It wasn’t the debates, it was Obama’s first-year agenda.

I contend that Obama isn’t losing because of his performance in the first debate…

He is losing becaue of his first-year agenda.

Some say:

The debates turned out to be Obama’s breaking point.

I say Obama’s breaking point, in terms of support, really was his first year and a half in office, and his insistence on passing things like Porkulus, Cash for Clunkers, and Obamacare.

Look at the siesmic shift in Obama’s Rasmussen numbers during his first year in office.

Obama was sworn in 1/20/2009. Rasmussen is a 3-day rolling average, so if you make inauguration day the center day, then the polls from 1/19-1/21 were averaged and released the morning of 1/22/2009. Let’s look at the Rasmussen numbers (plus one additional column I have calculated from two of his columns) from that date, 1/22/2009, and at three month intervals over Obama’s first 18 months as President:

Date
Presidential Approval Index
Strongly Approve
Strongly Disapprove
Total Approve
Total Disapprove
Total Approve – Strongly Disapprove
1/22/2009
30
44%
14%
64%
29%
50%
4/22/2009
2
34%
32%
54%
46%
22%
7/22/2009
-6
29%
35%
51%
47%
16%
10/22/2009
-13
26%
39%
47%
52%
8%
1/22/2010
-18
25%
43%
45%
54%
2%
4/22/2010
-10
31%
41%
47%
52%
6%
7/22/2010
-17
27%
44%
44%
55%
0%

Pay particular attention to that calculated column, “Total Approve – Strongly Disapprove“.  When Obama was inaugurated, he enjoyed a Total Approval that was 35 pionts higher than his Total Disapproval, and fully 50 points higher than his Strong Disapproval.

After Obama’s first 18 months in office, that 50 point margin was completely erased! 
His Total Approval was 44% and his Strong Disapproval was an exactly equal 44%. 
His “Total Approve – Strongly Disapprove” was 0!

That is the story of Obama’s Presidency.  He completely squandered a massive amount of goodwill that he had at his inauguration.  How? Why? Because he pursued massive amounts of hugely unpopular Keynesian and Socialist economic policy.

Only 14% strongly disapproved of Obama at his inauguration.  Even if you falsely label that 14% as racists, you can’t call the other 86% of the population racists.  And after Obama’s policies of his first 18 months, 30% more of the likely voter population Strongly Disapproved of Obama (for a total of 44% Stong Disapproval). 

That 30% came from the previous 86%, so it represents (30/86) = 35 percent of those who did not Strongly Disapprove of Obama at the time of his inauguration ended up Strongly Disapproving of Obama after his first 18 months in office!

And to quote Rasmussen today:

Fifty-four percent (54%) of voters still favor repeal of the president’s health care law.  That matches the support for repeal found the week after the law was passed in March 2010. It is truly remarkable how stable public opinion has remained on this issue. Eighty percent (80%) of voters believe repeal of the health care law is likely if Romney is elected and Republicans take control of Congress.

Support for repeal is driven in part by the belief of 50% of voters that the cost of health care cost will go up as a result of the law. Also, 50% believe the law will increase the federal deficit. Hardly anybody believes the law will lead to lower health care costs or reduce the deficit.

Now to the 2012 Presidential debates… again I contend that Obama isn’t losing because of his performance in the first debate, he is losing becaue of his first-year agenda.  All Mitt Romney had to do was speak to Americans directly, without the MSM filter, and the electorate saw that Romney is a competent, capable, caring executive… not at all the straw man that Team Obama had constructed.

Mitt Romney gave Independents and “undecideds” a reason to vote FOR him, and not just AGAINST Obama.

As a woman in Frank Luntz’s NV focus group said,

[Focus Group woman:] “Undecided”. I was not undecided between Obama and Romney. I was undecided between Romney and not voting… as unfortunately, quite a number of people that I know are in that category. I was extremely favorably impressed.

[Frank Luntz:] … with Romney…

[Focus Group woman:] Yes!

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2 Responses to It wasn’t the debates, it was Obama’s first-year agenda.

  1. Aussie says:

    RP this is a good analysis. I do not think that I would blame pure Keynesians, but I would blame neo-Keynesian thought. This is because Keynes actually had a better understanding of the economy than those who came after him. Keynes did in fact have correspondence with Hayek, and in fact he was impressed with “the Road to Serfdom”. Keynes believed in the capitalist free market system, even though he did theorise on a different system (I really wish I knew what happened to my copy of his book). It is people like Krugman who push their version of what Keynes was teaching who are wrong. They are wrong because unlike the master they have not once assessed the situation and say “where did I go wrong”? Keynes, on the other hand was quite capable of embracing criticism of his work, and refining his ideas.

    The Keynesian method failed in the 1970s when Stagflation hit for the first time. Rather than study why the Keynesian policies had failed, the neo-Keynesians ignore that period of Stagflation and continue to promote policies that will fail when the conditions are not quite right. For example Keynes had advocated that in times of war taxes should increase to pay for the costs associated with that war, but in other times taxes should be lowered. This is not what is advocated by Krugman. Instead Krugman and his type argue for big government.

    The problem with deficit spending is the same problem that has existed for a very long time. When a government spends more than it receives in the form of taxes it has to borrow the money. Those borrowings actually take away Investment Capital from the private sector. This is not healthy.

    What is happening in the USA is also happening in Australia where we have a big spending government and a Subprime who is promising the earth without considering where the money will come from to pay for those promises. Already their policies and tax hikes are proving a disaster in the mining sector. People here are just as p’d off as they are in the USA. Yet, we have ignorant people who approve even when the government is a total balls up!!

    I do think that you are correct, the decline happened well before the debates as evidenced by the landslide in the 2010 mid term elections.

  2. Aussie, thank you for your excellent comment.

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