Trust Fall

More bad poll news for President Obama today--from a Politico /Public Strategies survey that finds public trust in Obama to identify the right solutions for America's problems has fallen from 66 percent to 54 percent since March. It's worth noting that not too many new problems have developed since March: Iran and North Korea have made the biggest headlines. The nation's problems (e.g., the economic crisis) and Obama's solutions (e.g. the stimulus, his mortgage plan, health care and energy reform) have remained constant. Deficit concerns are not new, but we've continued to hear about them, as government debt has become the principal conservative talking point on Capitol Hill, conservative blogs, and for prominent Republican governors like Sarah Palin (AK) and Rick Perry (TX).

So what does that leave? Stimulus fatigue? General malaise? Yesterday's Washington Post/ABC poll showed views on Obama's stewardship of health care had dropped below 50 percent, but 54 percent supported outlines of proposals in Congress. 85 percent of Americans think it's important for Obama to use health care reform to improve the economy, according to a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation poll released today; but, at the same time, Obama's warnings of unsustainability and crisis in the health care realm seem to have worn off, according to the survey, as it reported individuals have more confidence in their ability to get and afford health care.

Perhaps, as health care has dragged on in the Senate Finance Committee and the possibility of a bill watered down by moderate Democrats has been raised, it's the lack of a watershed moment of political progress and national catharsis over what Obama has framed as, and the public evidently agrees, is a salient issue...perhaps this will change by the end of the year?