Independent voters in several battleground states are sour on President Barack Obama's handling of the housing crisis, according to polling data released Wednesday by the Campaign for a Fair Settlement, a coalition of progressive groups focused on the foreclosure crisis.
The poll, conducted by Public Policy Polling, indicated that majorities of likely independent voters in Nevada, Arizona and North Carolina disapprove of how Obama has dealt with the housing crash and its aftermath, while near-majorities disapprove in Pennsylvania and Florida. Majorities of voters polled in all of those states said they feel the administration is not adequately monitoring lenders in the housing market.
In Nevada, a state devastated by the housing debacle, a whopping 70 percent of respondents said they disapprove of Obama's handling of the crisis.
Several of the key swing states in 2012, such as Florida, happen to have been battered by the housing crash. Although prices in most places lag well behind their pre-crash peaks -- and voters are generally disgruntled with government action during the crisis, as Wednesday's poll shows -- housing in many areas is starting to rebound, which could work in Obama's favor come November.
A recent examination of swing-state housing data by Reuters, for instance, found "hope in even the most battered real estate markets, notably Florida, with some other key battlegrounds doing much better."
On a campaign stop in Nevada last week, Obama visited Reno and urged lawmakers in Washington to make refinancing easier for underwater homeowners. The president's own signature mortgage-modification effort, the Home Affordable Modification Program, has been something of a disappointment, the program hobbled by poor involvement by participating lenders like JPMorgan Chase.
The Campaign for a Fair Settlement, which commissioned the housing polling, has been a harsh critic of the administration's handling of the crisis.
"The president should heed the message independent voters are sending and show stronger leadership on housing," said Nish Suvarnakar, the group's campaign manager. "Obama can help homeowners, his campaign and the overall economy by more aggressively pursuing banks’ criminal acts and supporting meaningful solutions for underwater homeowners."