A quick update on the Rasmussen polling results for Obama, which I've been tracking for over a year now. While Obama's overall approval rating a few months ago was a bit worse than it is today, I think the charts show that satisfaction with Obama has been on the decline since day one. Moreover, Rasmussen also finds that 63% of U.S. voters now favor the repeal of Obamacare, while only 32% oppose repeal. This is the highest level of opposition to date.
In the second chart we see fairly consistent readings over several months that suggest almost 55% of the people disapprove of the job that Obama is doing, and about 45% approve. Obama is surely aware of his fading popularity and weakened influence, but instead of moving to the center to shore up his support, he seems to want to add yet another "accomplishment" (likely cap and trade legislation) before prematurely becoming a lame duck (likely following the November elections).
My guess is that cap and trade will not be successful. There are too many competing constituencies, and too much controversy surrounding the larger issue of global warming, for this to be successful. Plus, cap and trade essentially boils down to a big tax on carbon-based energy sources, and this is not exactly the sort of thing the economy needs right now. Add these considerations to the growing numbers of those who not only dislike but oppose Obama's initiatives, and you have a recipe for gridlock, even before the November elections.
With the exception of the $200 billion bill that Congress is trying to pass this week (which contains some tax hikes and extensions of popular tax breaks), we are unlikely to see more economy-damaging legislation this year, and that is good.