of racism against anyone who disagrees with or questions the president's policies has been. It is this bloggers opinion that the voters are fooling themselves into saying "I support the president, I only disagree with him on this one issue...and this one...and this one, and this one, and this one. But other than those he's doing a great job, so I'm not racist, see!" If you care to be more optimistic about the voters' motives behind weird numbers (and I'm not) then you could even say that Americans are anxious to see our first black president do well, and therefor give him high marks overall, but low marks when it comes down to the nitty gritty specifics.
But not as fishy as this. From the Harris Interactive poll, among a sample of 2,293 adults. You’ve got to be kidding:
On 12 separate issues, the number willing to say he’s doing “pretty good” tops out at 41 percent? CNN has his job approval at 55 percent; even assuming that’s a bit skewed, it can’t be much worse than 50. In which case, how you do get from a high of 41 on individual issues to overall approval of 50? My inner pessimist says things can’t be this rosy for the GOP. Can they?
But if Allahpundit is really interested in seeing if the GOP can really be doing so well (in every last poll issued) then let's look at where the money is going. WSJ is reporting that the RNC has outraised the DNC for the last two months, due largely to a "rise in small donors". That means "average Americans", the same people polled who gave us the odd skew in approval numbers.
So don't worry Allahpundit. Nothing fishy going on. We really are doing that well!