President Obama's relatively high job-approval ratings in national surveys are misleading, according to Republican pollsters and strategists. That's because, while he enjoys strong popularity on much of the East and West coasts, Obama's ratings are declining in key Midwestern swing states that are crucial to his ability to put together winning coalitions in Washington. Continued declines could signal a Republican rebound in the 2010 midterm elections.
Obama has already suffered a 13-point drop in his job approval ratings in Ohio. A Quinnipiac University survey this week has Obama's approval rating in Ohio at 49 percent, compared with 62 percent two months ago. This probably means that he will suffer drops in other key Midwestern states with similar economic problems, such as Michigan, Indiana, and Wisconsin, according to GOP strategists. Unless the economy, especially the jobless rate, begins to improve soon, Obama could face a very rough patch. Recognizing the problem, Vice President Joe Biden plans to campaign in Ohio today, scheduling an event in Cincinnati to talk up the administration's economic stimulus package.