Friday, June 14, 2024
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‘Americans against another term for Obama’

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Washington: In a grim news for Barack Obama who has started his re-election campaign, more than half of Americans, weighed down by job losses and economic woes, say he does not deserve another chance to be President.

A new poll conducted by Christian Science Monitor/TIPP exactly one year before the 2012 Presidential election shows that independents, the critical mass of voters with the power to swing ballots, have lost faith in the 50-year-old Democrat.

While 35 per cent of independents say Obama deserves to be re-elected, 56 per cent believe he does not, the poll shows. Ten per cent of independents polled are not sure or did not say anything.

Among Americans of all political persuasions, 40 per cent of those polled would give Obama four more years, 50 per cent would not, six per cent were not sure and four per cent declined to answer.

“The independent support is key. They are a key voting bloc to get him reelected,” says Raghavan Mayur, the Indian- American President of TechnoMetrica Market Intelligence, which conducted the poll of 901 Americans.

“When your support is weak among independents, it really is concerning,” Mayur was quoted as saying.

At the same time, the report said Obama’s current approval ratings will be an unreliable predictor of his fate in the November 2012 contest.

With the Republican nomination race in full swing and early-state primary elections just two months away, the GOP’s lack of consensus around or enthusiasm for a particular candidate could play in Obama’s favour, it said.

Gallup’s historical data indicate that Obama’s approval ratings, while grim, are not without precedent for re-election.

In the 10th quarter of his presidency (between April 20 and July 19, 2011), Obama’s job approval average, at 46.8 per cent, was sub-50 per cent, the threshold that pundits use to gauge a leader’s appeal in the run-up to an election.

But Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan also rated below that marker during the same period of their respective first terms. Clinton was at 49.3 per cent, and Reagan scored a meager 44.4 per cent. Both, of course, went on to be re-elected, the report noted.

In the Monitor/TIPP poll, 37 per cent of those surveyed rated Obama’s overall performance an A or B. But 38 per cent gave him a D or F.

One-quarter graded Obama, the former president of the Harvard Law Review whose message of hope and change galvanised a historic coalition of young voters and minorities in 2008, as average, bestowing a C grade.

Underlying the dissatisfaction is grave voter anxiety about the economy, says Mayur – and the government’s job statistics do not tell the full story.

The Monitor/TIPP poll shows that up to 25 per cent of US households include at least one individual looking for full- time employment, he says. (PTI)

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