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Cherry-picking Obama polls: Iceberg? What iceberg?

July 15, 2010 |  6:16 am

Congress assembles after yet another vacation

President Obama met to mollify angry House Democratic leaders Wednesday night.

The only things at stake this year are 435 House seats, 36 Senate seats and 37 governors' offices.

Facing their biennial elections on Nov. 2, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and gang seem to think that they have loyally trekked along and dutifully delivered on the Chicago president's costly, controversial agenda, and what does he do for them? Throw a lousy White House picnic.

Candidly, political executives of any party, with their big-picture agendas, find the care, feeding and courting of everyday legislators and their parochial egos to be a tedious, if unfortunately necessary business given the country's alleged separation of powers. Everything is never enough for that petty crowd.

Despite his own decaying approval ratings, Obama goes out campaigning regularly for those hotshots like Harry Reid from the same Senate where Obama served briefly ...

... making it the more important chamber, while leaving all those mere House members to fend for themselves in this angry voter environment, with more tsunami alerts flying on "flag-polls" every day.

You wouldn't want to be Pelosi's gavel if she loses the majority and thus her speakership. And we can only imagine Pelosi's reaction when Obama press secretary Robert Gibbs acknowledged honestly on national TV that his party might indeed lose its House majority.

Given Obama's winless record campaigning last fall and winter in Virginia, New Jersey and Massachusetts, Pelosi et al might want to rethink their political plea. But Obama reportedly agreed to help her and them.

Here's the kind of daily news the crowd currently controlling the Capitol confronts:

Americans disapprove of U.S. President Barack Obama’s handling of almost every major issue and are deeply pessimistic about the nation’s direction, offering a bullish environment for Republicans in the November congressional elections, a Bloomberg National Poll shows.

A majority or plurality disapproves of Obama’s management of the economy, healthcare, the budget deficit, the overhaul of financial market regulations and the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, according to a Bloomberg National Poll.

And the same poll found almost six in 10 Americans regard Obama's signature Afghan war effort as a lost cause.

Democrats Barack Obama Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi file

Three out of four Americans oppose Obama's moratorium on deepwater drilling, while a separate poll found that 57% support Arizona's illegal immigrant law -- and 17% think the state measure doesn't go far enough on enforcement.

In Nevada, Reid appears to have closed the gap in his Senate reelection race against Republican Sharron Angle.

But his son, Rory NoLastName, trails badly in the governor's race to Republican former federal judge Brian Sandoval. That's another emerging crevice in Obama's political strategy to wean Western states from their traditional GOP leanings.

After more than a year of healthcare and financial reform debates as the controlling Democratic agenda, the economy in general and jobs in particular remain by far the voters' top concerns in a new Gallup Poll.

The economy was cited by 31% of respondents, and jobs by 22%. The next closest category was 11%. But that, ominously for incumbents facing elections, was "dissatisfaction with govt/Congress/politicians/poor leadership/corruption/abuse of power." 

According to a CBS News poll, 52% say Obama has not invested sufficient time in the economy. Only 13% believe his economic programs have helped them, and 23% say they've actually hurt, the poll found. 

Seven in 10 lack confidence in their current member of Congress of either party, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll, and nearly six in 10 now lack faith that Obama will make the right decisions for the country.

Other than that, Captain Smith, it looks like smooth sailing ahead through this ice field.

-- Andrew Malcolm

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Photo credits: Getty Images (Congress reassembles after yet another vacation); Associated Press.

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