In Louisiana, at least, it may be true.
This poll from left-leaning Public Policy Polling may prove nothing more than the notion that the present crisis is always the biggest crisis. But the result is nonetheless stunning:
Our new Louisiana poll has a lot of data points to show how unhappy voters in the state are with Barack Obama’s handling of the oil spill but one perhaps sums it up better than anything else — a majority of voters there think George W. Bush did a better job with Katrina than Obama’s done dealing with the spill.
50% of voters in the state, even including 31% of Democrats, give Bush higher marks on that question compared to 35% who pick Obama.
Overall only 32% of Louisianans approve of how Obama has handled the spill to 62% who disapprove. 34% of those polled say they approved of how Bush dealt with Katrina to 58% who disapproved.
Respondents were quicker to blame BP than Obama, which only makes sense. But quicker to disapprove of Obama’s handling of the oil spill than Bush’s handling of Katrina?
More bad news for Obama:
The sample of the poll is about what you’d expect in Louisiana: 56 percent who voted for John McCain in 2008 versus 35 percent who went for Obama (McCain won the state 59 to 40). The cross-tabs aren’t terribly surprising, either: self-identified Democrats give Obama better marks and Bush worse ones, and the opposite is true for Republicans.
It is, however, eye-opening that almost one-third of Louisiana Democrats favor Bush’s response over Obama’s.
And the prevailing opinions about the oil spill being worse than Katrina, and the continued support for offshore drilling, hold up across partisan, ideological and racial lines.
Opinion outside Louisiana will dictate the broad effect of the spill, and Obama’s response to it, on his presidency. But this poll has to have alarm bells ringing among Democrats.