Obama Haters on the Decline

by: tremayne

Wed Jan 07, 2009 at 08:15

( - promoted by tremayne)

It is has been widely reported that Americans strongly support the job Barack Obama has been doing as President-elect. Honeymoon period. Not surprising except the level of support (exceeding 70 percent in some polls) is very high. My assumption, however, was that the 25-30 percent who don't support him would really dislike him (W loyalists).

According to Rasmussen polling that was the case in the days after the election: 32 percent of those polled strongly disapproved. But that has changed rather dramatically over the last two months:

As you can see, in the most recent poll only 13 percent say they strongly disapprove.What caused this sharp decline? Here are some possibilities:

1. The public likes the job Obama is doing during the transition. The cabinet picks, the press conferences, etc. The "centrist" picks reassure worried Republicans.

2. Some former "haters" have just gotten used to the idea of Obama as President. Some may still disapprove, just not "strongly." Others may be at least tepid supporters at this point.

3. Bandwagon effect. Since so many people seem so happy with him, disapprovers have given up saying they strongly disapprove. I'd be inclined to give this some credence except Ramussen uses robocalls and there's really no peer pressure keeping the respondent from answering honestly.

4 (my favorite). The months of negative attacks on Obama, calling him a terrorist symphathizer or even a secret terrorist leader, the anti-Christ, etc. scared many people into not just opposing Obama but being fearful. Without the constant barage of negative messaging, voters are beginning to see Obama in a different light.

It doesn't seem the Blagojevich story has done much to keep the "strong disapprovers" strongly disapproving. Because no evidence has emerged to refute the widely reported story that Obama would offer Blagojevich nothing but "gratitude" this episode may have helped Obama in many voters' eyes.

What's your take?

tremayne :: Obama Haters on the Decline

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Who are they? (4.00 / 2)
The people who "strongly disapprove" are probably the Right Wing Authoritarians that we occasionally talk about. Before they thought most people disliked Obama just like them.  Now that they know that a strong majority approves of him their minds convince themselves that they should too.  

Our Dime Understanding the U.S. Budget

Right now it's easy to be... (4.00 / 2)
...all things to all people.

His disapprove numbers are going to rise soon after his inauguration, especially if he botches the stimulus as is looking more and more likely. I doubt they'll rise that much or that quickly, at least not until May or June. After that if he hasn't implemented some significant policy changes, his disapproval numbers will rise more quickly.

The moment of maximum danger will be the approximately 12 months between September 2009 and September 2010. If the economy continues into free fall and Obama's weak-tea policy offerings aren't helping, then a persistent upward trend in the disapproval numbers is likely. If that does set in, the 2010 elections will be jeopardized and an "Obama failed on the economy" meme could spread, which would be disastrous even if it were accurate. He probably couldn't shake that, unless 2011 sees a visible and quick economic recovery.

Sure, it's possible none of that will happen, but we should at least be aware of it. It seems increasingly clear to me that given Obama's cautious centrism, it's going to fall to us to make sure this new administration provides the change we actually need.

One theory will have to be that Obama knows what he is doing, despite all our protest. (4.00 / 2)
This is an amazing set of figures, following on a history of amazingly smart moves. Now if he uses this Growing Honeymoon for purposes that polling suggests is what America wants, then we can all set to and push with with him. Michael Moore has long showed that America wants progressive policies, in poll after poll, for every issue America polls left on issues.(Except the death penalty) So now we have the leadership, one crosses ones fingers, that can act on all the progressive issues with a sense of trust that the policy is in the right hands.

Is this just too good to be true? Is it bound to fail? Are there road blocks too high, even with this perfectly executed set of smart actions?

Time will have to tell.

What this means is not, it is not, that pressure, organized from progressives, strongly on the issues we face, is bad. The opposite is true. We must continue to press through all organizing and communication methods. I feel strongly that the most respectful, but demanding, mainstream but principled community organizing is what the left should be about right now. A strong articulate sophisticated electorate, well schooled and thoroughly organized, will achieve great things for America.


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

Vanilla ice cream (4.00 / 5)
Something that has marked the Obama transition is its moderation, even blandness. Obama's a bit like vanilla ice cream. Even if vanilla isn't your favorite flavor, it's a pretty non-offensive flavor, and it's still fucking ice cream. Very few people really hate vanilla.

During the campaign, Republicans made him out to be sugar-free, non-fat, ass-ripple flavor ice cream. Nobody likes that flavor. Once they realized he was vanilla they can't maintain the hate.

The flip side, I guess, is that a lot of Democrats thought he was Superman ice cream. But it turns out he's not real Superman ice cream, he's just that cheap Superman that's really vanilla ice cream with added color. But the color is half the experience of Superman ice cream, and he's served in a waffle cone, so it's still a pretty good deal.

