A strategist casting a cold eye on the Gallup poll tracking President Obama’s job approval rating might be tempted to give our president the following advice: Sir, you need more unmarried, unchurched, poor and inexperienced Americans.
Given the polling trends, the more people who are devout, married and prosperous and have seen more than a few decades of life, the worse it will be for the president. What’s good for America is bad for Mr. Obama.
Unless, of course, you think that faith, family, wealth and longevity are bad. But, then, who would think that?
Each Monday, Gallup publishes a demographic breakdown of the president’s approval rating among the people it has surveyed during the previous seven-day period.
For the week of Dec. 7-13, Mr. Obama’s overall approval was 49 percent, with some groups rating him significantly higher than that and some rating him significantly lower. Among people who seldom or never go to church, Mr. Obama did relatively well. Fifty-three percent said they approved of the job he is doing. Among those who go to church monthly or nearly weekly, 53 percent approved. But among weekly churchgoers, only 42 percent approved.
If there were not a class of citizens in this country who go to church every week, a majority of Americans would still approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing.
Mr. Obama also did very well among the unmarried. Fifty-nine percent approved of the job he is doing. Among married people, however, only 42 percent approved.
If marriage could be eliminated in this country - leaving only the never married, the divorced and the cohabitating - a majority of Americans would still approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing.
Similarly, younger people were far more likely than older people to give Mr. Obama a positive rating. Fifty-nine percent of Americans aged 18 to 29 said they approved of the job he is doing. But only 50 percent of those 30 to 49 approved, only 48 percent of those 50 to 64 approved, and only 40 percent of those 65 or older approved.
If everyone in this country were under 30, a majority of Americans would still approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing.
When income brackets were considered, Mr. Obama did best among the poorest. Fifty-six percent of those who earn less than $24,000 per year, and 53 percent of those who earn between $24,000 and $60,000, approved of the job he is doing. But only 49 percent of those who earn between $60,000 and $90,000 per year approved, and only 44 percent of those who earn more than $90,000 per year approved.
If no one earned more than $60,000 per year in this nation, a majority of Americans would still approve of the job Mr. Obama is doing.
Is there a lesson in this Gallup poll? Yes. The people who form the backbone of our society - the married, churchgoing, hard-working, experienced members of our national community - do not believe what Mr. Obama is doing today as president serves their interests.
In fact, it is not only their interests that are being disserved. Many Americans who are not among the married, churchgoing or prosperous today would in the normal course of things become those things tomorrow. In this free country, younger people tend to grow older, get married, prosper and, in many circumstances, find their way back to church if they have strayed from it.
A bigger welfare state such as Mr. Obama envisions where more people are dependent on government and where the industrious must bear a greater financial burden to support the government will make it harder for all our children to live the American dream - and join the demographic categories that disapprove of the job Mr. Obama is doing.
Terence P. Jeffrey is the editor in chief of CNSnews.com.