President Obama’s job approval numbers in Virginia took a steep downward turn in the past few months according to Quinnipiac polling. The poll found 54 percent of Virginia voters disapprove of how Obama is handling his job and only 40 percent approve. This is a huge drop from June when his job approval numbers were split evenly 48-48.
Most distressing for the campaign, his numbers among independents have tanked. Independents now disapprove of Obama’s job performance by greater than a two to one margin. From Quinnipiac:
Obama’s job approval is plummeting among independent voters, who disapprove 62 – 29 percent, compared to a 54 – 41 percent disapproval June 30. Republicans disapprove 87 – 11 percent while Democrats approve 83 – 13 percent, down from 92 – 5 percent in June. Men disapprove 61 – 36 percent, as women disapprove 49 – 43 percent. White voters disapprove 67 – 28 percent, while black voters approve 83 – 11 percent.
In possible 2012 matchups, Obama has 44 percent to Perry’s 42 percent, while Romney gets 44 percent to Obama’s 42 percent, all too close to call. Obama does much better against two other Republicans, besting Bachmann 48 – 37 percent and Palin 50 – 35 percent.
The fact that Obama’s approval numbers are also tanking in Virginia is very interesting.
Thanks to its proximity to Washington DC, the state has done much better economically than the rest of the country. Official unemployment in Virginia is only around 6 percent. While that’s still much higher than it was a few years ago, it is well below the national average of 9 percent.
With the economy the dominant issue, there was some thought that Obama could still win a close election by overperforming in the swing states that have unemployment below the national average, such as Virginia, Iowa, Pennsylvania, and New Hampshire. These Virginia poll numbers suggest that isn’t going to be a path to victory.
It appears the recent downturn in Obama’s approval numbers is a national phenomenon, it hits Obama hard in states where unemployment is very high, and also in states where the economy is relatively strong.
The one positive piece of news in the poll for Democrats is that despite Obama’s low numbers, Democrat Tim Kaine and Republican George Allen are in a statistical dead for the open Senate seat.