|"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
|"The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
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.
FOR THE RECORD:
A Top of the Ticket post Tuesday on the relative popularity of Sarah Palin and Barack Obama erred in stating in the text and the headline that there was a Palin-Obama gap of 1 point. Two separate polls were cited, as the post notes, so the findings are not directly comparable.
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.
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, some15 months ago).
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.
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.