Obama is down from where he once was in polling. Independents surveyed in the new NBC/Wall Street Journal poll say they disapprove of his job performance by a margin of 46 to 41 percent, a increase in bad feelings from July. But the big takeaway I see in the poll is that all this doom and gloom–the Town Hall terrors of August, and policy frustrations both at home and abroad–has yet to really dent Obama’s image among the American public.
Asked about their feelings towards Obama, 46 percent said they liked Obama “personally and approve [of] most [of his] policies,” and another 31 percent said they liked him “personally but disapprove of many policies.” That’s a whopping 77 percent of the country that is willing to say they like the man personally. Asked another way, 56 percent of Americans said they had a “very positive” or “somewhat positive” view of him. (By contrast, 24 percent said they have a positive view of Glenn Beck, with another 42 percent saying they did not know Beck’s name, or were not sure.)
Another data point: When asked about Obama’s exposure in the media, 34 percent said they saw and heard “too much” about Obama, while a healthy 54 percent said they hear just about the right amount.
There is a slowly growing skepticism about Obama’s policies, both domestic and foreign, and the distaste for Congress has not abated. But despite the often critical headlines, and the hopes of Republicans that the glow has come off the Obama brand, the president is, for the most part, holding steady with the American people. Which means, among other things, that you will keep seeing and hearing a lot about him. He remains the best thing the White House and the Democratic Party has going right now.