This has been another edition of Metaphors Taken Too Far.

On the other hand, it's still the honeymoon - he hasn't even been inaugurated - and given the shitty condition of the country and the vacuum of leadership, anybody who seems to be in control of things is going to be given the benefit of the doubt by pretty much everyone.

Conduct your own interview of Sarah Palin!

Yeah, in some ways there is a War Cabinet look to this. (4.00 / 1)
A many people who I know can do some of the things that need doing, some people that give everyone some assurance that while we are in the process of changing all this, we are going to be changing it into the American you love, the America you thought you had, and or the America you dreamt we could be become. All wrapped in don't worry.

Of course I have my fingers crossed, but everybody read openleft.com over the next weeks as the discussion of actual legislation starts flowing, and the actions of Obama's surrogates start acting on direction, which is why they were hired, and we will start the process of directing efforts where they are needed.

This is the meat of what we need to do now. We need to determine as soon a spossible where pressure neds to be put first, second etc., and start moving that way.

One I would say the drive to single payer is the place to start, though I think that a discussion here is one of the first places to start. But, and here migfht be the point of take-off for discussion, actual debate about policy, such as what has to be included in trade talks so they arent "Free Trade" (tm) i.e. coercive trade that benefits the populations of neither state, but are instead fair trade that have safeguards for jobs, the environment and wages etc. Where do we begin a discussion of the best possible foreign policy in a multipolar world?

I am annoyed but discussions that begin this policy is good and Obama sucks is the end.

Not tp put too fine a point on it, but I can come up with seven reasons why you suck if you don't support single payer health care. I hope not to ever act that way. Or if I do I hope I have the personal character to apologize.

They start acting like Bush (or any other ex-President) is still in control and then we can begin acting like that too. Which will include what we will be doing anyway, which is organize voters, fund better democrats and discuss the hell of policy and tactics.


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

[ Parent ]
Rubes love Obama's senseless Cabinet! (0.00 / 0)
1. Appoint Hillary at State, because "high profile" is good.
2. Appoint no-name general as National Security Adviser, because no-name is also good.
3. Appoint Panetta at CIA to surprise the heck out of Feinstein and Reyes!
5. Appoint Ron Kirk for US Trade Rep because NAFTA is wonderful.
6. Also try to appoint Becerra for US Trade Rep because NAFTA sucks!

And so on.

But TV says Obama is acting very bipartisan, and rubes love the sound of that!

#4 Is #1 For Me (4.00 / 3)
I mean, really, it's been a looooong time since the GOP went so far as to accused the Democratic candidate of being a terrorist or the contemporary equivilent.  Once they pulled the plug on all that, what the heck was supposed to happen?  

"You know what they say -- those of us who fail history... doomed to repeat it in summer school." -- Buffy The Vampire Slayer, Season 6, Episode 3

How about going back to the event (4.00 / 3)
that finally pushed his poll numbers up to begin with -- namely the financial crisis?

Maybe a large number of people are simply expressing their own hopes for Obama's success in fighting something they greatly fear -- a devastating recession/depression in the economy. You know, much like they once upon a time infused Bush with qualities that got him a 90% approval rating, based on nothing he had done, immediately after 9/11?

Of course, such artificial ratings have a built in half life, and if nothing useful gets delivered, can go into a tailspin.

At this point, everything about Obama's prospects would appear to depend on how this stimulus works out economically and politically. Given what Krugman has written, there's good reason to doubt its success.

Yes that Republican error helped. (4.00 / 1)
How about going back to the event that finally pushed his poll numbers up to begin with

Which of course is Republican policies. And Republican political actions, and Republican political style and all the damage that Republicans have done.

Get soemone who is not any of those and we have a winnna!!!!!


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

[ Parent ]
Do you even read (0.00 / 0)
a post before you respond with some praise of Obama, however irrelevant?

In the face of the worst financial crisis since the Depression, Obama is now enjoying a rallying around the President effect.

Do you not understand the part about that being inherently temporary, and being predicated on ultimate success of Obama's chosen solution?

You remind of Bush supporters back in the day of his 90% approval numbers after 9/11. According to them, Bush was just about the greatest President of all time -- just look at his numbers!! Not only is his approval sky high, but the American people think he's a strong and decisive leader, and they are incredibly confident in his judgment, in his choices for advisors, in his understanding of the world, not to mention they think he's ruggedly handsome, well toned, and with a self confident masculinity.

How did that work out in the end?

The fact is, if the stimulus appears to fail -- and, according to Krugman, it has a very good prospect of doing so --  then Obama is going to be toast. He will have made the taxpayers spend the better part of a trillion dollars for a perceived failure.

In terms of its political effect, it will be Katrina and the Iraq War rolled into one.

