Obama Begins Re-Election Campaign with Far Less Partisan Support Than George W. Bush Had in 2003

As President Obama launches his 2012 campaign, his poll numbers with Democratic voters aren’t that great. The latest YouGov/Economist poll has him at 74% approve/20% disapprove among Democrats, which is in the ballpark of a DailyKos poll from last week. And if you look at Pollster’s current poll of polls, 79.1% of Democrats approve and 15.2% disapprove.

You might think, hey, 80 percent approval’s not so bad. But George W. Bush enjoyed a 94% approval among Republicans in May 2003 and a year later, he won by just a single state — the narrowest re-election by an incumbent since Woodrow Wilson.

And even more troubling for Obama is that he’s underwater with independents, 40/51.

One of the sour note’s from Obama’s 2012 announcement email was this line:

So even though I’m focused on the job you elected me to do, and the race may not reach full speed for a year or more, the work of laying the foundation for our campaign must start today.

Obama’s problem is that 20% of his own party — and the majority of independents — don’t think he’s doing the job we elected him to do.

And since hectoring the base was a miserable failure in 2010, the question is: how is Obama going to get that 20% to turn out in November 2012?

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