This morning, the Chicago Tribune offered up a big article on President Obama's freefalling approval ratings here in Illinois, which is no big surprise to anyone who has been keeping an eye on national trends. Obama has still remained more popular and maintained a higher approval rating here in his adopted home state, but as the summer of 'non-recovery' has stretched on, with no real improvement in the economy (at least on a level people can see and feel, it seems), Obama's ratings here at home are no longer immune to the decline that we have noticed elsewhere.
Why? Time Magazine, of all publications, takes a long look at this phenomenon, and concludes very simply that Obama's philosophy of solving problems by throwing big government at them comes at a time when America's distrust of government has skyrocketed, and the enormous budget deficits that have been and continue to be incurred have the entire country in a state of great concern, if not near-panic:
"One explanation for Obama's steep decline is that his presidency rests on what Gallup's Frank Newport calls a "paradox" between Obama and the electorate. In 2008, Newport notes, trust in the federal government was at a historic low, dropping to around 25%, where it still remains. Yet Obama has offered government as the primary solution to most of the nation's woes, calling for big new investments in health care, education, infrastructure and energy. Some voters bucked at the incongruity, repeatedly telling pollsters that even programs that have clearly helped the economy, like the $787 billion stimulus, did no such thing. Meanwhile, the resulting spike in deficits, which has been greatly magnified by tax revenue lost to the economic downturn, has spooked a broad sweep of the country, which simply does not trust Washington to responsibly handle such a massive liability."
Article after article is now expounding on the worries of the Democrats that their deficit/Obamacare/porkulous chickens have come home to roost, and the November 2010 elections have a very bleak look. None of the Dems are campaigning on the virtues of ObamaCare or other big government initiatives, and in fact, most Dems are running from the President and his policies at light speed. Whether they can run fast enough to escape the collateral fallout from sticking with the President when all of this garbage was passed, well, I guess we'll see in November. Based on Obama's 'new' plan revealed today to spend our way out of this economic funk, it's clear that he hasn't learned any lessons, and is simply doubling down on a failed strategy.
It appears that Alexi Giannoulias is a bit of an anomaly compared to many Dems nationwide, as Alexi was only too happy to have Obama come in last month for a high-profile fundraiser that provided some sorely-needed funds. But even as recently as last week, we are now seeing even Alexi back away a bit from Obama, and I would expect this trend to continue, as the Obama/Pelosi/Reid economic and social message appears to be failing across the nation.
We'll see if Alexi "Now I'm Mr. Independent" Giannoulias even wants Obama to come back in the last 60 days of the campaign, or cut any campaign commercials on Alexi's behalf.
Wow, what a difference a summer makes.