It's never been worse for President Obama in the Washington Post/ABC News poll, which finds him at a 41 percent job approval rating, about 13 points below his standing in the poll at this time in 2010
, the year when his party got creamed in midterm elections. We've talked about the tsunami alert for Democrats this fall, but the sirens are getting too loud even for partisans and wishful thinkers on the left to ignore. There is no common measure so predictive of a party's performance in congressional races than the job approval rating of a president of the same party. And Obama is looking increasingly like a toxic asset for Democrats desperate to cling to a Senate majority.
[Matters foreign and domestic - WaPo: 'Just 42 percent approve of [President Obama's] handling of the economy, 37 percent approve of how he is handling the implementation of [ObamaCare] and 34 percent approve of his handling of the situation involving Ukraine and Russia.']
Out of pocket - The Washington Post/ABC News poll was heralded by Democrats last month when it showed opposition to ObamaCare softening and the nation evenly divided on the law. That has evaporated. Support for the law dropped 5 points, while opposition remained firm. Why? Fifty-eight percent of respondents said ObamaCare is causing overall health costs in the country costs to rise, but a worse harbinger for Democrats this fall: 47 percent of respondents said the law will increase their own health costs, while just 8 percent said they would pay less because of the law. The Post has it right in describing last month's results: 'That finding was more positive for the administration than most other polls at the time. Democrats saw it as a possible leading indicator of a shift in public opinion, but that has not materialized.'
Any Questions? - Reuters: 'Sylvia Mathews Burwell, President Barack Obama's nominee for U.S. health secretary, will appear before the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pension Committee on May 8 for the first of two confirmation hearings, a committee official said on Monday.'
Killer stat - Even as the poll shows voters agreeing with Democrats on key issues like increasing the minimum wage and even the overall subject of health care, one statistic explains why the majority party may be in even worse trouble than 2010, and it's all about Obama: 'Registered voters by 53-39% say they'd rather see the Republicans in control of Congress as a counterbalance to Obama's policies than a Democratic-led Congress to help support him.' The main aim of voters would appear to be to block the president's agenda, which is kind of the GOP's whole jam these days.
['Not working as planned' - In a new poll from the pro-ObamaCare Kaiser Family Foundation, 43 percent of respondents were able to correctly identify, when prompted, that 'about 8 million' people signed up for ObamaCare. But when asked how the implementation of the law, 57 percent of voters said 'it's clear the law is not working as planned,' while 38 percent said 'now the law is basically working as intended.']
Predictive elements - Polls like this matter because they may be predictive, but are also just as important for how they can sap political parties of the ability to raise money and organize. If Democrats believe that the Senate is a lost cause, it would be much more appealing to focus on moving Hillary Clinton farther left ahead of 2016 or even funding a liberal mayor's campaign than it would be to shove money at a red-state Democrat whose race may be a lost cause. Or consider this from the Harvard Institute of Politics survey of Millennial voters out this morning: ''less than one-in-four (23%) young Americans say they will 'definitely be voting' in November, a sharp drop of 11 percentage points from five months ago (34%). Among the most likely voters, the poll also finds traditional Republican constituencies showing more enthusiasm than Democratic ones for participating in the upcoming midterms, with 44 percent of 2012 Mitt Romney voters saying they will definitely be voting - a statistically significant difference compared to the 35 percent of 2012 Barack Obama voters saying the same.'
Barack Obama, top of the key
The President taking a much-needed physical fitness break, to release some tension and free up the common senses. Mr. Obama, showing classic jump shot form, (although, technically his toe is still touching, thus, this not really being a jump shot) is said to have a 68 percent from the top of the key. Not bad. We smell a second career. | Photo: Pete Souza | Barack Obama, President, Democrat, Liberal, 2012, Basketball, Sports, Monument,
Baier Tracks: Pressure's on' - 'This far out from an election there is a tendency to over read the importance of one poll or another in the grand political mosaic that we all try to decipher every week. But' A recent spate of polls culminating with the Washington Post/ABC News poll out this morning suggests Democrats have a lot to fear in six months. As President Obama's approval hits a new low for the poll, 53 percent of the registered voters polled thought it would be a good thing if Republicans controlled all of Congress to counterbalance the administration. Only 37 percent approved of his handling of the health law and even fewer (34 percent) approve of his handle of the Ukraine crisis. As more polls show similar bad news for Democrats, we may soon see what Fox News First has been telegraphing for some time: more and more vulnerable red-state Democrats will feel compelled to make a louder stand against the administration on one thing or another. Reporters should get ready for a boatload of press releases from Democrats looking to change the subject. That's what voters are already getting every day in the form of campaign ads.' ' Bret Baier.
