POLITICAL observations & opinions

* “The last six weeks have been the best six weeks the president has had in his first two years in office,” said NBC/WSJ co-pollster Peter Hart (D).

Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 20, 2011

 

President Obama in Tucson

******

FIRST THOUGHTS from FIRST READ …

*** Are the political winds changing? ***

  • Exactly two years ago today, Barack Obama was sworn in as the country’s 44th president — a sign that the political winds were firmly at the Democratic Party’s back.
  • Then, a year ago today, we had discovered the winds had shifted … a slow descent for the Democrats culminated with the November “shellacking.”
  • But are the political winds once again changing?
  • Obama’s approval is at 53% (where he hasn’t been since before those summer town halls in ‘09, that’s 18 months ago)
  • “The last six weeks have been the best six weeks the president has had in his first two years in office,” said NBC/WSJ co-pollster Peter Hart (D).
  • the bump in Obama’s approval was across the board —
    • independents moved from 35% approval to 46%;
    • Democrats went from 76% to 86%,
    • and Republicans went from 11% to 15%.
  • Perhaps the most surprising result in the poll? Try 40% labeling the president as a political moderate, compared with 45% who see him as a liberal and 11% who view him as a conservative.
  • But the bigger warning signs in the poll appear directed at the party that’s been in control of the House for just two weeks.
    • Only 25% say the Republicans in Congress will bring the right kind of change (versus 42% who said that about the Dems in Jan. 2007, and 37% who said that about the GOP in Jan. 1995).
    • In addition, a majority (55%) believe congressional Republicans will be too inflexible in dealing with Obama, while an equal number (55%) say Obama will strike the right balance.
    • And then there’s this: The GOP’s fav/unfav has gone from a net positive in December (38%-37%) to a net negative now (34%-40%).
    • “I think this has been a pretty short Republican honeymoon,” McInturff says. Hart adds, “I think the president has the benefit of the doubt, and the Republicans — based on this data — have the burden of proof.”

Read full story: http://broadcaster.msnbc.msn.com/t?ctl=2ADCE:02F2385374F7842A5D2827FD8DEBF2B0&

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