A continued steep fall in President Obama’s job approval rating could have a dramatic impact on current defense spending and warfighting plans. But a careful look at the president’s position in current polls brings back the old adage about Russia: It is never as strong, or as weak, as it appears.
President Obama was never as popular in the polls as you might believe from 2009 political commentary. Of all the post-World War Two presidents, only two have tracked worse than Obama in the first six months of their presidencies. Attached is a wonderful graph on presidential job approval published by the Gallup Corporation. Be sure to drag your mouse across it for historic references. [http://www.usatoday.com/news/washington/presidential-approval-tracker.htm?POE=click-refer]
President Obama has also suffered from a fast fall from the mid-60s to the low 50s over a short several months, and his job approval rating is now close to his vote return threshold in the 2008 election. His average job approval is now 53.3%, while his vote return in 2008 was 52.9%.
Obama is still safely above the 50% marker nationally, a location that increases the odds his party will hold the Congress in the off-year election, and insures that much of his legislation will pass the Congress. But a move below 50 puts Congressional control in play and probably jams up any controversial legislative initiatives. So watch that number closely at http://www.realclearpolitics.com. There are possible harbingers of trouble in Virginia and New Jersey polls, where the GOP 2009 gubernatorial candidates are producing strong, consistent leads.
And if he falls below 50 in the coming months, does that suggest a one term president? Well, the two presidents who were more unpopular than Barack Obama at this stage were none other than Ronald Reagan and the Come-Back Kid, Bill Clinton.
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