KERRY SAYS HE'S SORRY FOR ISRAEL 'APARTHEID' CLAIM
Daily Beast: '[Secretary of State] John Kerry apologized Monday for warning last week that the lack of a two-state solution in the Middle East could lead to Israel becoming an 'apartheid state.' Kerry's remarks, made in a closed door meeting of the Trilateral Commission and first reported by The Daily Beast Sunday night, provoked strong reactions from across the political spectrum. In a statement issued Monday evening, Kerry defended his record as a supporter of Israel but also said, 'If I could rewind the tape, I would have chosen a different word to describe my firm belief that the only way in the long term to have a Jewish state and two nations and two peoples living side by side in peace and security is through a two state solution.''
Kelly File: Cruz says Kerry comments will fuel anti-Semitism - 'You can be certain the words of John Kerry will get repeated by anti-Semites throughout the world, will be repeated in Europe, will be repeated by the nation of Iran. And they will say, 'This isn't us saying it's apartheid. This is the U.S. Secretary of State.' Words have meaning, and this language undermines a critical ally'' ' Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, on 'The Kelly File.'
Kerry to fly with a kettle of hawks - Kerry will address the Atlantic Council's annual conference today. Also on hand will be Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Sen. Robert Menendez, D- N.J., and Sen. Chris Murphy, D- Conn.
[A new Pew poll: ''The public supports increased U.S. economic and diplomatic sanctions [against Russia] by a [17-point] margin. But by roughly two-to-one (62% to 30%), Americans oppose sending arms and military supplies to the Ukrainian government.']
WITH YOUR SECOND CUP OF COFFEE...
On this day in 1992, Los Angeles erupted in riots after a jury acquitted several police officers charged with beating Rodney King. The violence and looting that ensued led to 55 deaths and nearly 2,000 injuries. King died in his swimming pool two years ago at age 47. His death, found to be an accidental drowning, came shortly after he'd published a memoir that detailed his struggles to find long-term work. The Los Angeles Times has more on where some of the key figures are now. The anniversary adds extra freight to a scheduled press conference today by NBA Commissioner Adam Silver regarding racist remarks allegedly made by LA Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
Real Clear Politics Averages
BOEING DEFENDS HILLARY CONTRIBUTIONS
- Obama Job Approval:
- Approve ' 43 percent
- Disapprove ' 52.6 percent
- Direction of Country:
- Right Direction ' 28.5 percent
- Wrong Track ' 62.7 percent
- Generic Congressional Ballot:
- Democrats ' 42.4 percent
- Republicans 41.6 percent
WaPo: 'Boeing chief executive W. James McNearney faced pointed questions during the company's annual shareholder's meeting Monday about Boeing's decision to make a charitable donation to the Clinton Foundation in the same year that then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had advocated on behalf of the company's sales in Russia. The question came from David Almasi, a Boeing shareholder and a representative of the National Center for Public Policy Research, a conservative think tank whose members attend shareholder meetings to challenge corporate executives. 'Assuming that building schools in Haiti was a key goal of this Company's philanthropic programs in 2010, why was it so important to support this work specifically through the Clinton Foundation and not one of the many other reputable, independent charities then working in Haiti?' Almasi said he asked. He called the Boeing donation a 'clear conflict of interest' that seemed 'reckless and unnecessary.'' Boeing contributed $900,000 to the Clinton family foundation to rebuild schools in Haiti in 2010, just months after Clinton had traveled to Russia, where she made what she called a 'shameless pitch' for a state-owned company to buy Boeing passenger jets' Boeing won the $3.7 billion Russian contract in June 2010.'
Dem donor wants in on space contract - Free Beacon: 'Billionaire SpaceX CEO Elon Musk said his company could save taxpayers millions if allowed to compete for all of the missions... The Air Force does not share Musk's optimistic projections for the costs of competitive bidding for those contracts. ' 'We don't know what it would ultimately cost,' Gil Klinger, a space and intelligence official in the Pentagon's acquisition office, told the committee. 'We know that it's at least in excess of $370 million dollars. We don't know the exact figure.''
GOVERNMENT CONTRACTOR TOUTS LANDRIEU'S CLOUT
The shipbuilder in a new ad from Sen. Mary Landrieu, D-La., is being sued by the Obama Justice Department for allegations of fraud in fulfilling a Coast Guard contract. A judge dismissed the case, but the administration sought to reinstate it at the beginning of this month, just before Donald Bollinger, who formerly served as the state Republican Party's fundraising chairman, appeared in the ad for Landrieu. In the spot, Bollinger heralds Landrieu's ability to bring government money to the Pelican State.
