Barack Obama struggles to capitalize in polls

Democrats who held out hopes that President Barack Obama’s health reform win would mean a quick boost to the party’s political fortunes are getting a reality check — a reminder that it takes more than one good week to shake up a year of sliding polls.

Obama and his health reform plan did get a bump in several surveys immediately after the House vote eight days ago — but the numbers in some of those polls flattened out, showing how difficult it will be for Obama to capitalize on reform, even after his top legislative goal cleared Congress.

The most prominent political prognosticator who predicted a post-reform bump for Obama was President Bill Clinton — who told reporters last year that Obama would add 10 points to his approval rating “the minute health reform passed.” But Obama’s approval in the Gallup daily tracking poll stands at 48 percent — near his all-time low of 46 percent in the three-day rolling average. Near the time of passage, Obama ticked up to 50 percent in the poll.

“It’s pretty clear to me that public opinion is arrayed against the plan. And among swing voters, opinion is even more against the plan,” said Doug Schoen, a Democratic pollster.