As President Barack Obama has his prime time address to Congress and the nation on health care reform on Wednesday, you may not know the latest SurveyUSA Poll from KSTP-TV in Minneapolis/St. Paul has put the President at his lowest approval rating in the Badger State in just eight months of tracking. According to the poll released on August 31st, President Obama only has a 45 percent approval rating with 50 percent disapproving and five percent undecided.
The numbers come as Wisconsin has the third lowest approval rating for the President behind Kentucky which has a 36 percent approval rating for the President, Virginia which has a Governor’s election this year at only 42 percent. Wisconsin is tied with Kansas and Iowa according to SurveyUSA for the third lowest approval rating for any state. These numbers show that there is a big discord with the Obama Administration on health care reform, economic policy, and the President’s handling of key issues. This spells bad news for the Democrats in Wisconsin as now there are strong GOP challengers in the 3rd, 7th, and 8th congressional districts that could have a healthy shot of winning their races in 2010. Now with the President’s speech on Wednesday, could we see a more skeptical Wisconsin that is growing discontent with the President’s plan for health care reform.
When breaking down the numbers, the President is clearly losing with independent voters which is a key towards political strength in Wisconsin. The President has a 65 percent disapproval rating with independent voters in Wisconsin. In the last SurveyUSA poll about a month ago, Obama had a slight edge with independents 46 to 44 percent. Two big reasons for numbers shift is independent voters have made their voices heard and known at listening sessions on health care reform and also with voters who were not happy at Democrats in Congress for balking out on listening sessions during the August recess. When looking at the geographical breakdown from the two previous polls, the President is losing support from one his core areas, the Madison/Janesville area. In that area, Obama has seen his approval rating drop from 64 to 51 percent while still having a 53 percent disapproval rating in the Milwaukee Metro Area. In Green Bay, the area is split towards Obama with a 49 percent approval over a 48 percent disapproval. The numbers are reflexive of what has happened in the 8th District with Steve Kagen facing a lot of unhappy constituents during the August listening sessions. In the Northwest WI Media market according to SurveyUSA, Obama which nearly had a 60 percent approval rating in the last poll has seen it drop to 53 percent. The numbers we can assume SurveyUSA is using is all of LaCrosse, Eau Claire, Wausau, and Superior. These numbers can be seen as a good sign for Sean Duffy who could emerge as a underdog that can win in 2010.
As we await what the President is talking on Wednesday, we can use these poll numbers as a reliable indicator of how the President is performing in Wisconsin. Now, with people becoming more skeptical on the health care plan, will the numbers go South again, that is to be continued?