AP Poll: Americans high on Obama, direction of US
This was the headline of an article discussing the recent Associated Press-GfK poll.
The authors went on to describe how 48% of "Americans" think the country is on the right track and 44% think it is on the wrong track. This question is often used as an indicator of how the country feels overall about both the situation in the US and how the President is doing their job.
The article explains that often we do not see a higher "right track" than "wrong track" number. They interpreted this to be an endorsement of Obama's policies to date.
There are a couple of things that are included in the poll that do not get quite the same fanfare but may be more relevant.
Of those who say the country is on the right track in the AP-GfK poll, 73 percent are Democrats, 17 percent are independents and 10 percent are Republicans.
So it turns out, it's not Americans that think Obama is doing a bang up job, it's Americans who are Democrats that are pleased.
This, 17 percent are independents, is very relevant though. Forget the Democrats and Republicans, these are partisan stances. Democrats are going to vote to keep a Democratic Congress for Obama and Republicans are going to vote against it. The 2010 election will be like most other elections in that the independents are going to go a long way in deciding the outcome.
Keep that in mind while reading these next two statistics. (emphasis mine)
_More than 90 percent of Americans consider the economy an important issue, the highest ever in AP polling.
_Nearly 80 percent believe that the rising federal debt will hurt future generations, and Obama is getting mixed reviews at best for his handling of the issue.
With a lot of independents and most Republicans concerned about the way the country is going, having the economy be the highest priority ever and concerns about national debt high may not be all good for the Democratic party.
Finally, looking at the last two statistics, they are high enough that a fairly large portion of Democrats are concerned about these issues also.
While the authors of this article appear to be happy about Obama's right tack/wrong track numbers, I think the administration should be looking at the rest of the poll more closely.