What’s interesting about this new poll by CNN isn’t so much that Barack Obama’s approval rating is up to +9 points (54%-45%), but that Obama’s popular despite the following findings:
*By a 60%-39% margin, Americans believe that things in this country are “pretty badly” (39%) or “very badly” (21%)
*Americans are really not happy about gas prices (73% disapprove of “the way Barack Obama is handling” this issue)
*People also aren’t happy about the budget deficit (64% disapprove) and the economy (58% disapprove)
Despite all this, Americans believe that President Obama is a “strong and decisive leader” (57%-42%), that he “inspires confidence” (58%-41%), and that he “cares about people like you” (60%-39%). Not asked in this poll, but perhaps also helping explain the apparent contradictory findings here, is that Americans strongly dislike Congressional Republicans, and particularly their plan to take a wrecking ball to Medicare. In addition, “Despite the amount of time Obama has been in office, 55% of Americans say that former president George W. Bush and the Republicans are more responsible for current economic problems than Obama.” Correct answer!
Finally, there’s always the freak show known as the “Republican 2012 Presidential field,” which would make any president – let alone a strong, competent one like Barack Obama – look like George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.