A lot of folks this morning are touting today's Rasmussen Presidential Tracking Poll that has President Obama with his worst marks yet. The number getting the most headlines is the 32% strongly approve vs. 37% strongly disapprove, for a Presidential Approval Index rating of –5.
These "strongly" approve/disapprove numbers have yet to really impress me. Yes, it's nice to see them ease into the negative, but they don't necessarily include those most important in elections - independents.
When you only include those that "strongly" approve or disapprove, you leave out those that moderately approve or disapprove. And who usually moderately approves or disapproves? That's right. Independents.
While everyone needs their base to turn out to win an election, it's the swing voters that are most important. And this Presidential Index likely doesn't capture where these voters stand.
Now, the good news is that Obama's approval raiting is down to 52-48 overall. Unfortunately, without a subscription I can't find out how that breaks down by Party. In other words, I can't find out where independents stand.
There is some hint that swing voters are starting to turn against the President. A Quinnipiac Poll in Ohio from a couple days ago Buckeye independents disapproving of Obama 48-38. If that holds, the tide truly is turning.
Of course, we're not seeing many stories about Obama's declining popularity, but once Rasmussen's numbers come down to under 50, those stories should start creeping out. The media likes a nice round number to talk about. And 50 is it.