Public approval of President Obama's signature healthcare law reached an all-time low since his reelection, with 40 percent of Americans approving Obamacare and 55 percent disapproving in Gallup's latest survey.
That's an index of -15 and a shift against the law of 11 percentage points since mid October, when Gallup found public opinion almost tied. Then, 44 percent approved and 47 percent disapproved.
Just after Oct. 1, when the individual-market plans of Obamacare were starting to come online, the Affordable Care Act seemed oddly insulated from the drumbeat of negative publicity about its botched rollout. Then came the wave of millions of current-policy cancellation notices from insurance companies that disproved the president's falsehood that those who like their insurance plans can keep them.
Yet Obamacare's numbers held essentially steady.
Until, perhaps, now.
Foreshadowing the drop, the president's poll numbers started to bottom out first. In early November, Gallup's daily tracking poll found the president matched his all-time low job-approval rating, 39 percent.
Quinnipiac's poll earlier this week found that more voters, 52 percent, found Obama to be not honest and trustworthy compared to those who found him reliable, 44 percent. Quinnipiac found Obama's job approval was 39-54, a -15 index that at the time compared with Gallup's daily tracking index of -14.
Also nearly matching Quinnipiac's results, Gallup reported yesterday that American perceptions of Obama's trustworthiness have taken a dive. Exactly half find him honest, 47 percent don't. (Note: one difference between Gallup and Quinnipiac is the former had polled residents, the latter surveyed voters).
As has been said in this space before: it ain't the topline, it's the trend. And Obama is spiraling downward.
Other surveys are showing similar results regarding the president's favorability ratings. And considering the anemic Obamacare enrollment numbers released yesterday and running-scared Democrats, there's a good chance Obama and Obamacare's numbers will continue dropping.
Democrats are quick to point out that Congress' approval ratings are in the single digits, and that Republicans were badly damaged for precipitating the government shutdown. But the Quinnipiac poll indicated that voters were as or more likely to trust congressional Republicans on a variety of issues (including immigration) when compared to Obama.
Obama has lost the middle of the country. Survey after survey shows that independents are turning away from him in droves, essentially siding with Republicans (but not in the same proportions).
That doesn't just spell trouble for Obama and his healthcare law. It's a warning to Democrats in the mid-term elections. Mid-terms are often referendums on a president, and the mid-terms of a president's second term are often bloodbaths for the party that controls the White House.
Look what happened to George Bush.
A year after his reelection, and months after his administration's botched response to Hurricane Katrina, Bush's approval fell to 39 percent in Pew Research's poll, which last week reported that Obama's ratings were at 41 percent and were on a parallel downward track.
There's another parallel between Bush and Obama: both seemed to be far more-effective at campaigning than governing.
Blame history, perhaps.
But, from the failures of the Obamacare website to the false hopes he raised and phony statements he made, blame Obama as well.