New poll numbers out of North Carolina illustrate an interesting phenomenon heading into the 2012 elections: While voters may not be thrilled with the job President Obama is doing, they really hate the slate of Republican presidential candidates:
The survey shows the President’s job approval remains well underwater in the state, at 43 percent approval with 53 against, with 62 percent of independent voters disapproving along with 20 percent of Democrats. There’s also a huge gender gap: only 37 percent of men approve of his performance versus 61, with women breaking 48 – 46. But those numbers reflect the level of discontent nationally and are therefore somewhat unsurprising.
What is surprising is the low standing of GOP candidates in the eyes of the North Carolina electorate. That’s not to say that the race isn’t close. In fact, Obama is locked in a tie with Texas Gov. Rick Perry at 45 percent a piece, leads former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney 45 percent to 44, and only bests Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-MN) 47 – 45. But each of those Republicans have high unfavorability ratings among NC voters: Perry is already seen unfavorably by 43 percent after only a few weeks on the trail (against 34 percent approval), Romney is well underwater at 28 – 52, and Bachmann is at 29 – 52. So if this is a low point for the President in terms of popularity, there’s room for Obama to outpace his opponents.
As much as President Obama’s willingness to
give away the farm compromise with Republicans drives progressives crazy, it’s helped keep his personal favorability high – whether voters agree with his policies or not, they think President Obama’s a nice, reasonable person. Meanwhile, Michele Bachmann’s a nut, Mitt Romney’s a phony, and Rick Perry is a meaner version of George W. Bush. Good luck with that, GOP.