This article was about a poll done by a Democratic polling firm. It is not a poll by Fox News or any other supposed right leaning polling firm. With that in mind, let's see the Dims explain this one away.
Anyways, to the point. This is the statistic from the article that is the most damaging for The One:
For the first time in a year, Mr. Obama does not lead former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in Public Policy Polling's monthly national poll on the 2012 presidential race. They are tied at 45 percent, and Mr. Obama is losing among independent voters by a margin of 49 percent to 44 percent.
Worse for Mr. Obama, PPP said, the "vast majority" of undecideds disapprove of the president's performance. The survey of registered voters was conducted July 15-17.
We can talk all we want about numbers. How strong his support is among blacks, women, independents, etc. But when a "vast majority" of undecideds disapprove of his job performance, he has a mountain to climb.
Undecideds decide elections. When you start out with most of them having a negative opinion of a candidate, it's not good.
Further, look at the data set they used - registered voters.
Using registered voters is an old trick of the Democratic Party and other left leaning polling organizations to show their chosen candidate to be stronger than what they may really be. When registered voters are polled the data tends to be biased towards Democrats because the data set includes voters who are registered but do not vote. Democratic voters have a higher representation in this group because they tend to be less reliable voters.
Often the more reliable data set is that of "likely voters". These are the ones who really matter. It is irrelevant what someone who does not vote thinks about an election, they have no bearing on the final result.
The point is, this poll could potentially be worse news for Obama than what the numbers show. And these numbers aren't good.
Obviously one could say "but Chuck, the election is more than a year away". They would be right but soon it will 9 months, and then 6 months, and then...
I believe that Presidents reach a point in which voters make a decision about them and once this point is reached, there is no coming back. Bush's point came when the photo of him looking at the devastation of Hurricane Katrina from the window of Air Force One was plastered all over the media. I think this perception of him being uncaring was unfair, if he would have landed he would have been equally attacked by the media for doing so for a photo-op. The bottom line is Hurricane Katrina represents one of the biggest hit jobs by the media in modern times. Fair or not though, his reputation never recovered.
I don't think Obama's tipping point has been as pronounced but I think his Teflon armor began wearing off in the Gulf oil spill. His inaction, his criticism (from the golf course) of the BP CEO for going to a boat race, the arrogance and lack of concern for the residents of the effected states left a bad taste in the mouths of the public and his polling numbers have never really covered from it.
Finally, the GOP cannot feel too comfortable yet.
There are still voters who do not approve of Obama that are undecided. These people could still hold their nose and vote for him. It will be of small comfort while suffering under four more years of Obama to know that some of his voters did not actually like him.
Obviously a large part of this is because there is not a clear front runner for the GOP and the candidates with the most press so far are uninspiring. The reality is though that this could be an election that is the GOP's to lose.
We just need to put up a viable candidate (and running mate) and telecast a strong, consistent message.
Do this and this one could be in the bag.