President Barack Obama’s approval rating among crucial constituencies remains near the lowest levels of his presidency, according to a new Allstate/National Journal Heartland Monitor Poll. This could spell disaster for Democrats trying to hold on to vulnerable Senate seats ahead of the 2014 midterms.
In the new survey, 41 percent of adults said they approved of Obama's job performance while 52 percent disapproved. Since 2009, the quarterly Heartland Monitor Polls have recorded lower approval ratings for him only last November (at 38 percent) and last September (at 40 percent). The difference between those showings and the latest result falls within the survey's 3.1 percentage point margin of error.
In the latest poll, Obama also faces a formidable intensity gap that could foreshadow turnout challenges for Democrats: The share of adults who strongly disapprove of his performance (39 percent) is nearly double that of those who strongly approve (21 percent).
More troubling for Democrats still may be his especially precarious position with constituencies that loom large for the seven Democratic candidates trying to hold Senate seats in states that voted for Mitt Romney in 2012.
In all of those states—Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, Montana, North Carolina, South Dakota and West Virginia—older whites and whites without a four-year college degree represent a substantial share of the electorate. Whites overall represent a larger share of the vote than they do nationally in all of these states except for North Carolina and Louisiana.