Gallup: Obama job approval hits 2011 low

posted at 11:30 am on March 9, 2011 by Ed Morrissey

Barack Obama had enjoyed the longest Gallup winning streak of his presidency in 2011, buoyed in part by a lame-duck compromise on taxes and an impressive speech in Tucson.  His approval ratings showed growth or held steady for seven weeks, three longer than any other period since taking office in January 2009.  Now, however, with an incoherent response to unrest sweeping the Arab world and an abdication of leadership on the budget, his approval rating in Gallup polling have hit its lowest mark since mid-December:

President Barack Obama averaged 46% job approval the week of Feb. 28-March 6, his lowest weekly average since mid-December. Obama’s weekly approval rating had steadily improved from mid-December to late January, peaking at 50% during the final two weeks in January, before dropping below that mark in February.

Obama is now essentially back to where he was in the immediate post-election phase of 2010. The decline could be due to a number of issues the administration is dealing with, including the popular uprisings in the Middle East, the resulting higher gas prices, and disagreements with the Republicans in Congress about the best way to rein in federal spending.

Once again, Obama is losing support from independents and his own base:

Last week, an average of 79% of Democrats approved of Obama, down from 84% in late January. The president’s 43% approval rating among independents is down from 47% in late January, while his approval rating among Republicans is essentially the same (15% in late January and 14% now).

Andrew Malcolm gives a summary of the good news and the bad news:

There’s still plenty of time for a miraculous Obama recovery. An incumbent president’s reelection chances are usually tied closely to voters’ economic perceptions, centering on unemployment and gas prices. A separate Gallup survey finds Americans’ economic optimism dipping again in recent weeks, at the same time that gas prices began increasing significantly.

The good news for the Obama White House is that the 2010 approval averages show he remains wildly popular in the District of Columbia (84.4% approval) and in his home state of Hawaii (65.9%). That’s seven of the 270 electoral votes he needs to keep living in the White House with his mother-in-law.

The bad news is that last year Obama’s job approval went down in all 50 states.

A 46% approval rating isn’t exactly a number that guarantees re-election, but it’s not low enough to make it out of the question, either.  As Andrew points out, the next election will focus on the same economic and financial issues as the midterms.  Obama’s ability to win re-election depends on (a) the economy improving significantly, (b) demonstrating leadership on fiscal reform, and (c) the candidate the Republicans nominate to challenge him.  Obama can’t control (c), but he can control the other two factors.  And let’s face it — if the economy roars back to life under Obama and the jobless rate drops below 7% and Obama takes the lead on significant budgetary reform, he’ll win no matter who runs against him in 2012.

But that’s the rub.  Obama’s only real option to grow the economy is to reduce the regulatory burden on the private sector, especially in the energy sector, and Obama is determined to go in the opposite direction.  The White House could have triangulated on budgets after the midterms — after all, what says “changing the way Washington works” better than taking away the blank checks on which it operates? — but they have strangely ceded the field entirely.  Obama won’t directly engage himself, and sent Joe Biden in for a bungee meeting before sending the Veep to the other side of the world in the middle of the budget impasse.

If Obama continues at this pace, a 46% from Gallup will look like a standing ovation by the time Obama has to start campaigning for re-election, and it won’t matter who the Republicans nominate to challenge him.


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and it won’t matter who the Republicans nominate to challenge him.

It will if we nominate someone who’s even more unpopular. See Dukakis, Michael for a Democrat example.

KingGold on March 9, 2011 at 11:33 AM

comfy shoe time?

ted c on March 9, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Less than Zero.

Emperor Norton on March 9, 2011 at 11:33 AM

Hope it changes and sinks much lower.

OmahaConservative on March 9, 2011 at 11:34 AM

President Barack Obama averaged 46% job approval the week of Feb. 28-March 6, his lowest weekly average since mid-December

Hmmmn. I wonder why?

/Michelle Medved.

VegasRick on March 9, 2011 at 11:35 AM

White House moving to repair troubled relationship with Cabinet

Some how that headline doesn’t inspire confidence.

