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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

After Hope and Change Come Declining Approval Ratings

Challenges across the policy spectrum are keeping Barack Obama in political peril, with the public divided on initiatives ranging from Senate-supported immigration reform to Obama’s signature health care law.
As he readies a new pitch on economic growth, the president’s job approval rating has slipped below 50 percent for the first time since September in ABC News/Washington Post polls. Even with a recovery in consumer sentiment, just 45 percent approve specifically of his handling of the economy, and 60 percent say the country’s headed seriously off on the wrong track.
See PDF with full results and charts here.
Congress, for its part, manages just a 21 percent approval rating – up by 5 points since March to more than a two-year high, but still dismal by any measure. And whatever Obama’s challenges, this poll, produced for ABC by Langer Research Associates, finds that Republicans are hardly rejoicing: They’re far more critical of their own party’s leadership than are Democrats of theirs, with 52 percent of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents – a new high by a substantial margin – saying the GOP’s going astray.
David Lightman writes at McClatchy:
Stung by Americans’ persistent worries about the economy and a capital gripped by controversy and gridlock, President Barack Obama is suffering his lowest job approval numbers in nearly two years, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.
The plummeting numbers – still higher than those of Congress – come after weeks of rising gasoline prices, revelations about domestic spying and turmoil in the Middle East.
The disappointing results come as the White House this week looks to turn the national conversation back to the economy. Obama will deliver the first of a series of speeches Wednesday aimed at offering his vision for boosting economic growth, even as the new poll found that just 37 percent of the respondents approved of his handling of the economy, while 56 percent disapproved.
Overall, the poll found Obama’s job approval at 41 percent last week, a sharp drop from April’s 50 percent and his worst showing in the poll since 39 percent in September 2011. Forty-eight percent disapproved in the latest poll, up from April’s 46 percent.
Gallup reports:
President Obama's job approval rating averaged 47.9% during his 18th quarter in office. His quarterly average has declined in each of the last two quarters after showing improvement in each of the five previous quarters, culminating with his re-election.

The results are based on Gallup Daily tracking interviews with more than 45,000 U.S. adults during Obama's 18th quarter in office, which ran from April 20-July 19.
Obama's best quarterly average to date was during his first quarter in office, during the honeymoon phase of his presidency, when he averaged 63.0% approval. His worst was 41.0% during his 11th quarter, at a time when he and Congress engaged in contentious negotiations to raise the federal debt limit, after which the United States' credit rating was downgraded and the U.S. stock market tanked.
Obama began his 18th quarter enjoying a modest rally after the Boston Marathon terrorist attacks. Presidents' approval ratings often increase after significant events, particularly those that relate to national security. From late April through early May, Obama's approval ratings were mostly at or above 50%. His approval rating held below 50% for most of the rest of May and nearly all of June. His Gallup Daily tracking three-day approval average has not been as high as 50% since June 25-27.
Carla Marinucci writes at The San Francisco Chronicle:
President Obama's job performance rating has plummeted 10 points in solidly blue California since February, an across-the-board decline that is steepest among his most fervent backers, according to the latest survey by the Field Poll.
A bare majority of California voters, just 52 percent, now approve of Obama's record in office, with 35 percent disapproving and 13 percent holding no opinion, according to the poll of 846 registered voters in the state.

The poll shows Obama has suffered the biggest erosion in support among grassroots groups including women, whose approval of the president has dropped a whopping 15 percentage points in the last five months.
Similarly, Obama's job approval ratings among registered Democrats, under-40 voters, and college graduates have declined 14 points, white non-Hispanics are down 13 points, nonpartisan voters declined 12 points, and Latinos are seven points lower in their support, the poll shows.
"Look at the constituencies that have fallen off most. ... They've basically changed their views over the last few months" regarding the president's performance, said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Field Poll.