Saturday, September 17, 2011


I don't have much to say about the new New York Times/CBS poll -- there's extraordinary economic pessimism, voters loathe Democrats in Congress and feel even more negative about congressional Republicans, and so on, which makes it just like most recent polls. We're told that the president's job approval rating and personal approval rating are both underwater, for the first time in a Times/CBS poll, though in line with the results of other recent polls:

... President Obama's overall approval rating has dropped to 43 percent, the lowest so far of his presidency in CBS News polling. In addition, his disapproval rating has reached an all-time high of 50 percent.

... In addition, for the first time, more Americans have an unfavorable opinion of the president than a favorable one - 39 percent have a favorable opinion, while 42 percent view him unfavorably. Eighteen percent are undecided.

But the thing is, America likes nobody right now, as you see if you check the numbers, specifically the approval-disapproval numbers of the Republican presidential candidates (and Sarah Palin). The only one of those people who isn't underwater with the public at large is ... Herman Cain. And that's presumably because so few people have heard of him, and most of those are probably Republicans.

Here are the numbers (remember, this is for the population at large):

Michele Bachmann: 19% favorable, 36% unfavorable
Herman Cain: 14% favorable, 14% unfavorable
Newt Gingrich: 18% favorable, 46% unfavorable
Jon Huntsman: 9% favorable, 18% unfavorable
Sarah Palin: 20% favorable, 62% unfavorable
Ron Paul: 17% favorable, 31% unfavorable
Rick Perry: 21% favorable, 28% unfavorable
Mitt Romney: 25% favorable, 29% unfavorable
Rick Santorum: 7% favorable, 18% unfavorable

Even Republicans dislike Palin (36%-39%) and Paul (19%-32), as well as (not surprisingly) Huntsman (10%-21%). They barely like Gingrich (36%-34%) and Santorum (16%-10% -- hey, maybe even they find him a tad sanctimonious and self-regarding). Ah, but they do love Perry (42%-8%), Cain (29%-9%), and (this surprises me a bit) Romney (45%-15%), and they're quite fond of Bachmann (31%-19%).

But I think the overall American response is significant -- just about everyone's underwater. That's why Obama could still win this damn thing.