For the first time since the spring of 2008, Rasmussen's tracking survey shows approval for President Obama is down to 50%, with disapproval at 49%. Given the trend line, the survey result could turn negative tomorrow.
Among those who strongly approve or disapprove, the numbers are 30% strongly approve versus 37% who strongly disapprove. Every other survey is also showing a deterioration in Obama's numbers, and it is not surprising that the President's legislative agenda items (healthcare reform and cap and trade, and his signature bill from the first 30 days -- the economic stimulus plan) are now showing majority disapproval (or in the case of the stimulus, a belief it has not worked).
In light of this, a Rasmussen survey showing a dead heat in a trial matchup for 2012 between Obama and Mitt Romney, is not a great surprise. The Obama team, on the bad advice of Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, delegated the stimulus bill, health care reform, and cap and trade to Congress and took a laissez faire approach to the stinky sausage that was produced.
Rahm apparently learned a lesson from Hillary Clinton's failed health care reform: don't create big bills in the White House, and then ask Congress to affirm them. On the other hand, allowing Nancy Pelosi and her gang of aging coastal radicals in the House to run wild to reward all their special interests who fund Democratic campaigns, is also not a good recipe for sensible legislation. The Democrats have total power in both Houses of Congress.
Only Democrats can stop the train at this point. There will be incredible pressure from the White House and its community organizing team, to get something done on health care, just as their goal with the cap and trade bill, was to get something passed.
Many Americans are growing increasingly anxious as unemployment rises, foreclosures mount, the deficit balloons out of control and the Administration offers only higher taxes to pay for its spending spree. A bad bill is not better than no bill at all.
Many Americans seem to want a time out, and a renewed focus on improving the economy before the White House and Congress shake up the county any more.
But this administration, as Rahm has said, sees opportunity in crisis. The Democrats see a chance to create a major new health care entitlement that will endear tens of millions to the party of big government that gave it to them.
The Obama health care plan is about politics, not health care reform. We will see how much spine there is among the Democrats in the House and Senate who conclude that their political future is not tied to Obama's.