Pick Six: Contractor ad a game changer? - Republicans have their sights set on six seats to win back control of the Senate from Democrats. So which seats are most likely to flip from blue to red? The current consensus among Fox News First readers: Arkansas, Montana, Louisiana, South Dakota, North Carolina and West Virginia. Fox News First reader Lou Burnett said, 'You need to drop Mary Landrieu from your list of six. She has an 18-point lead over Bill Cassidy (average of polls by Realclearpolitics.com) and just today she starting airing an ad with Boysie Bollinger, one of the GOP's biggest donors, supporting her. Landrieu could win in the primary, as she did six years ago.'
Barack Obama and Mitt Romney
The 2nd presidential debate was in the form of a town meeting, in which citizens asked questions of the candidates on foreign and domestic issues. Candidates each had two minutes to respond, and an additional minute for the moderator to facilitate a discussion. The town meeting participants were undecided voters selected by the Gallup Organization. | Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Debate, 2012, Election, President,
[Ed. note: Even Democratic pollsters find Landrieu far from the 50 percent threshold to win the seat outright in the August primary. Barring an unforeseen GOP implosion, she will certainly have to fight all the way to the end to keep her seat. You may be right that other Democrat-held seats are more vulnerable than Louisiana, but she is surely facing a long, hard haul.]
GREEN GROUP ECHOES REID PAC WITH KOCH ATTACKS
The Hill: 'The League of Conservation Voters (LCV) released an ad Monday accusing Americans (AFP) for Prosperity of running a 'smear campaign' against Sen. Mark Udall (D-Colo.), saying the ads are part of a 'big oil' campaign to elect Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) to Udall's Senate seat. 'There's a smear campaign going on in Colorado, backed by the out-of-state oil billionaire Koch Brothers, steering $1 million into attack ads,' a voiceover on the ad says. 'Why? Congressman Gardner supports their agenda. Gardner voted to keep giving billions in special taxpayer-funded subsidies to oil companies.' The ad is part of a $1 million LCV campaign against Gardner. It refers to a recent ad by the Koch Brothers-backed AFP that aired in Colorado against the Affordable Care Act.'
Similar ad, different funding - The Colorado ad looks similar to the spots from the Senate Majority PAC, which is backed by Majority Leader Harry Reid. Reid's group is currently attacking New Hampshire Republican Senate hopeful Scott Brown for being in connection with 'big oil.' But it's not without controversy, as WMUR reports: 'On Monday, the New Hampshire Republican Party filed a formal complaint with the Federal Election Commission alleging that U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's re-election campaign illegally was in direct communication with a Super PAC loosely affiliated with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. ' The ad, which attacks Republican U.S. Senate candidate Scott Brown's ties to 'big oil' began airing on Friday, two days after Shaheen released a new website that some said was a signal for Super PACs to get involved in the race.'
Honey Badger don't care about Dem denials ' 'Serious questions have been raised about potential illegal coordination between Sen. Harry Reid and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, and now a federal investigation is pending. While the Federal Elections Commission investigation is ongoing, the people of New Hampshire should not be subjected to this kind of misrepresentation on the airwaves. I am calling on co-conspirators Harry Reid and Jeanne Shaheen to immediately take the potentially illegal ads off the air. Holding elected office is a matter of public trust, in this case, it appears the public trust has been violated. Until we know for sure what has happened, these ads must come down.' ' Statement from former Gov. John H. Sununu, R-N.H.
N.C. PRIMARY LOOKS LIKE A NAIL-BITER
AP: 'North Carolina's leading Republican candidates for U.S. Senate made lasting points for voters in their final televised debate Monday night, with Baptist pastor Mark Harris seeking to question the electability of his two main rivals for the nomination to challenge Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan. Harris, the former state Baptist State Convention president from Charlotte, went on the offensive against state House Speaker Thom Tillis and Cary obstetrician Greg Brannon in the third debate for the party's four leading candidates a week before the May 6 primary election. Family nurse practitioner Heather Grant also participated in the debate aired statewide. Harris, who did not confront rivals in last week's two debates, pointed out Monday that Brannon did not support Republican Mitt Romney for president in 2012 and cited a lawsuit that Brannon lost and is now appealing involving investments in a company. Later, he suggested Tillis isn't committed to preserving North Carolina's gay marriage ban. The four are among eight candidates seeking the Republican nomination to take on Hagan. Her seat is considered critical to Republicans in winning back the U.S. Senate in 2015. Early in-person voting continues through Saturday. The leading primary vote-getter needs more than 40 percent to avoid a runoff.'
