Based on the last few weeks of our polling I'd say Barack Obama's New Years/post-Tucson poll bounce is over. Here are some of the reasons I've reached that conclusion:
-Our last two weekly national surveys for Daily Kos have found Obama back with slightly negative approval numbers. This week he's at 46/49 and last week he was at 47/48. The main reason he's down from his high water mark of 50/45 in late January? Independents have turned back against him. At that point he had a 53/41 approval with them. Now it's back to being almost the inverse of that at 43/51.
Other pollsters have shown a similar drop from where Obama was a month ago. A month ago Gallup had Obama at 51/41, now it's 46/45. Rasmussen had Obama at 50/49, now it's 44/55. CBS had it at 49/39, now at 48/41. It's not necessarily a huge decline for Obama, but across the board polls are finding that he has weakened a little bit.
-On our national 2012 Presidential poll last week Obama led Newt Gingrich, Mike Huckabee, Sarah Palin, and Mitt Romney by an average of 7.3 points each. That's a solid performance and would certainly be enough to get him reelected, but it's down from the average lead of 9.8 points we found for Obama against that quartet last month.
We've seen a similar downward trend in Obama's advantage in North Carolina, the only individual state where we've done a 2012 poll each of the last two months. In the numbers we'll release tomorrow Obama has an average advantage of 4 points over the Republicans tested. Again that's solid, but it does represent a downward movement from last month when he led them by an average of 5.5 points.
Obama's current position is not bad- but it's a lot more similar to where he was during the last half of 2010 than it is to his great polling month of January.