July 30th, 2009
03:34 PM ET
14 years ago

Borger: Voters willing to cut Obama some slack

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The giveaway was when they started calling him "Barack."

It was jarring, at first, to hear many in this group of 12 independent voters refer to their new president by his first name. But the more they talked, the more it made sense. After all, they are seeing a lot of him.

And they like it - or at least they like him. "There's a sense of intimacy, or relationship, that was there," says Democratic pollster Peter Hart, who conducted the focus group in Towson, Maryland, on Wednesday night. "[It shows] how unbelievably powerful his personal presence is. ... Don't get fooled by numbers alone. Something is stronger here."

So while the president's poll numbers start to dip, these dozen independents - including four McCain supporters and a lone Nader voter - are giving the president some leeway. They feel like they know him, and that he's "honest,' as one put it. And while they say the country is "broke," "worried" and "confused, they're not blaming Barack. If anything, they seem invested in his success.

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Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA

    They like him because he's one of them. That's the difference between him and other polticians. I expect politicians to lie, it's just in their DNA. But when it comes to Barack, if he flops on an issue, I think he's doing it the best interest of the nation. Most people believe the President is an everyday guy like them.

    July 30, 2009 03:58 pm at 3:58 pm |
  2. Larry

    I've always loved the level of the President's honesty. What a breath of fresh air from the lying Bush, behind-the-back Bush.

    Considering the mess President Obama is trying to mop up I still give him all A's and one D–the D being for allowing Afghanistan to escalate.

    We don't need that war, or the $300 billion per year it takes to run it. Sacrificing lives in the Middle East is no deterrent to attacks at home. Good homeland security is the best deterrent.

    July 30, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  3. M Weaver

    President Obama is doing a terrific job with the mess he was handed by the previous president..

    July 30, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. Suzan

    I will give him all the leeway he needs......you can't make any decissions about his progress or lack of until after at least a year......so the polls don't mean a thing to me......or to the others I have talked to. Only the party of NO is the ones voting in these polls and they never voted for him in the first place........

    July 30, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  5. Melissa

    I am. I like him alot. I like what he stands for. I wish he’d go further left, though. And that he’s simply tell people “just do it” but he’s also the ultimate diplomat where he rarely ever says anything direct and straight to the point.

    Personally, I think he’s been doing very well. He’s like a parent gently pushing people in what he thinks is the right direction but letting you make the final choice yourself. And frankly, people need a parent right now, instead of the bumbling idiot from the previous administration.

    The people I’m not impressed with is Congress.

    July 30, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  6. dominican mama 4 Obama

    YESSSS!!! They GET him. Our President is so for the people of this country. We are not used to that. We've been used and abused by our leaders under the cover of darkness for so long that we're suspicious., and incredulous when a REAL leader comes along. Rise above your fears. Embrace what you know to be right. This man's main agenda is to do what no one else, for fear of losing political ground, will do: help the forgotten citizens of th United Staes of America.

    God bless you Barack, and Godspeed to you in your endeavors.

    July 30, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  7. Matt

    No one believes your biased views Borger.

    July 30, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  8. Matt

    All Americans should be invested in the success of this president, else it's going to be a LONG economic recovery process.

    July 30, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  9. Desmond

    Right on! This is the most honest, intelligent, courageous, knowlegeable, likable President the USA has had in my memory. What's not to like about "Barack"? And I am not even American or Black or White or Red or Blue!

    July 30, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. Obama=Trickle up Poverty

    Are people really so dumb these days that they can't see past the rhetoric. Obama should have been a car salesman, he could have made a fortune. The dumbing down of America continues on.

    July 30, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. Dream on!

    Reality is that at 6 months he's falling like Pb.

    July 30, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  12. pam Eugene OR

    Unless you are a Republican you would never want your country or your President to fail.

    July 30, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  13. tom

    Readers tell the truth.
    1.Has any president in recent times ever been greeted with such opposition from the opposing party?
    2. Has any president ever been accused of not being an American?
    3. Name 1 piece of meaningful legislation the GOP has not oppossed?

    If you think the fact that he is 1/2 black has nothing to do with it you are only fooling yourself.The GOP leader(Limbaugh)wants him to fail to the destruction of the United States .

    July 30, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  14. Capt. Snarky

    Remember the old saying " there's a sucker born every minute"? Well, here are twelve of them.....

    July 30, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  15. makesUwonder

    Yeah, keep giving him that leeway if you want. Me, I've had it with him and just want him out of my life!

    July 30, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  16. Ruty

    Obama has been in office 6 months. "W" screwed up for 8 years. We should at least give this man a chance to see what he can do. No one could clean up the Bush mess in 6 months. Stop whining and expecting the government to support your lazy ass. Most people are OK. So get over your selfish selves and stop the baby whining.

    July 30, 2009 04:34 pm at 4:34 pm |
  17. Automatically Against

    Republicans just want him to fail because they want all Democrats to fail, and a lot of them are also racists. Many Republicans are still pissed off that we actually have a black president.

    July 30, 2009 04:35 pm at 4:35 pm |
  18. Gdad

    I can't believe that so many people chose to drink Obama's coolaid.

    July 30, 2009 04:37 pm at 4:37 pm |
  19. sharon scarborough

    I like Obama! Always remember the REPUBLICANS got us here...they are racist and do not wnat to see a SMART black man in power. And ths that is the truth.

    July 30, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  20. just thinking

    Do you think maybe the media might be egging this racist thinking alone just a bit? Just asking.

    July 30, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  21. Ragging Too Soon

    All of you who are ragging on a President who has only been in office for six months are just still in denial that we actually have a black President.

    July 30, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  22. JS

    No slack given from me he has the answer for everything and doesn't know anything about what he is talking about.

    You wanted change well you got it more spending at our expense.

    Let the free market pay for what they have done not the tax payers.

    July 30, 2009 04:41 pm at 4:41 pm |
  23. Alan

    Yes, Republicans. You seem to forget your boy W. His attitude about polls? They don't mean anything. YOUR attitude toward any poll against Barack? He's on his way down.

    You want him to fail. Admit it.

    Yet, there it is in black and white. Your worst nightmare. Stocks hitting nine-month highs. Housing starts up. Housing price decline slowing.

    And 2/3rds of Obama's stimulus money isn't even hitting the streets yet while W threw $750 BILLION into the wind on his way out the door.

    Get used to Democratic rule for a long long time to come. Barack Obama MUST succeed. We don't have four more years to wait. And putting someone from your irresponsible hypocritical party back into office would make absolutely certain the train roars right over the cliff.

    July 30, 2009 04:42 pm at 4:42 pm |
  24. Tyran

    The attack on him from the right is vicious and people are afraid of change, so Obama's poll numbers are not suprising to me. What suprises me is that he hasn't even been President for a year, and people are already closing the door on him.

    July 30, 2009 04:45 pm at 4:45 pm |
  25. mark

    It is really shocking that so many people want to change America into a European country. The biggest disappointment with this president is that fact that he seems to want everyone to depend on the government for everything. That isn't how this country became the sole superpower in the world. We should be practicing personal responsibility instead of letting Washington "run", and be responsible for our successes and failures. At this point a large portion of this country contributes nothing to our success but wants handouts from those who contribute. I fear very soon there will be more taking from the system than giving and then we are all in trouble.

    July 30, 2009 04:47 pm at 4:47 pm |
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