Obama Gates gaffe opened some eyes (updated)


Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has the latest Rasmussen numbers and what they show is that the president's approval numbers are getting worse. Those who "strongly disapprove" of the president are up to 40% while a large majority believe his remarks in the Gates affair were wrong:

Obama also got hammered on his response to the arrest of Henry Gates.  In polling taken on Friday and Saturday, after the White House has started its retreat on Obama's assertion that the police "acted stupidly," only 26% believed that Obama's answer was "good" or "excellent".  Sixty-three percent rated it "fair" or poor", as did 40% of Democrats and 67% of independents.  Black voters supported Obama 71%-28%, but they voted for Obama in the last election 96%-4%, which indicates ambivalence even in this demographic (only 21% rated it "excellent").  Obama lost a plurality of the youngest voters, 49%-45%, but lost all others by large majorities ranging from 60%-73%.

But was it right to ask the question in the first place?   Lynn Sweet gets second-guessed by a narrow plurality overall, 43%-41%, and most interestingly, by a majority of black voters, 58%-28%.

I doubt we'll see any prime-time press conferences for a while.  I also think it may be a while before Lynn Sweet gets to ask a question at any Obama press briefing.

Only 29% "strongly approve" of President Obama. That makes his cumulative rating a negative 11% - first time for that number in double digits.

And the scales are starting to fall from many eyes regarding Obama's political leanings. fully 76% now see him as a liberal, up 11 points since the election.

If health care fails to pass this year, those numbers will go much lower.

Update -- Gene Schwimmer adds:

Note that Zogby corroborates Rasmussen:

Now a second respected pollster, Zogby also has Obama below the all-important 50% mark, at an even lower rating of 48% ).  Both polls are of likely voters and, like Rasmussen,

Zogby uses a three-day rolling average - meaning that, mathematically, Obama's rating has to have been even lower than 48% on at least one day.

Asked to rate, separately, Obama's job performance (as opposed to job approval), respondents rated Obama even lower:  47%

Updated -- Rosslyn Smith writes:

Rasmussen's Daily Presidential Tracking poll for Sunday now consists solely of interviews conducted after the Wednesday evening press conference. 

My own opinion is that two things happened Wednesday night.  First,  voters were looking for specifics on health care and once again they only got focus group tested platitudes and finger pointing.  Second, for some time now voters have been noting that while candidate Obama promised to be post partisan, President Obama is intensely partisan. According to another recent Rasmussen poll

Sixty-nine percent (69%) of Republicans think Obama is governing like a partisan Democrat, which is perhaps no surprise, but most voters (58%) not affiliated with either major party agree. Forty-four percent (44%) of Democrats believe the president is being bipartisan, but 36% disagree.

When Obama decided not to pass on Lynn Sweet's hot potato, voters clearly saw that candidate Obama's talk of being post racial was also so much hot air.  Indeed, the Gates incident seems to be shaping up as OJ Simpson redux, with reactions breaking sharply on racial and political lines.   According to a Rasmussen poll conducted on Friday and Saturday

About the only area of common ground is that people of all parties, ideologies and races have been following the news story about Gates and the Cambridge policeman. Overall, 75% say they're paying attention, including 51% who say they're following it very closely.

Asked to comment on the Preasidents job performance of late , AT editor Thomas Lifson pronounced it "Gaffetastic"!

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