Those of you who read Biblical Conservatism regularly know that one of the things I take time to do is follow the President's approval ratings on a daily basis in an effort to understand the the trends of the President's job approval. In the past few weeks, I've noticed something quite surprising: The President is losing the uniformed non-voter even faster than he's losing those of us who are paying attention.
Why does this matter? Simple. President Obama was elected largely based on a style over substance platform that included minimal experience, a voting record filled with votes of "present" and few specific plans explained in favor of repeatedly saying buzzwords like "hope" and "change." People who aren't very informed were MORE likely to vote for Obama. In short, the President has lost support with people who pay so little attention that they're persuaded by pretty words...and I think we can all agree that's the best thing Obama has going for him.
Where do I get this observation? As always, using the two polls I trust, Gallup's poll (1) of adults and Rasmussen's poll (2) of likely voters. Here's the last week's trend:
Day: Gallup (adults) Rasmussen (likely voters)
Saturday (8/13) 42% approval 43% approval *
Sunday (8/14) 39% approval * 44% approval
Monday (8/15) 41% approval 44% approval
Tuesday (8/16) 39% approval * 44% approval
Wednesday (8/17) 40% approval 43% approval *
Thursday (8/18) 40% approval 43% approval *
Friday (8/19) 40% approval 45% approval
7 - Day Average: 40% approval 43% approval
* Denotes lowest rating for the week
For the record, I'd be inclined to disregard the two point increase to 45% on Friday. One trend that I've noticed in Rasmussen is the President gains a couple points whenever he's out of sight and out of mind. He goes on vacation and gains two points. He often picks up two or three points over the weekend because he's not out reminding us that he is a lousy President (for example, giving the same speech recommending the same failed solution to a problem for the umpteenth time). During a campaign, the President won't be out of sight and out of mind.
It's an intriguing trend, really. Obama's losing more disinterested people than he is losing the involved voters. Some might think this is a good sign for the President, but let me assure you it's not, for two reasons. First of all, the President's handling of specific issues, like the economy, is consistently rated lower than his overall job approval.
On July 31st, Rasmussen conducted their last poll of the President's handling of the economy. Likely voters gave him 36% approval (3). His overall job approval on that day was 46% (2). The President's approval on important issues like job creation and the economy are consistently well below his overall approval. This is not a good sign for a President who wants to be re-elected.
Essentially, you're looking at a small group of likely voters who fall into the "somewhat approve" range who can find one or two things where they think the President is doing a decent job, but are also very willing to vote for a better candidate.
More importantly, once again, the type of person who is likely to show up and vote is informed and pays attention to things like results from policies. Pretty speeches don't convince an informed person that they're seeing success when they are seeing failure. Pretty speeches don't convince an informed unemployed person that they'll have a job when they've been looking for a year.
Mark my words: If Obama loses the uninformed people who are convinced with style over substance, he's headed for a big defeat in 2012.
(1) Gallup Daily: Obama Job Approval
(2) Rasmussen: Obama Approval Index History
(3) Rasmussen: 50% Give Obama Poor Marks On Economy
(4) Rasmussen: 50% Favor Jobs Tax Credits for Hiring Young Veterans