Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.
Monday, October 24, 2016

According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, the budget sequester is taking a serious toll on the political fortunes of both President Barack Obama and congressional Republicans.

The poll finds President Obama’s approval rating at 50 percent, down 5 points from the previous poll, taken shortly before Obama’s inauguration, on January 13th. Perhaps more troubling for the president, his lead over congressional Republicans on who voters trust more to deal with the economy is now a narrow 44 to 40 percent, with 11 percent saying “neither.” That 4-point advantage is down from a whopping 18-point lead on the same question in the December poll.

The $85 billion budget sequester is likely driving the decline in Obama’s numbers; 53 percent disapprove of the cuts, compared to 39 percent who approve.

If Obama’s numbers are slipping, however, his Republican opponents are not able to take much advantage. An overwhelming 72 percent disapprove of the way that congressional Republicans are doing their job, while just 24 percent approve. Furthermore, voters blame Republicans for the cuts over the president by a 47 to 33 percent margin, and a decisive 68 percent want Republicans and the White House to work together to avert the cuts instead of letting them continue as the GOP advocates, as opposed to 28 percent who do not.

When it comes to specific budgetary actions to replace the sequester cuts, voters still broadly favor the Democratic approach over the Republican alternative that was recently codified by Wisconsin representative Paul Ryan’s budget plan — 56 percent support limiting the deductions that higher-income individuals can take to reduce their federal income taxes, with 38 percent opposed. Voters oppose cutting Medicaid by a 71 percent to 26 percent margin, and oppose raising the Medicare age to 67 by 60 to 39 percent. Voters also support cutting military spending in a more targeted way, by 58 to 38 percent.

So while the sequester may be doing political damage to President Obama, Republicans have made no apparent progress towards restoring their own image. Until Republicans change their deeply unpopular policy platforms, it’s unclear how they’ll be able to mount a serious political comeback.

AP Photo/Charles Dharapak

Click here for reuse options!
Copyright 2013 The National Memo
  • docb

    Hmmm…President Obama is at 50% and the repubs are??? In the rubbish bin.

  • Dear President Obama:

    Screw them.
    Invoke the Nuclear Option, follow through on your death threat on Beohner, and learn the lesson every working American has had to learn–you can’t work with someone whose only goal is working against you.

  • nobsartist

    Obama deserves what he gets. If he had any guts he would have hammered the republiCONs with the Sherman Anti-Trust Act but instead, admits that he is lazy.

    Obama doesnt want to hurt the Kochs, he might not get a seat on that board of directors.

    Obama doesnt want to hurt the insurance cabal because he might not get a seat on the board of directors.

    Obama doesnt want to hurt the banks because he might not get a seat of the board of directors.

    Obama does not want to hurt the oil cabal because he might not get a seat on the board of directors.

    Obama does not want to hurt the defense industry because he might not get a seat on the board of directors.

    Obama does not want to help us regular folk because we dont have a board of directors.

    Now you know the real reason why Obama extended the bush tax cuts.

    • charleo1

      You know what they call people who make accusations for which they
      have absolutely, zero reasons for making them? Since you claim to know
      Barack Obama’s motivations. Why did he take his gold plated Ivy League,
      law degree, along with his unpaid college loans, and move to the South
      side of Chicago? I’ll tell you what his actions said to me. They said he
      believed it was a lot more important to him to make a positive difference
      than to make a pile of money on Wall Street. You’re Mr. Cynical. Why would
      anyone take a $14,000 per year salary, to work in one of the most
      dangerous cities in the Country? And, try to help some of the poorest people in
      the Country, find a place to live, apply for a scholarship, or secure affordable
      day care for a single Mother with 3 or 4 kids? Now, if you think he did this,
      so one day he would be elected President. And get to sit on a corporate
      board somewhere. You need to realize, sometimes good people do altruistic
      things, for no other reason than to help their fellow man. Is that so hard to

  • elw

    It is hard to believe that anyone could call 50% approval rating bad in comparison to the Republicans 24% approval rating. Sounds like a Republican trying to make lemonade
    out of lemons.