[ Parent ]
Unlike most people, and I mean it advisedly, I do. (4.00 / 1)
Obama was attacked by the largest political machine in America, and attacked brilliantly. He overcame that and won the primary anyway. He was then attacked and sucker punched and had the kitchen sink thrown at him, and despite America still having huge numbers of people who admit to being racist he won the general anyway. He beat McCain senseless in the debates, impressed people in the general, and has impressed the hell out of the voting public since the general was over.

You provide no counter to my arguments that Obama won, not because of some odd historical anomaly, but because of years and years and years of bad governing, bad speaking, bad tricks and hypocrisy on the Republican's part. I didnt say Obama is god and there for he won, I said, if you read my post,

 How about going back to the event that finally pushed his poll numbers up to begin with --- Which of course is Republican policies. And Republican political actions, and Republican political style and all the damage that Republicans have done.

Get soemone who is not any of those and we have a winnna!!!!!

In fact I implied that any honest person, heck any person willing to wear blue, could have helped relieve America from the illness that is Republican ideology (cough) and action. That is evident from my post.

I cannot for the life of me understand why you react so much to this post. In effect I was agreeing with you, although I was expanding it to include other Republican errors and not just the way they passed enough power to Wall Street to sink a world economy. You mentioned Katrina for example, that is another example of their inability, or unwillingness more correctly, to govern like a human being.

That someone seems able to govern with spite and ill will seems like enough for now for most Americans. I am sure that as the Depression that Obama is trying to prevent deepens, and it will, a lot, then people will have many different opinions, including Republicans, who might just say "this Obama fellow was a mistake, an anomaly, lets get rid of him."

Im sure.


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

[ Parent ]
That someone seems able to govern withOUT spite and ill will (corrected) (0.00 / 0)
my bad habits of editing and typing sure get funny sometimes.


The government has a defect: it's potentially democratic. Corporations have no defect: they're pure tyrannies. -Chomsky

[ Parent ]
Well I would suggest a simple answer (4.00 / 1)
A lot of conservatives want a leader. They want someone they can trust; someone they can respect. So once you get beyond their politicians, and the most hardboiled of their base, you get a lot of people who aren't happy that their guy wasn't the first choice, but are hoping for an Obama they can recognize as a strong leader.

I'll also say that, outside of campaign season, stunts like "Barack the magic negro" do not tend to play well at all (outside of Limbaugh's crowd). Not only will most conservatives see it as heavily racially tinted, but they will be offended by a crude, personal attack on the new leader of the country.

We're too quick to lop all social conservatives into the "hater" category. Truth is, a lot of them simply want to believe in a leader, and I think Barack is smart enough to know and respect that for the patriotism it represents.

my take is that the negative attacks were revealed as baseless and ridiculous (4.00 / 3)
He won the election, and didn't reveal that he's a Muslim terrorist, didn't surrender Georgia to Arabia, didn't appoint Black Nationalists to his cabinet...

The GOP set up such a low expectation for Obama, all he had to do was get up there and not eat a baby.

uncool to be down on O (4.00 / 1)
call it reverse racism or whatever but i think at the moment it is 'uncool' to be down on Obama. I have received several anti-obama emails from my friendly neighborhood right wing idiots and when i take them on with an invitation to get on board with the diversity and tolerance sweeping the nation it really shuts them up (for now anyway). There was never any comeback that worked with Clinton (pre or post Monica)

Plus even my far left friends who are very critical of Obama for picking Warren will rail against him but in the end they always say something akin to 'but i am still on board, i am still on board.'

i am anxious to see how long this honeymoon lasts because you know he will eventually do something that provides justification to the haters..its coming just don't know when.

Bush Effect (4.00 / 1)
Even though Obama seems to be a likeable individual, I'm guessing that at least a part of his high approval ratings have something to do with the very high Bush negatives.  Everyone, regardless of their political leanings, are sick and tired of Bush and Cheney.  And everytime Bush and Cheney do another interview or give another speech, it's a reminder for us all of what they have done to our country.  And still they sit in the White House, doing nothing as the economy continues to tank and the wars rage and the world burns.  And everyone is collectively yelling at the top of their voices, "Give us Obama!"


Are there no other alternatives? (0.00 / 0)
What "job" is Obama doing besides picking people to be in his cabinet - a largely uninspiring and sometimes scary bunch.

And do you have to be what you call a "Bush loyalist' to be repulsed by the grimy presence of Rick Warren at the swearing in ceremony of a President of the United States?

Most of the people I read who are revolted in varying degrees by the "job" that Obama is doing are revolted because of the frightening similarity to Bush.

You're kidding, right? (0.00 / 0)
Why the sharp decline?

May because so many Republicans are watching the life savings
shrivel like a hard-on in a Wyoming blizzard, you think?  


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