Obamamania has faded faster than an Oregon sun tan

by Bruce McCain

Oregonians…will have a clear choice in 2012…chart a new course for Oregon or…vote once again for a candidate brought to them by the party who gave us Neil Goldschmidt, Sam Adams and David Wu.

In November 2008 Barack Obama swept into the White House in part with help from Oregon, which he carried with 57% of the vote. Washington (59.8%) and Clackamas (53.9%) counties were not too far off the statewide percentage, while “The Multnomah Effect” (77%) was in full force in favor of the former Senator from Illinois.

Today, Obama’s polling numbers are heading into Air America territory. Rasmussen’s daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Thursday, August 18, shows that 19% of the nation’s voters “Strongly Approve” of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president, while forty-two percent (42%) “Strongly Disapprove.” The most recent Gallup poll shows 71% disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy, with only 26% showing their approval. No breakdown is given as to how many of that 26% are government employees.

Now we learn that 2008’s “Hope and Change” has been replaced with “Hope for Change” even here in Oregon, where you can’t pump your own gas, but if you want to kill yourself, we’re here to help. A poll conducted by KATU in Portland confirms that Obamamania has faded faster than an Oregon sun tan. The poll covered the Portland Designated Market Area or DMA, which is the semi-official designation for the market reach for metropolitan broadcast stations across the country. Portland DMA ranks 22nd in the nation, while Seattle-Tacoma ranks #14.

The first of eight questions on the poll asked about Barack Obama’s favorability. Not surprising, 67% of Democrats have a favorable approval of Obama, while 76% of Republicans do not. But after the obligatory partisan votes are tallied, the poll gets interesting, even for a city that tries to keep itself weird. Among young people 18-34 regardless of party, only 38% were favorable toward Obama, while 46% had an unfavorable opinion of their president. For those eligible for senior discounts at Shari’s, the breakdown was split evenly at 44%. This is not good news for the White House. In 2008 a charismatic Barack Obama mesmerized and captured the youth vote, who were naïve enough to believe in his empty promises. Today Oregon’s unemployment rate remains at 9.5%, higher than the national 9.1% figure. The net result is that more young people in Portlandia have an unfavorable opinion of the former Chicago community organizer than do people born before the Eisenhower administration.

Besides losing the youth in droves, Obama is losing the single most important block of voters to any modern candidate – independents. Among the nonaffiliated Portland DMA residents, Obama has only a 34% favorable rating, while 49% have an unfavorable opinion. An incumbent who needs nonaffiliated voters (NAV’s) can ill afford those kind of polling numbers, unless the goal all along was to be a one-term office holder. Ideology produced the predictable Kool-Aid from each partisan camp, with 74% of self-identified liberals thinking Obama is doing great, while 79% of conservatives believing otherwise. Among those who describe themselves as moderate regardless of party affiliation, less than half (49%) gave Obama a favorable rating, while 37% chose unfavorable.

The reason(s) for Obama’s polling numbers in Portland DMA are as varied and elusive as are the president’s policies on virtually any topic. The far Left is dissatisfied with his broken promises regarding Iraq, Afghanistan, Guantanamo Bay, etc. Environmentalists can’t be happy with Obama’s recent approval of new off shore drilling. Blaming George W. Bush for everything wrong in America and by extension Oregon has worn thin with the unemployed who are quietly mumbling “Si Se Puede” as they look for nonexistent jobs.

In the end, Oregonians of all ages, party affiliation and ideology will have a clear choice in 2012. They can chart a new course for Oregon or they can vote once again for a candidate brought to them by the party who gave us Neil Goldschmidt, Sam Adams and David Wu.