The latest results of the NBC/WSJ poll provides President Obama with his lowest approval number of 41% for that poll, with 54% having no confidence in the President’s leadership. Ed Morrissey provides a breakdown of the political numbers:
Obama’s job approval comes in at 41/53, the second-worst in the NBC/WSJ series (March 2014′s 41/54 is the nadir). The 37/57 on foreign policy is a record low for Obama, and the economy is nearly at a historical low at 41/54. But it’s the leadership issues that will make headlines today. In terms of competency, Obama now ranks below Bush at the analogous point in time of his predecessor’s presidency. Post-Katrina Bush had a 53/46 rating for competency, while it’s an even split at 50/50 for Obama. Thirty-one percent say Obama isn’t competent at all, compared to 24% for Bush in the same time frame, and that’s a ten-point increase for Obama from last June.
That last metric isn’t an anomaly. Only 15% believe that Obama’s performance has improved over the past year, while 41% think it has gotten worse. The top areas in which those respondents believe Obama has gotten worse are ObamaCare, foreign policy — and the Taliban 5 swap for Bowe Bergdahl, with the economy and Obama’s dishonesty rounding out the top five. Small wonder, then, that only 42% of respondents think Obama can still lead this nation, while 54% reject Obama’s leadership.
James Freeman, in his morning editorial for the Wall Street Journal, looks beyond the political numbers and examines the effect of government regulation in “The People We Trust:”
The latest Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll brings more bad news for President Obama as his approval rating slides to 41%, matching his previous low. Meanwhile a full 54% of U.S. adults disapprove of the job he’s doing as President. But there are two groups of people who continue to earn high marks from the public.
In fact, only two institutions in American life enjoy majority support. The latest Journal/NBC survey finds that 69% of Americans have a great deal or quite a bit of confidence in the military, and 53% express the same level of trust in the high-technology industry.
Among the institutions that don’t enjoy this level of confidence is the Internal Revenue Service at 15%. The federal government in general scores only slightly better at 16%.
This weak showing is nonetheless slightly better than ratings for the financial and health insurance industries, both of which inspire a great deal or quite a bit of confidence in just 13% of Americans.
One might be tempted to conclude that there’s something wrong with the people who work in these industries—and with those who work in the federal government. One could also argue that the President has successfully demonized the financial and insurance businesses in the process of gaining more control over them.
What seems clear is a common theme: the stifling effects of bureaucracy. Notice that the tech sector, one of just two institutions—and the only industry—receiving majority support, has enjoyed relatively light regulation. Washington has never created a federal computer commission, nor have state governments mandated which applications must exist in a standard smart phone. Without such interference, consumers have been largely free to choose the products and services they want, and producers have been largely free to supply them.
On the other hand, in recent years Dodd-Frank and ObamaCare have been imposed on financial and insurance industries that were already among the most heavily regulated businesses in the world. Consumers don’t appear to be impressed with the results. And perhaps it’s no surprise that Washington’s bureaucracies score almost as poorly as the firms they spend the most time regulating.