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Poll: Obama Losing Support Among Key Groups, Independents

Not that it's a huge surprise, but the NYTimes poll shows Obama losing support among key groups: The poll, which was conducted after Mr. Obama’s economic address to Congress last week, contains considerable warning signs for the president.

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Not that it's a huge surprise, but the NYTimes poll shows Obama losing support among key groups:

The poll, which was conducted after Mr. Obama’s economic address to Congress last week, contains considerable warning signs for the president. The poll found a 12-point jump since late June, to 43 percent, in the number of Americans who say the economy is getting worse. And for the first time since taking office, his disapproval rating has reached 50 percent in the Times and CBS News polls.

“I don’t disapprove of Barack Obama as a person, but as a president he has disappointed me greatly,” said Ann Sheets, 69, a Democrat from Chattanooga, Tenn., speaking in a follow-up interview. Ms. Sheets added, “I’m realistic enough to know how difficult it is and I am not against compromise, but I voted for a backbone. You have to draw some lines in the sand, and I don’t think he has done that.”

The poll found a 43 percent approval rating for Mr. Obama. It is significantly higher than Jimmy Carter, who had an approval rating of 31 percent at a similar time in his presidency, according to the Times and CBS News poll, which showed Ronald Reagan with an approval of 46 percent and the elder George Bush at 70 percent.

The president’s support has fallen to its lowest levels across parts of the diverse coalition of voters who elected him, from women to suburbanites to college graduates. And a persistent effort over the past year to reclaim his appeal to independent voters has shown few signs of bearing fruit, with 59 percent of this critical electoral group voicing their disapproval.

While Mr. Obama has not yet succeeded in winning over independent voters, who comprise the most influential piece of the electorate, neither have Republicans. The field is largely unknown to independents, and few have a favorable opinion of any of the candidates.

[...] The poll was taken as Republicans hopefuls are drawing sharp distinctions with one another in a series of nationally televised debates.

A fight over Social Security has emerged as one of the early yet defining differences between Mr. Perry, who has called the program a “monstrous lie,” and Mr. Romney, who has called for maintaining the current system with some changes to shore up its long-term financial condition. The poll found that nearly three-quarters of Republicans said they thought Social Security and Medicare were worth their costs.

Imagine that. There are some pretty big clues there, Mr. President. I really hate your policy choices and what they've done to our economy, but at least I can understand the logic of pandering to independent voters -- if you think that's your only chance to win. But now you're not only losing them, you're losing big chunks of the base, as well.

It doesn't make sense. Will you stop now with the Blue Dog routine? Will you admit what a bad idea it was to not only try to deal away Social Security and Medicare, but to hand Republicans that weapon to use against Democrats? What the hell were you thinking, trying to undermine the crown jewels of the Democratic party? Why did you wait until now to try to do something about jobs?

President Obama, wake up. Please. The country needs you to stop playing it safe.

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