J_Crater on March 9, 2011 at 11:35 AM

Next: Obama holds a nationwide beer summit.

kingsjester on March 9, 2011 at 11:35 AM

“President Obama, how would you like to proceed on these discussions?”

“I vote Present!”

evilned on March 9, 2011 at 11:35 AM

an average of 79% of Democrats approved of Obama

Liberalism is a Mental Disorder.

pseudonominus on March 9, 2011 at 11:37 AM

People afraid of being labeled “racist” are keeping that number up by 7%.

Obama’s real numbers are in Bush ’08 levels. I guarantee it.

portlandon on March 9, 2011 at 11:37 AM

Just don’t call him radical, racist, socialist, Marxist, Anti-American,Big Spender, fable teller, liar, ditherer, lazy, or anything else derogatory!

dhunter on March 9, 2011 at 11:38 AM

I’m sure he’ll turn to cowboy poetry to get him through this rough spot.

cartooner on March 9, 2011 at 11:40 AM

Looks like he picked the perfect time to start brewing his own beer.

ChrisB on March 9, 2011 at 11:43 AM

and an impressive speech in Tucson.

Still sticking with that “great speech” stuff Ed? That new civility is working out real good, isn’t it.

Knucklehead on March 9, 2011 at 11:43 AM

I’m sure he’ll turn to cowboy poetry to get him through this rough spot.

cartooner on March 9, 2011 at 11:40 AM

yeah, I heard that some guvmint program created all them peeps out there in NV. Without it, none of ‘em would exist.

Origins.

ted c on March 9, 2011 at 11:43 AM

a 46% from Gallup

They must have polled people in graveyards, because these people are brain dead.

Beaglemom on March 9, 2011 at 11:43 AM

If Obama continues at this pace, a 46% from Gallup will look like a standing ovation by the time Obama has to start campaigning for re-election, and it won’t matter who the Republicans nominate to challenge him.

What a way to spend the next two years, then four more, is there an app. for deep dark depression excessive misery?

fourdeucer on March 9, 2011 at 11:44 AM

Looks like he picked the perfect time to start brewing his own beer.

ChrisB on March 9, 2011 at 11:43 AM

it’ll give him something to cry into…

ted c on March 9, 2011 at 11:44 AM

As tired as I am about polls, this seems like another disingenuous and misleading one. The world is falling apart at the seems, the mid-east is in flames, the economy is tanking for the third straight year. But look, lo and behold; our mighty president is holding his own against the greatest odds ever and blatant racism. Isn’t Obama wonderful!

Everything you read in a poll is a misleading lie. They are designed to spin what is unspinable. They are put out to placate stupid people, and mislead the general public. Shouldn’t these Rasmussen people be indicted for fraud and racketeering?

Tommy_G on March 9, 2011 at 11:47 AM

46% approve of this stool with a voice?

Unbelievable

darwin-t on March 9, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Bush was crucified 24/7/365 by the mainstream media for most of his 8 year term. Obama has the mainstream media in his pocket. It will be interesting to see how a totally biased mainstream media has on the election as it get closer. It could be the difference in the future of the country being transformed into something that will be a end of life as we now know it.

volsense on March 9, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Time for another golf vacation.

fossten on March 9, 2011 at 11:49 AM

That’s seven of the 270 electoral votes he needs to keep living in the White House with his mother-in-law.

Heh….

And it’s only what, March 9th? 46% soooooo early….

sicoit on March 9, 2011 at 11:49 AM

At this stage in his presidency, Reagan had a 39% approval rating. He did pretty well 18 months later.

Just another useless factoid.

factoid on March 9, 2011 at 11:52 AM

46% approve of this stool with a voice?

Unbelievable

darwin-t on March 9, 2011 at 11:48 AM

Get used to it. He won’t drop below 40% no matter how bad things get. Ok, let me qualify that. $6+/gal gas might do it. But otherwise I think far too many libs and Democrats will never abandon him, 90+% of blacks will continue to support him, and a large enough segment of the population has adjusted to the “new normal” of high unemployment, stagnant wages, and a weak dollar to fully blame Obama for it.

