Why Nobody Approves of Obama’s Handling of the Budget Deficit

Almost the only bad news for the White House in today’s Pew poll is that the president’s job approval rating on the budget deficit is pretty dysmal—34 percent approve of his handling and 58 percent disapprove—and I think it’s going to be very hard for him to get out of this box.

When I think about the different people I read, what’s striking to me is the extent to which the people who are pretty loyal Democrats tend to be rather displeased with the administration’s approach to this question. Paul Krugman is the highlest profile example, but he’s hardly alone. Most of the president’s core supporters think his pursuit of a grand bargain on the deficit is fundamentally misguided. Meanwhile, when I think about the folks who are most substantively in line with what Obama’s trying to do on the budget are moderate Republicans or hard-core BipartisanThinkers who are naturally reluctant to stand and cheer for the White House’s actions. They’re in a kind of dead zone, where not only do hard-core conservatives dislike what they’re doing but their better-informed supporters think it’s a mistake and the folks who like the policy aren’t supporters of the administration.