Though President Obama’s approval numbers have crested over the 50% mark after their low point in the midterm elections, Americans are still queasy about the style and substance of his leadership.
And perhaps a foreshadowing of things to come in 2016, a new Quinnipiac poll shows that three key swing states that went heavily for Obama in 2008 and 2012 are experiencing strong buyer’s remorse.
When asked whether they want the next president to continue Obama’s policies, respondents from Colorado, Iowa and Virginia all say they are ready for a new direction in the White House.
In Colorado and Iowa, 58% hope the next president pursue policies different from Obama’s while 61% in Virginia hold that view. Specifically, an average of over 40% of respondents in those states believe Obama’s economic policies have hurt the country.
The poll reflects ongoing umbrage among American voters about the train wreck that has marked the Obama presidency on nearly every policy front, both foreign and domestic.
The practical political implications for Hillary Clinton create a veritable gauntlet similar to what Sen. John McCain faced in 2008 in which she must distance herself from the White House but do so carefully so as not to argue that Obama’s presidency has been a failure.
Whether Hillary can pull off that balancing act – particularly if Sen. Elizabeth Warren is among her Democrat primary competitors – could determine her fate in the 2016 election.