The latest IBD/TIPP poll points to big trouble for Democrats in the November midterm elections, as support for President Obama hits record lows, and as voters in so-called red states — home to several competitive Senate races — are more downbeat about the economy, ObamaCare, and Obama's performance.
President Obama's favorability index rating has reached an all-time low for his presidency, dropping to 42.1, according to the latest IBD/TIPP poll.
Looking Like 2006?
That rating is down from 52 at the start of last year, and puts Obama close to President Bush's rating in early 2006 after the Hurricane Katrina disaster. That fall, voters handed Democrats control of both the House and Senate.
Just 40% approve of the job Obama is doing, down from 48% at the start of last year. Among independents, Obama's approval rating is just 34%.
The picture gets bleaker still when the results are divided up between red and blue states.
This November, Democrats will defend Senate seats in seven red states — defined as states that voted Republican in at least two of the past three presidential elections.
To get a sense of what kind of voters these Democrats will face, IBD broke the results down based on whether the respondents lived in a red or blue state.
Those hailing from red states are, overall, less happy with the direction of the country, more pessimistic about the economy and less satisfied with current economic policies.
But the results show that those from blue states also aren't very happy with where things are. For example, 60% of those from red states say the country is headed in the wrong direction, but so do 56% of blue state respondents.
Blue States Competitive
Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia's Center for Politics thinks that Senate races in as many as seven traditionally blue states could be competitive this year. Red-state respondents more strongly disapprove of Obama's job performance than those from blue states (52% vs. 48%) and are more likely to hold an unfavorable view of his leadership, although a majority of respondents in both red and blue states give Obama a thumbs down on leadership.
Red states oppose ObamaCare, but so do traditionally Democratic states — 53% in red states disapprove vs. 50% in blue states. However, red states' animosity is more intense: 45% "strongly oppose" ObamaCare vs. 33% in blue states.
Seeing Red Over ObamaCare
While half of those from red states want the law repealed, just 44% of blue-staters do.
Red states are also more likely to report that ObamaCare has or will raise their premiums (51% think this vs. 44% in blue states).
Of those with insurance, 6% said they're getting it through one of the ObamaCare exchanges, and fully one fourth say their premiums increased as a result of the law, the survey found.
Of those who get coverage from their employers, 51% say their premiums either have or are going to increase because of ObamaCare.
ObamaCare problems and unpopularity are widely seen as defining issues of the mid-term elections.
There were some surprising results as well in the red/blue state split.
1. Those from blue states are somewhat more likely to think they pay too much in taxes than those from red states (40% to 36%).
2. Americans across the country doubt that Obama's economic sanctions vs. Russia will work, including 69% in blue states and 65% in red ones.
3. A larger share of people from red states report that they're on Medicare or Medicaid than those from blue states (36% vs. 28%).
4. Democrats hope to use the minimum wage as a campaign issue, but the poll results suggest that it may not be a clear winner. In red states, 54% oppose a $10.10 hourly wage when told of the CBO report saying the hike would cost 500,000 jobs. In blue states, 46% were opposed.
The IBD/TIPP poll of 911 people was conducted March 22-27.