Doughboy on March 9, 2011 at 11:53 AM

From Matthew Dowd, ex-Bush strategist and posted at HA in fall 2009:

“Since 1948 no sitting President running for re-election and polling over 51% approval with Gallup going into the fall campaign (Sept)has ever lost his bid for-reelection.”

“Conversely no incumbent running for re-election and polling under 47% approval in the fall has ever won a second term in office.”

If Obama is polling between 47% and 51% approval he is still vulnerable but he could still win.

technopeasant on March 9, 2011 at 11:54 AM

Obama can’t control (c)

Seriously? You think he won’t have his buses from Chicago back in Iowa to try to mess with the Caucuses? We know he gamed the caucus states to win the nomination, you don’t think he’ll try to *influence* the Republican nominating process and pick his opponent? He’s from Chicago. Enough said. Plus, he’s done it before. Past being prologue and such.

lizzie beth on March 9, 2011 at 11:54 AM

A point drop for every 10 cent increase in gas prices

faraway on March 9, 2011 at 11:57 AM

Wait until everyone finds out he has Tiger Blood.

faraway on March 9, 2011 at 11:59 AM

Yet conventional media wisdom maintains that he is unbeatable…
T-Paw 2012…

mjbrooks3 on March 9, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Do a Clinton. Reverse course completely, to save yourself. Say, “drill baby drill,” but not in the Clinton sense of the term.

RBMN on March 9, 2011 at 12:02 PM

The truly frightening aspect of this rating is that 46% actually approve of him. This poor Republic is very, very sick.

rplat on March 9, 2011 at 12:05 PM

As Andrew points out, the next election will focus on the same economic and financial issues as the midterms. Obama’s ability to win re-election depends on (a) the economy improving significantly, (b) demonstrating leadership on fiscal reform, and (c) the candidate the Republicans nominate to challenge him.

Ed:

You left out “coming up with a completely new realistic and coherent energy policy“. Obama’s “no energy” policy will be rejected on both sides of the aisle when it begins creating skyrocketing inflation…AGAIN…just like it did during the Carter administration!!!

I’m sure that there are others out there who remember the gas lines and double-digit interest rates created by Carter.

How many times do we need to pursue suicidal Carterism with its promise of “misery for all”?

landlines on March 9, 2011 at 12:05 PM

There is no standard formula you can use with these things so this poll is meaningless. He could have a 25% approval rating at this point and probably still beat Bob Dole. The man is vulnerable – believe me. It comes down to who the republicans nominate. In the end, the great unwashed in the middle (key to the election) will vote for personality and appearance because many of them are ignorant to the issues. If Republicans are smart, they’ll forget about the Palin/Huck/Romney triumvirate and turn their attention to a guy like Paul Ryan.

RobbBond on March 9, 2011 at 12:05 PM

The bad news is that last year Obama’s job approval went down in all 50 57 states.

Baxter Greene on March 9, 2011 at 12:06 PM

The two factors that will determine whether Obama is re-elected:

1)If he can be held to 37% or 38% of the WHITE vote in 2012

NB:Quinnpiac in a recent poll reported that when asked the question who they would vote for in 2012, only 38% of WHITE voters said they would vote to re-elect the Messiah.

Via the 2010 exit polls the House Dems only got 37% of the WHITE vote.

2)A viable 3rd party to bleed enough WHITE votes away from the GOP nominee to hand the election to Obama.

technopeasant on March 9, 2011 at 12:07 PM

Yet conventional media wisdom maintains that he is unbeatable…

mjbrooks3 on March 9, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Well, as they say about “conventional wisdom”: it’s usually neither.

ChrisB on March 9, 2011 at 12:09 PM

http://biggovernment.com/publius/2011/03/09/obama-wants-a-cabinet-czar-a-liaison-to-his-own-staff/

Voter from WA State on March 9, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Wow, just wow. We know he’s incompetent, but I guess he’s a lazy putz to boot.

Knucklehead on March 9, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Anyone heard from resident troll #1, AnninCA, lately?

BobMbx on March 9, 2011 at 12:12 PM

President Obama: 46% approval–all is well, staying the course.

WI Gov. Walker: 46% approval–roof is caving in, must be recalled.

