I've argued before that President Obama is not overreaching on his ambitious second-term agenda because a severely divided Republican Party gives the president more flexibility that his re-election vote margin might otherwise allow.
And now, two new polls suggest it's the Republicans who are overreaching.
A USA Today/Pew Research poll finds President Obama "starts his second term with a clear upper hand over GOP leaders on issues from guns to immigration that are likely to dominate the year. On the legislation rated most urgent — cutting the budget deficit — even a majority of Republican voters endorse Obama's approach of seeking tax hikes as well as spending cuts."
Greg Sargent points out that on every one of the major issues facing Congress — with the exception of the proposed assault weapons ban — the GOP position is favored by roughly one-third or fewer Americans.
Meanwhile, a new Bloomberg poll finds President Obama enters the latest showdown with Congress with his highest job approval in three years while Republicans' popularity stands at a record low.
More from Bloomberg: "Obama's positive standing with the public provides him with political leverage as Americans assess blame for any furloughs, disruption of government services or damage to the economy if the spending cuts aren't averted."
The Republican Party is in an exceptionally weak position right now and President Obama is using it to his political advantage.
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- Why Mitt Romney is perfectly poised for a comeback in 2016
- Why is the West so afraid of Islam?
- Why GOP reformers are bound to fail
- The Nazi smart bomb that inspired China's most dangerous weapon
- 10 things you need to know today: July 31, 2014
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The best places to find love — and lust — according to science
- Here's the schedule very successful people follow every day
- The mystery behind China's aggressive push into space
- Don't vote for Andrew Cuomo
Subscribe to the Week