I’ve long believed that there is a fundamental disconnect between Washington’s pundit class and the American people as a whole. It’s not a fault of the pundits’ — their life and work experiences don’t put them in touch with anyone from roughly 45 of the 50 American states, and those people that they do meet tend to work in a small set of professions and industries. (Their only sin is not acknowledging the limits of their expertise and predictive abilities.) It is because of that disconnect that you can have TV commentators, journalists, and bloggers debating whether Obama’s honeymoon is over when numbers like this suggest it is not a question open for debate:
The percentage of Americans in the new poll who said the country is on the right track still stands at just 42 percent, but that is the highest percentage saying so in five years and marks a sharp turnabout from last fall, when as many as nine in 10 said the country was heading in the wrong direction….
Overall perceptions about the country parallel a rapid increase in the percentage of Americans who say the economy is improving. For the first time since late 2004, the gap between the numbers saying the economy is getting better and those saying it’s getting worse is in the single digits (27 percent to 36 percent).
Two-thirds of Americans approve of the way Obama is handling the country’s top job, and six in 10 give him good marks on issue No. 1, the flagging economy.
And this suggests that Democrats, independents, and likely some moderate Republicans reject the GOP’s back-to-the-future “tax and spend” trope:
At the same time, 62 percent see Obama as a “new-style,” fiscally responsible Democrat; fewer, about a third, label him an “old-style” Democrat oriented toward taxing and spending.
Time to get some new rhetoric, Karl Rove.