Lordy, Lordy, Lordy, look what the pollsters just brought in.
A pair of new surveys revealing that President Obama is still declining and has hit a new low in job approval among Americans just 56 weeks after they elected him with a decided margin.
And -- wait for it -- Republican Sarah Palin is successfully selling a whole lot more than books out there on the road. Even among those not lining up in 10-degree weather to catch a glimpse of pretty much the only political celebrity the GOP has these days.
First, el jefe. Facing double-digit unemployment, rising spending, deficits and Afghan war casualties plus a keystone but stalled healthcare reform effort that caused a rare Sunday presidential visit to Capitol Hill, Obama recently fell below 50% job approval for the first time.
Then, last week's deft dance of rhetoric over sending reinforcements to Afghanistan but, on the other foot, bringing them home quickly maybe gave him a brief boost. That, however, collapsed with equal rapidity.
Obama's new Gallup Poll job approval number is 47%. Last month it was 53%.
Regular Ticket readers will recall how in this space in late November we pointed out that Obama's closely watched job approval slide was coinciding with Palin's little-noticed rise in favorability. And it appeared they might cross somewhere in the 40s.
What you cannot see is the description of that article in the link "not-that-it-matters-politically-because-shes-a-republican-idiot-and-hes-a-democrat-geniusbut-sarah-palins-poll-numbers-are-climbing." Uh, yeah. Like I said, some major snark, if not a downright condescension. Gee, where have we seen that before? Oh, I know, with Hillary.
The author is then forced to type out these words:
Well, ex-Sen. Obama, meet ex-Gov. Palin.
The new CNN/Opinion Research Poll shows Palin now at 46% favorable, just one point below her fellow basketball fan.
(The same poll, btw, has bad news for Dick Cheney-haters; the outspoken former VP has climbed out of the 29% basement, back up to 39% now. How do you suppose he's done that without a new book? But that's another story.)
Not that either Palin or Obama will admit caring about such trivial things as disparate political polls....
...1,071 days before the 2012 election, when Republicans will have the concept of change on their side. Obama's camp is already using the looming Palin pall as a fundraising tool. Never let any potential threat go unmonetized.
The new numbers seem to indicate that despite oft-cited predictions about the dire impact of Palin resigning her Alaska governor's job in July, a lot of people who don't live in Alaska (and, come to think of it, most people don't live in Alaska) don't seem to care. She wasn't their governor then and she still isn't.
Never mind that she had an extremely high favorable rating while governor. If memory serves, the highest of any governor in the country. Indeed, her ratings were int he 90's. Not even Obama, at his most messianic, ever had THOSE numbers. But hey, why let facts like this influence the author of this article?
And speaking of her being governor:
Palin's low favorable poll point of 39% came right after the midsummer resignation and she's been slowly climbing since, fueled by media attention, eager reader response over her book contents, her tour and the spontaneous outpouring of support at her carefully-calculated bus stops along the way -- 31 appearances in 25 states, many of them politically crucial.
Imagine what critics would be saying now if Palin was neglecting her elected Juneau job to sell books in the Lower 48 and talk to an elite club of Washington journalists, if there is such a thing.
Oh, I think we know what they would say - same kind of crapola they say anyway. Ahem:
The view, Palin told the capital's Gridiron Club Saturday night in her self-deprecating and at times pointed remarks (full text right here), is a whole lot better from inside the bus than from under it.
Palin critics -- and, by golly, there still are some, believe it or not -- say that she's a polarizing political figure.
And they're dead-on correct: 46% like her (including eight of 10 Republicans), 46% don't (including seven of 10 Democrats) and only 8% are undecided (no doubt including many who've been living underground since John McCain unveiled his VP GOP running mate in Dayton, Ohio, some 15 months ago).
Uh yeah, I am sure this is SUCH a surprise to her detractors - again, just like Hillary! They are amazed that a lot of people actually like her. Huh, imagine that:
But here's the fascinating, little-noticed catch:
The very same polarization now holds true for Obama, the fresh fellow from the old Chicago Democratic machine who was supposed to bring hope and change to a nation tired of divisive politics and the harsh partisan tone of Washington.
Fully 83% of Democrats approve of him, but only 14% of Republicans do.
Among independents, who provided the crucial winning boost for the Democratic ticket in November 2008, Obama's support has melted to 42% today, in large part over immense spending and deficit concerns.
And as political veteran Dave Cook points out over on the Vote blog, just since last month, 3% of Obama's own Democrats have abandoned his ship, another 4% of Republicans and fully 7% of independents.
Other recent polls have shown Republicans leading for the first time this year on the generic congressional ballot and self-identified Republicans closing the gap with self-identified Democrats.
I am seeing a correlation here - the more Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi are on tv, the lower the ratings go. That's my theory anyway:
Meanwhile, Palin continued her book/celebrity sales tour across the heartland, stopping Sunday in -- oh, look! -- Iowa. "No politician comes to Iowa by accident," Republican strategist Tim Albrecht told AP's Mike Glover.
More significantly, Palin was in western Iowa, which is ruled by the Republican Party, which in the Hawkeye state these days is ruled by conservative evangelicals, who form a large chunk of Palin's evolving base. As another ex-governor, Mitt Romney, learned to his dismay in the 2008 GOP caucuses won by another ex-governor (and Baptist preacher), Mike Huckabee.
Obviously, not every politician visiting Iowa each election cycle ends up running for president. And not every Iowa winner collects the big prize. But no one gets to the White House without going to Iowa. Which Palin has now done on her own. Purportedly selling a book. (Andrew Malcolm)
Here's the thing - perhaps, despite the best efforts of the MSM to malign Palin, just like they did Clinton, people aren't buying it anymore. The similarities between the two woman are glaringly obvious to me.
And something else that is glaringly obvious to me is that the more Palin talks, the more people like her. The more Obama talks (the talk, but doesn't walk the walk), the less people like him. People are seeing through the media manipulation. They're not buying what people like Malcolm is selling, at least not anymore. That's bad news for Obama, and good news for Palin. Maybe after her (very funny) speech at the Gridiron Dinner, the media may just turn around and start seeing what others see in her.
Just like Hillary. The media portrayed her in such a disparaging way, but as she campaigned around the country, people started to realize the media was woefully out of touch with who she is. When they heard her, they liked her, and in some cases, like mine, adored her. No matter how they tried to tear her down, people realized that there is nothing like seeing the person with their own eyes and listening with their own ears. The same seems true with Sarah, too.
Kinda makes you wonder just who the "idiot" is now, doesn't it?