According to the latest CNN/Opinion Research poll, President Obama’s latest string of legislative victories including the ratification of the START treaty and repeal of DADT have resulted in people coming back to the President. The number of Americans who want the Democrats to renominate Obama is at its highest level of the year, while the number of Americans who want someone else has dropped.
According to the poll, 78% of Democrats want to renominate Obama. This is a five point increase from the last time the question was asked days before the 2010 midterms. Just as important for Obama is that while more people are looking to support him in 2012, fewer wanted a different Democratic candidate. The number of respondents who wanted the Democrats to pick a different candidate to head up the 2012 ticket dropped from 22% to 19%.
Women support the renomination of President Obama more than men, (80% to 76%). Those making more than $50,000 support the President in greater number than those who are earning under $50,000, (83%-73%). Interestingly, support for the President’s 2012 candidacy reaches some of its highest levels with voters over age 65. Eighty percent of senior citizens supported the idea of nominating Obama again. However, those under age 50 support Obama being the 2012 Democratic nominee by 3 points more than those over 50, (79%-76%).
Eighty percent of liberals supported nominating Obama again, as did 78% of moderates. Interestingly 70% of Independents supported the idea that Obama should be the 2012 Democratic nominee, and only 27% thought it should be a different candidate. 82% of self-identified Democrats supported renominating Obama, and only 14% wanted a different candidate. The idea of Obama being the Democratic nominee again is slightly more popular in the suburbs than in urban areas, (80%-78%). 83% of college graduates supporting renominating Obama compared to 72% of non-college grads.
To put Obama numbers into context, in 1994, only 57% of those polled thought that the Democratic Party should nominate Bill Clinton, but by 1996, Bill Clinton cruised to a second term with a landslide victory over Bob Dole. In comparison to where Clinton was in 1994, President Obama is in really good shape. Other polling has shown that the reason for the turnaround in the President’s numbers was the tax compromise. As American’s give Obama credit for the compromise, and see his legislative victories pile up. Obama has his momentum back.
In their post-November victory euphoria, Republicans have made a huge tactical mistake. After using their minority powers for more than a year to stifle the Obama agenda, the Republicans decided to compromise on tax cuts, START, DADT, and food safety, and gave the President new life. Many on the left blasted Obama for “caving” to the Republicans on tax cuts, but the Republican leadership was just as eager to make the deal, and they apparently had no idea how much this compromise would help the President.
Sure they got two years of their precious tax cuts for the rich, but at what cost? Obama got all the political credit, and went on to rattle off a string of victories before the lame duck Congress adjourned. If both the Republicans and the White House are smart, they will realize that compromise is mutually beneficial and will continue to work together, but when Republicans went from the Party of No to the Party of Well Okay Just This Once, they gave the Obama the opening he needed to revive his presidency. Once again, Barack Obama outwitted the leadership of the GOP, and heading into 2012, has look of a president reborn.