After they slept through Scott Brown's victory in Massachusetts, the new Washington Post / ABC News poll ought to be a wake-up call for congressional Democrats and the Obama administration. Obama's approval rating is at 51 percent, but the only issue area where he has higher than 50 percent approval is terrorism.
Only 43 percent of the public, for example, approves of the way Obama is handling health care -- and yet the White House continues to bring up the issue despite public opposition and the inability of congressional Democrats to pass a final bill.
An aside: Liberals are touting the fact that 63 percent of respondents said "lawmakers in Washington should keep trying to pass a comprehensive health-care reform plan." But answering yes to this question is like saying that "lawmakers in Washington should keep trying to pass a comprehensive budget reform" -- it's a vague answer that does not necessarily signal public support for the specific "comprehensive health-care reform plan" stuck in Congress. Which makes sense, considering the public does not support that particular plan.
Ed Morrissey has a trenchant analysis of the poll numbers. The most important are those that show the congressional generic ballot split, and independents backing the GOP on the generic ballot by 51 to 35 percent. Add these to the finding that two-thirds of voters want to "look around" for new people to send to Congress -- "the most to say so in polls since October 1994" -- and you have additional confirmation that the wind is at the elephant's back.