That's a question we're going to try to figure out the answer to in our polling for the next month.
His poll numbers are dropping, the media narrative is that he's in trouble, and some Republicans seem to be happy to write his 2012 obituary barely six months into his Presidency.
We've been finding his approval numbers below his election day percentage in most of the states we've polled lately. But our most recent Virginia poll was sort of a Eureka for me.
It was the first time we've cross tested his approval ratings against respondents' self reported 2008 vote and we found that only 5% of people who voted for him disapprove of the job he's doing, equal to the 5% who didn't vote for him that do approve of the job he's doing.
The WaPo wrote a highly anecdotal story today suggesting Obama's losing support among those who voted for him but our scientific data shows there's really not much of that happening.
Most of the polling we're doing right now is in the context of 2009 and 2010 races. Republicans are more energized for those than Democrats at this point, and that's resulting in us finding poor approval numbers for Obama- within those electorates.
If you reweight our Virginia poll today showing Obama's approval at 42/51 to the 2008 electorate though, his approval becomes 50/44. He won the state 52/46...so he's more or less exactly where he was on election day.
We're going to start doing the Obama approval by 2008 vote crosstabbing in all of our polls to see if this trend continues, but it looks to me like Obama's popular with those who voted for him and not with those who didn't. I'm not sure that really suggests a weak position for him- it certainly didn't seem weak when that level of support translated to 365 electoral votes!
Some people who didn't vote for Obama may have expressed approval for him in the early days of his term because they felt like they needed to give a new President a chance, but the reality is that Obama is setting out to do what he said he was going to do when he got elected, so if you didn't like what you heard last fall you inevitably were going to end up not liking what you heard when he started governing. The higher levels of approval he initially showed, particularly from Republicans, were inevitable going to fall.
If Obama really starts bleeding 2008 supporters he'll be in trouble but I don't really sense that to be the case right now.