Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Obama struggling in Wisconsin

Barack Obama is struggling in Wisconsin, with voters evenly divided on the job he's doing as President. 47% approve and 47% disapprove. He won the state 56-42 last year.

Obama hasn't lost much support with his own party- 90% of Democrats give him good marks with only 6% disapproving. But he has virtually no crossover support from Republicans - 91% disapprove of how he's doing and only 4% approve. Independents split against him by a 50/42 margin.

Health care is certainly one factor that could be hurting his numbers. 52% of voters in the state say they're opposed to Obama's plan with only 37% in support. Independents are opposed 58/31 and Republicans (95%) are considerably more unified in their opposition than Democrats are in their support (74%).

Obama generally seems to be having problems in the Midwest. A Des Moines Register poll over the weekend showed Obama's approval rating there dropping to 49%. A Quinnipiac poll a few weeks ago in Ohio showed 50% of voters disapproving of him there to just 45% approval. A recent Rasmussen survey in Minnesota found him only slightly in positive territory, 51/48. He won all three of those states last year by margins ranging from 4 points in Ohio to 10 points in Iowa and Minnesota.

37% of Wisconsin voters are independents to 34% Democrats in this poll, and that could explain part of Obama's unusually large drop off. 92% of Democrats who voted for Obama still approve of the job he's doing, but only 74% of independent Obama voters say they think he's doing a good job. Obama's approval is more likely to drop even in a state where he did well at the polls if there are more independents than Democrats because they're less loyal to him even if he received their voters last year.

Obama's ease in winning typically competitive midwestern states like Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, and Michigan last year freed up the resources for him to win surprise victories in states like North Carolina and Indiana. He's going to need to bring up his poll numbers in the region to allow a repeat performance the next time around.

Full results here

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