For any candidate, independents are the most important voters. In most cases they are the difference between winning and losing. This was especially true in the last presidential campaign. Independents went for Obama in a huge way, and they were one of the keys to his victory.
Independent voters are abandoning the President faster than people driving out of town just before a hurricane hits.
According to the IBD/TIPP poll since February support for the President among independents has dropped from 73% to 45%. And even worse for the POTUS, the President has lost independent support on the Economy, Health Care, The Federal Budget, and Foreign, Policy:
By SEAN HIGGINS,
They may love him in Norway, but President Obama is rapidly losing favor with the independents that boosted him to the White House.
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His support among self-described independent voters has fallen from about 73 in February to just 45 this month, according to the IBD/TIPP Presidential Leadership Index.
The survey found that some 44% of independents say his handling of the economy is poor or unacceptable vs. only 29% that gave him high marks. Similarly negative results were found on handling the budget (48%-23%); health care policy (54%-24%); Iran (38%-28%); Afghanistan (38%-25%); and foreign policy overall (38%-32%).
Obama still enjoys strong support from his base, keeping his overall Presidential Leadership number at a positive 54.2. But that is his lowest reading yet in the IBD/TIPP survey. The poll surveyed 927 adults from Oct. 5-10.
Economic woes, which helped propel Obama to the White House, are now working against him. Unemployment has hit a 26-year-high 9.8%, and is expected to keep rising. Since he signed the $787 billion stimulus bill in February, the U.S. has lost 2.7 million jobs.
Raghavan Mayur, president of Technometrica Market Intelligence, which conducted the survey, says the economy is the key.
“It comes down to the ability to create jobs,” he said. “People are running out of patience.”
Independent seniors also have been turned off by parts of Democrats’ health care proposal.
“They don’t like it because of the (proposed) $500 billion in cuts to Medicare,” Mayur said.
While Obama drove turnout of traditional Democratic voters to record levels in 2008, support from independents was crucial.
He won 52% of the independent vote last year vs. 44% for GOP candidate John McCain, according to CNN exit polls. Independents accounted for 29% of overall voters.
He also beat McCain 60%-39% among self-described moderates — 44% of all voters.
Such losses bode ill for Democratic lawmakers ahead of the 2010 midterm elections. Democrats lead in the latest Gallup generic congressional vote by 46%-44%, among their narrowest edges in years. Several dozen Democrats were elected in districts carried by McCain last year.
Democrats hoped the call to pass Obama’s agenda would help them retain their majorities. But polls suggest they may face the typical voter backlash against the president’s party during an administration’s first off-year election.