After a steep fall from Inauguration Day through late August, President Obama’s job approval rating has stabilized for three weeks right around his 2008 vote, which was 52.9%. We actually saw a similar pattern last summer, when Senator McCain closed the gap with Senator Obama at the end of August, and even pulled a tad ahead in early September 2008. Then Obama pulled away for good in mid-September.
The President’s disapproval rating is now 44% (www.realclearpolitics.com), reflecting the motivated opposition to his agenda we are seeing in town halls and in the GOP Congressional caucus.
But the crucial floor remains in place under Obama’s presidency: his popularity has not fallen significantly below his share of the presidential vote total, much less below 50%. If this proves to be his near-term bottom, then there is a possibility his popularity will strengthen headed into the fall legislative rush, improving prospects for passage of such controversial legislative items as healthcare reform or cap-and-trade.
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