Politics & Government

Elway: Obama slipping, state voters' outlook grim

The latest Elway Poll finds Washingtonians more pessimistic about the future and crankier than even in January. Even President Obama can’t catch a break, Stuart Elway's latest findings show, and that can't be good for the state’s majority party 18 months before the next election.

Thanks to the PubliCola news blog for posting links to Elway's two recent reports.

Elway's voter-outlook piece dated Friday said "the percentage saying things were getting better for the state dropped below 50% this month for the first time since December 2008."

The same Elway report said the percentage of voters that expect improvement for their own households was still at 58 percent – but ominously was at "its lowest point in the 19-year history of The Elway Poll."

Elway's chart shows voter outlook is even lower today than in 2001, 2003, or 2005, and equal to a 2008 during the global financial meltdown.

As Josh Feit noted at PubliCola today, the 21-point slip in Obama' favorable ratings and the 21-point bounce in his unfavorable ratings come before last night's new that terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden was killed. The poll was done during April 25-27 and Feit wrote: "We're now living in a Post-5/1-World" shaped by that death.

True, but as today's U.S. stock market suggests – an early bounce in response to bin Laden’s death followed by a slight loss for the day – the event's lasting effect remains to be seen. With Afghanistan still a mess and the economy still not producing enough new jobs, it may be wrong to assume a huge lasting gain for the Democratic president, who provided big coattails last time around for state Democrats.

Obama took Washington by double-digits and had 58 percent of the vote in 2008.

Elway said he was getting support from just 45 percent of voters "inclined" or "certain" to re-elect him. In contrast, 44 percent told Elway they were "inclined" or "certain" to "replace" him. The poll found 11 percent in the April 25-27 survey of 405 registered voters, and it had an error margin of plus or minus 5 percent.