Headlines from recent polls tell the story President Barack Obama is winning the debt ceiling battle:
But, as the last three polls above describe, Obama may be winning the immediate battle over the debt ceiling, but he appears to be losing the war. Americans are becoming increasingly anxious about the economy and annoyed with Washington.
Presidential re-elections are largely retrospective, with the state of the economy the most important criteria. Obama developed the image of being cool and unflappable, but in the present crisis, he appears passive and unengaged.
Although he threw himself into the debt ceiling struggle, he was not able to dominate it and had to share the effort to frame it.
Ultimately, Obama’s re-election will be a choice, but today, it remains mostly a referendum, which Obama loses by at least the margin of error.