The latest Gallup Poll reveals this – although American voters want Obama to move ideologically to the right.
Recent Gallup polling finds Americans believing Obama’s leadership could be stronger — particularly with respect to bringing about changes the country needs. Americans are nevertheless more optimistic than not that he will do better a better job over the next two years, even though half expect no change in his performance. In fact, they are more optimistic that Obama, personally, will do a better job than they are about the prospects for government as a whole.
The economy’s direction over the duration of his term will be a major factor in how the public ultimately regards Obama. At this point, Americans are nearly as optimistic about the economy as they are about Obama, with net optimism exceeding 20 points for each. While the president’s ability to directly affect the economy is somewhat limited, he will have more control over how Americans view his political ideology. The new poll suggests that he would fare best on that score by adopting more conservative policies, rather than adopting more liberal ones or even standing still. With Republicans wielding more power on Capitol Hill, that could also help Obama satisfy Americans’ desire that Republican and Democratic leaders focus on finding common ground.
How does this work for the GOP in defeating Obama in 2012?
History show us with Bill Clinton’s re-election in 1996 after the GOP takeover of the House in 1994. Clinton’s move to the right and his triangulation worked.