Working theory: S&P downgrade was Obama's Katrina. Economic fundamentals didn't change, but it was a huge blow to American prestige/morale.
Well, while the "fundamentals" may not have changed - as long as Obama is in power, they never will - but like an earthquake, that huge shift at the bottom caused shaking far and wide. Unless, that is, if you don't have any money invested in the stock market. Or in Treasuries. Or in a retirement fund such as a 401(k). Or in a pension plan that invests in the same types of mutual funds....
But just a look at recent polls tells you the American people digested the downgrade, heard the President and his party braying that "The Tea Party did it!", and decided to utterly reject that argument and instead blame the man in charge. Shocking, right?
Most traumatically for Democrats, there are signs that President Obama has not hit bottom in the polls. In Gallup, he’s reached a new approval low (38 percent) and new disapproval high (54 percent). He is statistically tied even with GOP candidates who have considerable liabilities and who remain unknown to a chunk of voters. The right track/wrong track direction polling reflects the public’s sour mood. A GOP operative puts it this way: “Every day it becomes harder to see how President Obama is going to find the momentum necessary to turn around these awful numbers. The election is a referendum and the American people are making their verdict pretty clear.”
And while the professional political class still sees a path to victory:
The chances of Obama’s reelection are "going to be strongly influenced by the GOP nominee,” says Baker (a professor at Rutgers University who studies the presidency). “If it is someone who can be spun and framed as a fanatic, he can survive.”
...it actually seems like, well...voters are at the point where they'll take a dead dog over another four years of this administration:
So he's getting beat by Romney, who is nothing more than "not Obama", he is tied with Perry - who got into the race 15 minutes ago, shot off a few guns and yelled "Yee-Haw" Yosemite Sam-style, then went back to Texas - and he is is barely leading Ron Paul (a nutjob) and Michele Bachmann (quite sane, but oft portray as a nutjob).
So it looks like the downgrade will stick with Obama - fairly, in my opinion - much as Katrina stuck with Bush (quite unfairly, IMHO). And it seems as if the American people have made their mind up on that, and all the caterwauling from the liberal talking heads, and all the demonetization of the right by the mainstream media, won't make a dime's worth of difference...