[The latest poll on the race shows Tillis with 39 percent of support, one point shy of escaping a costly runoff election with Brannon.]
NUNN DEBUTS DAD AD IN GEORGIA
Weekly Standard: 'Michelle Nunn, the likely Democratic nominee for Senate in Georgia, has a new ad that explores her biography. The daughter of former senator Sam Nunn, the younger Nunn points out that while she played basketball like her father, she did not follow him into politics. 'Instead, I devoted my life to raising a family and building volunteer organizations,' says Nunn. 'And I went on to become CEO of President Bush's Points of Light Foundation.'''
Poll: Perdue, Kingston headed for runoff - WMAZ: 'David Perdue and Jack Kingston may be headed to a Republican runoff race for Georgia's open U.S. Senate seat, a new SurveyUSA poll says'The poll shows Perdue, a former Dollar General CEO, with support from 26 percent of likely voters in the Republican primary and Kingston, a congressman from Savannah, with 20 percent. Not far behind, though, are Karen Handel, former Georgia Secretary of State, with 15 percent, and another congressman, Paul Broun of Athens, with 13 percent.' If no candidate gets more than 50 percent of the vote in the May 20 primary, the top two face off in a July 22 runoff election.
CANDIDATE'S PRE-TEEN DAUGHTER: DAD 'DESPISES' OBAMACARE
Nebraska Republican Senate hopeful Ben Sasse is answering attack ads from primary frontrunner Shane Osborn with two character witnesses: daughters, Corrie, 12, and Alexandra, 10. The ad features his daughters talking about their dad's opposition to ObamaCare, which was called into question by a thinly-sourced Osborn ad claiming Sasse once backed the law. But there are no counterattacks in the Sasse spot. 'We always pray for the opposing candidates at breakfast,' Corrie says. Meanwhile, the Osborn campaign is touting today the support of the political action committee backed by the state's rural power companies.
MCALLISTER DUCKING OUT
WaPo: 'On Monday, embattled Rep. Vance McAllister (R) announced that he will not seek reelection to his Louisiana seat in light of the release last month of a video showing the married congressman kissing a staff member. McAllister missed several votes in the weeks following the video's release, but was back in Washington on Monday for the first time since the mini-scandal broke.'
Calvinistic congressman - 'I don't have no regrets. I don't have no regrets at all. There's a reason for everything, man. There's a reason that I did what I did, and there's a reason I got caught... so there is good out of everything.' ' Rep. Vance McAllister, R-La., talking to reporters.
GRIMM-LY HANGING ON
Fox News: 'New York Rep. Michael Grimm was indicted Monday on 20 counts of fraud and other charges relating to a Manhattan restaurant he owned and operated, accused by federal prosecutors of evading the IRS and making over $1 million in revenue 'disappear.' ' His attorneys would not discuss the charges against him, but the congressman vowed to stay in office and continue running for re-election in the fall. 'I don't abandon my post,' he said. 'Grimm sent a letter to House Speaker John Boehner saying he was stepping down as a member of the House Financial Services Committee.'
TOOTING HIS OWN HORN
Does the bear in this video on the Internet dance? Yep. Does he play the trumpet? Check. Does he appear to experience pure ursine delight in his routine? Roger that. How about a bemused dog? You bet.
AND NOW A WORD FROM CHARLES'
'What the secretary of State of the United States has succeeded in doing, in what he thought was a private comment, is to echo and therefore to legitimize the worst of the libelous claims against the Jewish state. If there is one minority in the Middle East that enjoys the rule of law, and protection, and democracy it is Arabs in Israel. One out of every five Israelis is a Palestinian, overwhelming they are Muslim. There are Arabs in the government, in the Supreme Court, in all walks of life, in the universities. There's actually affirmative action if you are a Palestinian in the universities. And to compare that in any way with the systematic discrimination against black Africans in South Africa is truly appalling and hurtful. ' Charles Krauthammer on 'Special Report with Bret Baier'
Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as digital politics editor based in Washington, D.C. Additionally, he serves as the host of "Power Play" on FoxNews.com and makes daily appearances on the network including "America Live with Megyn Kelly," "Special Report with Bret Baier," and "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace." Most recently, Stirewalt provided expert political analysis during the 2012 presidential election.