According to the latest Gallup tracking poll, more voters now approve of President Obama’s job performance than disapprove. This is the first time his job performance favorability ratings have moved higher than disapproval since July when he announced the killing of Osama Bin Laden. Approval of Congress by contrast is clinging to its all time lows.
The latest poll was taken after the Republican debacle over trying to block the payroll tax cut in order to deprive Obama with a victory. At the end of two weeks of GOP political maneuvers, payroll taxes ended up getting cut, and Obama got a victory after all.
According to Gallup, 47% of those polled approve of Obama’s job performance, 45% disapprove. The poll was taken December 21-23 during the payroll tax battle but before Republicans caved. The poll numbers are in the 3% margin of error, but they reflect a favorable trend for the President. Recent polls have showed his disapproval dropping, but until this poll, his approval ratings have not improved.
Republicans are on wrong side of major issues in polls
For months, Republican presidential candidates and members of Congress have been on the wrong side of American public opinion on al major issues. They persist in running counter to what the voters want, but at some point when the people’s attention becomes more focused on politics this is likely to hurt Republicans.
For example, voters support taxing billionaires to help balance the budget by overwhelming numbers upwards from 70%. Even Republican voters support it. Republican politicians unanimously disagree.
Over 80% of Americans support Obama’s ending the Iraq all Republican presidential candidates but Ron Paul opposed it as do most Republicans in Congress. Voters also approve of Obama’s American Jobs Act by a two thirds majority. All Republicans voted against every part of it.
Voters also oppose recent GOP proposals to turn Medicare into a voucher system and privatize social security. Voters believe that the budget should be resolved by a balance between spending cuts and revenue. Republicans only want spending cuts even though they flirted with raising payroll taxes until public opinion snuffed that notion out.
Running contrary to public opinion will eventually hurt the GOP
So far, Republicans have gotten away with behavior that is so contrary to the wishes of voters because other than political junkies and blog readers, no one is focused on politics yet. People turn out the news for the most part because they are far more concerned with making ends meet and going about their lives.
However, as the voting actually begins as early as next week, voter attention will begin focusing on candidates and disuses, and the Republican positions will become more obvious to voters.
The issues that Republicans are most vulnerable on are their positions to protect the super wealthy at the expense of the middle class, and their proclivity for wanting wars. Despite the polling on these issues, Republicans have doubled down on their contrary positions opposing any tax increase on the rich while being seen as killing the payroll tax cut.
In addition, while Americans cheered the end of the Iraq War, Republicans were denouncing it. One of the key issues that brought about the election of Obama in 2008 was his potion against the Iraq War. This issue gave him the advantage over Hillary Clinton who voted for the war in the Senate.
When Obama announced that he was implementing the agreement George Bush signed to bring all troops out by the end of 2011, Republicans blasted him.
Republican presidential candidates, except Ron Paul, support the U.S. getting involved in a war against Iran over its development of nuclear weapons. This is a position that does not have popular support outside of defense contractors and their political PACS. Just as with the payroll tax issue, these chickens will also come home to roost for the GOP.
Voting begins next week in Iowa and there will be 11 more months of campaigning. As November gets closer, voters will begin looking for candidates who think like they do on the issues of the day. This certainly favors Obama and Democrats.
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