On Wednesday, when Barack Obama hit a new low in his approval ratings in the Rasmussen daily tracking poll, I predicted a short-lived bump that would disappear by the weekend. The initial response to his Tuesday-night Oval Office speech would be seen on Thursday and today, and I expected a small increase in approval despite the delivery of a widely-panned address that many are now comparing to Jimmy Carter’s “malaise” speech. Yesterday, Obama’s job approval went from 42% to 43% — but today, it’s dropped even lower than on Wednesday:
The Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll for Friday shows that 25% of the nation’s voters Strongly Approve of the way that Barack Obama is performing his role as president. Forty-six percent (46%) Strongly Disapprove, giving Obama a Presidential Approval Index rating of -21 (see trends).
These results are based upon nightly telephone interviews and reported on a three-day rolling average basis. As a result, more than two-thirds of the interviews for today’s update were conducted after the president’s speech to the nation. Tomorrow’s update will be the first based entirely upon interviews conducted after the speech. …
Overall, 41% of voters say they at least somewhat approve of the president’s performance. That’s the lowest level of approval yet recorded for this president. Fifty-eight percent (58%) now disapprove.
In other words, the Wednesday survey did improve his standing enough to raise his rating by a single percentage point — hardly moving the needle, but in a three-day rolling poll, an indication of something moving in the right direction. Yesterday’s survey, however, must have been bad enough to wipe out the gain from the previous day and be lower than the pre-speech polling. That indicates that the extended reaction to the speech has been especially bad.
Rasmussen also released its weekly issue polling today, and it also looks bleak for the administration. Almost two-thirds (65%) believe government spending will go up, while only 11% believe taxes will go down. Obama only scores a 34% approval on the economy, with 68% of independents rating him only fair or poor, above the 59% of the general population giving Obama a thumbs-down. He also only gets a 38% job-approval rating on energy, and only 33% among independents. On national security, Obama gets a 38%, with 63% of independents disapproving.
Obama may not be in Bush-approval territory, but that’s the direction he’s heading. One thing is certain: Obama can’t get a bounce any more just from giving a speech.