Senator Webb Leaving, Obama Polls Sink

Democrat US senator Jim Webb of Virginia will not seek re-election in 2012. This is the first major desertion since the Democrats’ November 2010 electoral trouncing and certainly will not be the last.


What must be very disturbing to Democrats is that Webb was considered a rising star in their party because he is a conservative who switched; he was secretary of the US Navy in the Reagan administration. And Webb is not one of those politicians who has been serving for a long time and wished to retire after a grueling Senate career. He was only elected in 2006.


Webb is likely to be replaced by Republican George Allen whom Webb defeated for the Senate seat in 2006, although conservative candidate Jamie Radtke is going to put up a good fight and could beat Allen in the primary. Virginia has been trending strongly Republican in the last few years after a period of Democrat ascension.


Webb’s planned departure comes at the same time that Gallup announced that president Obama’s poll numbers are sinking even more in key areas. And obviously Webb is looking at the very real possibility of Obama losing the White House and Democrats losing their Senate majority in 2012.


Reported gallup.com about a February 2-5 phone survey:


‘PRINCETON, NJ — President Barack Obama’s approval rating for handling the federal budget deficit has gone from bad to worse in recent months, even as his ratings on all other major national issues have generally held steady. Currently, 27% of Americans approve of Obama on the deficit, down from 32% in November, while 68% disapprove.


Overall, Obama is doing much better on international issues than domestic ones. Among eight issues on which Obama was rated in the new poll, Americans give the president the highest approval ratings on foreign affairs and the situations in Egypt and Afghanistan. The deficit, the economy, and taxes rank among his lowest ratings, alongside healthcare policy.’ (end of excerpt)

So look at that news: Obama is doing terribly on the deficit, the economy, taxes and health care, but good on… Egypt? Yet what voter in 2012 is going to say, “Thank God president Obama has handled Egypt well. I think I’ll vote for him.”


Answer: Perhaps a few Egyptian-Americans. But the bread-and-butter issues that Obama needs are slipping away from him monthly.


Yet even on Egypt, the administration has been all over the place with Obama essentially supporting the rioters while vice president Joe Biden said that Egyptian president Mubarak is a good ally of America.


According to recent British press reports, our sometimes-ally Saudi Arabia even warned Obama not to abandon Mubarak and is threatening to support Mubarak financially if the US stops its aid for Egypt. Because the Saudis are in the cauldron of the Middle East and are very cognizant of the threat from Egypt falling to radicals.


The Gallup survey reported that:


‘Democrats’ disapproval on the deficit is a key reason Obama does worst on that issue. It is the only issue on which fewer than 6 in 10 Democrats approve of his performance. By contrast, about three-quarters of Democrats approve of Obama’s handling of healthcare and foreign affairs.


Varying degrees of political polarization are seen in Obama’s issues ratings. Democrats and Republicans show the most widespread disagreement about his handling of healthcare policy and the economy — with roughly 60-point gaps — while they are closer in how they rate his handling of Egypt and Afghanistan.


Independents are closer to Republicans than to Democrats on the two most polarizing issues — healthcare and the economy. Independents come even closer to GOP views with respect to the federal budget and taxes, making these potential problem issues for Obama when it comes to garnering independents’ support in the next election. However, on four other issues — foreign affairs, energy policy, Egypt, and Afghanistan — independents’ views fall at about the midpoint between Republicans’ and Democrats’ views.’ (end of excerpt)


Some of the internal figures form Gallup on key issues are:


Obama’s approval for health care, the economy, energy, the federal budget deficit and taxes are respectively:


*Among Republicans a dismal  12%, 9%, 19%, 7% and 22%.


*Among Independents 35%, 32%, 41%, 19% and 35%. These are terrible numbers for Obama’s re-election with this key electoral bloc. Even added to the GOP numbers, he hardly breaks 50%.


*Among Democrats the numbers are 73%, 68%, 69%, 57% and 70%. But remember that many Democrats will support Obama no matter how bad things get.


Obama looks to be in dire straits. The unemployment picture is not improving and the deficit continues to grow. The housing market continues deeply depressed.


Obama is in trouble. Period. Jim Webb is the canary in the coal mine. Concluded Gallup:


‘President Obama has failed to build public support in recent months for his handling of major U.S. economic matters, despite a generally well-received State of the Union address in which he proposed a federal spending freeze to help put the brakes on deficit spending. His approval rating on the economy is no better than it was last fall, and his approval rating on the federal budget deficit — a top issue for Republicans in Congress since the midterm elections — is even worse. His broadest support on the issues comes on foreign policy matters, most notably the situation in Egypt, but even on these, his approval ratings register just below 50%.


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