President Obama and Governor Strickland's popularity dropping in Ohio

As voters get to see President Obama and Ohio Governor Strickland respond to the economic tough times their impressions of the two leaders change.  Both are seeing their poll numbers drop.

The Dayton Daily News had the Strickland story yesterday.  And the truth of the matter is that Strickland’s handling of the economy was never that popular.  But the Quinnipiac poll has some interesting numbers:

The poll, taken as the national and state economies continue to flounder, found that voters disapprove of Strickland’s handling of the economy, 45-39 percent. In a poll released Feb. 5, voters approved of Strickland’s handling of the economy, 44-37 percent.

Also, the new poll found Strickland had a 56-30 percent job approval rating, down from a 63-25 percent approval rating in the Feb. 5 poll.

In another finding, voters narrowly disapproved – 46-43 percent- Strickland’s use of one-time money to balance his proposed state budget. Overall, however, they approved of how Strickland is handling the state budget, 44-36 percent.

Now you can see why Strickland has been so feisty when asked about his budget.  He knows he is playing a dangerous game but has little choice.  If he gives in to his liberal supporters and calls for outright tax increases (instead of fee hikes and other revenue increasers) he faces a backlash from voters on a traditional GOP strength.  But if he uses one time money and other sources he gets hit by the media and the GOP for simply kicking the can down the road rather than addressing the problems now.

President Obama’s numbers are feeling the effects of economic conditions as well:

President Barack Obama’s job approval rating has dropped slightly in Ohio, according to a new poll by the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. Obama, who had a 67 percent approval rating Feb. 6, is now at 47 percent. Thirty-three percent of Ohioans have an unfavorable view of him, according to the newest poll, up from 16 percent Feb. 6.

[. . .]

Obama’s biggest loss is among independent voters. In February, 72 percent supported him, and 55 percent support him today. He’s also lost support among evangelical protestants.

“During a presidential election, Ohio is the single most important state in the country because of its history of being a decisive barometer. So the 10-point drop in President Obama’s support in the Buckeye State is something that the White House might want to pay attention to,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.

You can see that voters may still have fond feelings for the president but the longer the economy struggles the more likely he is to lose support.  Voters are really not all that sophisticated about these things, IMO, if the economy is struggling they eventually blame those in leadership like the governor and the president.

Now is the time for the GOP to hone and sharpen our ideas about economic development so that when the public is willing to listen to alternatives to the failed Democratic policies we have coherent proposals to put forward.