A significant majority of voters are considering voting against President Barack Obama in the 2012 election, expressing sour views of his new health care law and deep skepticism about his ability to create jobs and grow the sluggish economy, according to the latest POLITICO/George Washington University Battleground Poll.
Only 38 percent of respondents said Obama deserves to be reelected, even though a majority of voters hold a favorable view of him on a personal level. Forty-four percent said they will vote to oust him, and 13 percent said they will consider voting for someone else.
It’s Obama’s policies that are hurting him right now. By a 13-point margin, voters are down on the health care law. In an especially troubling sign, more than half of self-identified independents — 54 percent — have an unfavorable opinion of the law, compared with just 38 percent who have a favorable opinion.
And by an 11-point margin, voters trust congressional Republicans to create jobs more than Obama. His approval rating stands at 46 percent, according to the poll of 1,000 likely voters, conducted Sept. 19 to Sept. 22.
The tea party movement, which has emerged as the biggest threat to Democrats’ dominance of Washington, is viewed favorably by 43 percent of respondents, compared with 35 percent who view it unfavorably.
Perceptions of the grass-roots activists vary widely by region: In the Northeast, nearly half — 47 percent — have a negative view of the movement, suggesting it could prove to be a drag on GOP candidates in a region where the party has bottomed out in recent years.
But in the eight-state Mountain West region, more than half — 53 percent — have a favorable view of the tea party movement, which could prove helpful to prominent tea-party-backed Senate nominees in Nevada and Colorado.