Monday, April 22, 2024

Confidence in Obama down

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WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama’s failure to jolt the US economy back to life has undermined his standing among already roiled American voters as they head into November congressional elections dissatisfied with their government and lawmakers.Obama has two years left in his term to overcome the deepening lack of confidence in his handling of the ravaged economy: near-ten per cent unemployment, an exploding national debt and anemic growth. Fellow Democrats in Congress have less than four months to turn things around.Should Democrats lose their majorities in the House of Representatives or the Senate or both, Obama’s legislative agenda probably would go down in flames.That would put an end to his impressive string of victories so far: a massive economic stimulus, health care overhaul and the expected passage this week of legislation to increase regulation of the US finance industry.With a new poll showing nearly six in 10 voters saying they lack confidence that Obama will make the right decisions for the country, the president holds a weak hand as he tries to hang on to his congressional majority, an increasingly unlikely outcome.The ABC News-Washington Post polling shows that respondents considered most likely to vote in November favor a Republican-controlled Congress by a margin of 56 to 41 percent. The only leavening in the survey: About seven in 10 registered voters lack confidence in incumbent lawmakers of both parties.Regardless, said Matthew Dowd, a top strategist on President George W. Bush’s 2004 re-election campaign who now shuns the Republican party label, “It will be bad for the Democrats. The question is: How bad, how big is the tidal wave?”Voter dissatisfaction this year is compounded by and probably has engendered an election wild card: A group of angry voters who have thrown their support behind ultraconservative, small-government candidates of the so-called tea parties. Those candidates are on the ballot as Republicans. (AP)

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