President Obama’s overall job approval numbers, while not great, remain decent in the latest Washington Post poll. The poll found that 44 percent approve of his job performance while 46 percent disapprove. While the total level of support remains little changed, the intensity of that support has dropped significantly.
For over a year Obama’s “strongly approve” numbers have been extremely stable, always between 24-30 percent. This newest poll found only 18 percent of voters “strongly approve” of Obama’s job performance. That is a seven point drop since less than a month ago, and by far the lowest level of “strongly approve” since Obama has been in office.
This is another sign that over the last several weeks the President has started to have real trouble with his base. Earlier this week a CNN poll found that the number of people who disapproved of Obama’s job performance because he is “not liberal enough” has doubled since May.
A drop in the intensity of support is unlikely to translate into members of the Democratic base actually voting for the Republican nominee, but it can have other important political ramifications. Lower intensity means fewer volunteers and fewer donations. It also increases the likelihood that the young, infrequent “surge” voters who helped Obama to win the White House in 2008 will be more difficult to turn out in 2012.
Chart Data Source: Washington Post Poll