During this afternoon’s visit to Memeorandum, this post positively leaped off the page at me:

Obama/Bush Nearly Evenly Divided

It’s worth digging into the short post:

Americans are now pretty evenly divided about whether they would rather have Barack Obama or George W. Bush in the White House. 48% prefer Obama while 46% say they would rather have the old President back.

Bush had atrocious approval ratings for his final few years in office, particularly because he lost a lot of support from Republicans and conservative leaning independents. Those folks may not have liked him but they now say they would rather have him back than Obama. 87% of GOP voters now say they would prefer Bush, a number a good deal higher than Bush’s approval rating within his party toward the tail end of his Presidency. Democrats predictably go for Obama by an 86/10 margin, and independents lean toward him as well by a 49/37 spread.

What’s interesting is the Nutroots’ reaction to this polling. Here’s FireDogLake’s take on the polling:

I’m sorry, I don’t think this can just be chalked up to the lingering high unemployment. This has to be the result of Obama not consistently and forcefully distancing himself from Bush, both rhetorically and through policy. I just don’t see how else you read those results.

If you campaign on CHANGE YOU CAN BELIEVE IN, and you’re replacing the most unpopular President in modern times, you’d damn well better deliver sufficiently believable change, while making it clear on a regular basis exactly how you’re doing so.

This is typical nutroots thinking. It’s totally predictable. FDL is implying that the Democrats’ health care law isn’t sufficiently different enough. This is proof that they don’t have a clue what Americans want. If the ultrapartisans of the Nutroots’ left think that they aren’t ignoring the American people enough and that they need to do what Rahm Emanuel, Speaker Pelosi and President Obama tell them to do, then Democrats should start preparations for an historic election defeat because that’s what they’re heading towards.

Michael Barone thinks that Democrats are in terrible shape heading into these elections:

Recent polls tell me that the Democratic Party is in the worst shape I have seen during my 50 years of following politics closely. So I thought it would be interesting to look back at the biggest Republican victory of the last 80 years, the off-year election of 1946. Republicans in that election gained 13 seats in the Senate and emerged with a 51–45 majority there, the largest majority that they enjoyed between 1930 and 1980. And they gained 55 seats in the House, giving them a 246–188 majority in that body, the largest majority they have held since 1930. The popular vote for the House was 53% Republican and 44% Democratic, a bigger margin than Republicans have won ever since. And that’s even more impressive when you consider that in 1946 Republicans did not seriously contest most seats in the South. In the 11 states that had been part of the Confederacy, Democrats won 103 of 105 seats and Republicans won only 2 seats in east Tennessee. In the 37 non-Confederate states, in contrast, Republicans won 246 of 330 seats, compared to only 85 for Democrats.

There’s a reason why President Obama is in a virtual tie with President Bush and it doesn’t have anything to do with what the Nutroots are saying. The reason is actually the exact opposite. Democrats have been so radical and inept that they’ve squandered the goodwill they’d built up prior to the inauguration.

Let’s understand what’s driving President Obama’s dropping poll rating. It’s the reckless spending he’s signed: Obamacare, stimulus and the budgets that have been passed. Yes, people are upset with the debt but that’s being driven by the reckless spending. If Democrats hadn’t kept pushing health care and if they’d announce that Cap and Trade is off the table, jobs would get created almost instantly.

If there’s a job creation explosion driven by spending cuts, we’ll see the deficits drop dramatically.

More than just the headline, Democrats should be worried about something much deeper: that Democrats are seen as the Party of Reckless Spending when they aren’t seen as the Party That Ignores The American People. That’s a tough spot to sell your agenda from. If Scott Rasmussen’s polling on who’s more trusted on the issues tells us anything, it’s that Democrats can’t sell their positions:

Voters now trust Republicans more than Democrats on nine out of 10 key issues regularly tracked by Rasmussen Reports, but the gap between the two parties has grown narrower on several of them.

Following the passage of the health care bill, 53% now say they trust Republicans on the issue of health care. Thirty-seven percent (37%) place their trust in Democrats. A month earlier, the two parties were essentially even on the health care issue.

On the economy, Republicans are trusted more by 49% while Democrats are preferred by 37%. That’s a big improvement for the GOP following a five-point advantage last month. More voters who make under $20,000 annually trust Democrats on this issue, but voters who earn more than that favor Republicans.

Put in simplest terms, people don’t trust Democrats on the biggest issues facing them. Put differently, there’s alot of former Obama supporters who’ve rejected him because he hasn’t governed like a moderate.

At tomorrow’s TEA Parties, organizers will be telling activists how they can change the political landscape this November. Activists will respond positively to that message. What’s worse for Democrats is that the buzz generated from the events will keep the Democrats’ policies front and center.

My not-so-bold prediction? by the time Election Day rolls around, President Obama will be less popular than President Bush.

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Cross-posted at California Conservative

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