BuckeyeSam on March 9, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Well, when you’ve lost Matt Damon… it was only a matter of time.

ExPat on March 9, 2011 at 12:15 PM

President Obama: 46% approval–all is well, staying the course.

WI Gov. Walker: 46% approval–roof is caving in, must be recalled.

BuckeyeSam on March 9, 2011 at 12:13 PM

Communist labor unions are the only non-racists left in America.

[/sarc]

Roy Rogers on March 9, 2011 at 12:16 PM

Interior officials countered that tensions ran high throughout the crisis but that Salazar worked hard to meet White House demands.

Ken, no matter how this turns out….I look good. Thats your job.

Thanks,

BHO

BobMbx on March 9, 2011 at 12:18 PM

Gallup: Obama job approval hits 2011 low

Doing the limbo. How low can he go?

rukiddingme on March 9, 2011 at 12:20 PM

http://biggovernment.com/publius/2011/03/09/obama-wants-a-cabinet-czar-a-liaison-to-his-own-staff/

Voter from WA State on March 9, 2011 at 12:00 PM

Wow, just wow. We know he’s incompetent, but I guess he’s a lazy putz to boot.

Knucklehead on March 9, 2011 at 12:09 PM

Apparently Obama (the Constitutional scholar) needs remedial instruction on the duties of the Vice President.

It sounds like he’s trying to create an un-Constitutional and redundant “President Pro Tem.”

landlines on March 9, 2011 at 12:21 PM

He’s been well below 40% this year already, according to Rasmussen last month. I guess the liberal media concluded that those figures must be outliers. Nice to have such a compliant media.

Rasmussen: “Obama’s Leadership Ratings Fall To A New Low”

“A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that just 37% of Likely U.S. Voters now say the president is doing a good or excellent job as a leader. Forty percent (40%) rate his performance as poor.”

Why was that not news then? Is Rasmussen ‘not a real pollster’?

slickwillie2001 on March 9, 2011 at 12:22 PM

At this stage in his presidency, Reagan had a 39% approval rating. He did pretty well 18 months later.

Just another useless factoid.

factoid on March 9, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Polls are snapshots of the mood of the electorate. Taken in isolation they don’t mean much, but when put in context they can tell a story. In early 1983, the US economy had begun growing rapidly, interest rates had begun falling precipitously, inflation had been beaten, and projecting forward there were no guarantees but there were strong signs of a recovery that ulitmately lead to Reagan’s landslide re-election. For Obama it is much more of a mixed bag. We see signs of a strengthening recovery in private sector job growth, but nothing close to the 6-8% GDP growth we saw in 83-84. We see exploding debt, and spikes of inflation in food and energy that could have a cost-push inflationary effect throughout the economy. The overall outlook is mixed for the short term and long term fiscal problems are looming, with Obama offering no leadership on entitlement reform. it’s not a hopeless situation for him as an incumbent, but hardly Reagan’s situation in 1983. either.

Ted Torgerson on March 9, 2011 at 12:24 PM

At this stage in his presidency, Reagan had a 39% approval rating. He did pretty well 18 months later.

Just another useless factoid.

factoid on March 9, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Reagan had a hostile press, and policies that supported the economy.

ObaMao has cheerleaders masquerading as press, and policies that are indistinguishable from being designed to destroy the economy.

Slowburn on March 9, 2011 at 12:28 PM

Doing the limbo. How low can he go?

rukiddingme on March 9, 2011 at 12:20 PM

Watch for the “Razzle Dazzle” and the “Rope a Dope”

Roy Rogers on March 9, 2011 at 12:31 PM

BobMbx on March 9, 2011 at 12:18 PM

LOL and so true, so true…:-)

sicoit on March 9, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Watch for the “Razzle Dazzle” and the “Rope a Dope”

Roy Rogers on March 9, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Is that there some of that “cowboy poetry”? :-)

sicoit on March 9, 2011 at 12:32 PM

Watch for the “Razzle Dazzle” and the “Rope a Dope”

Roy Rogers on March 9, 2011 at 12:31 PM

Is that there some of that “cowboy poetry”? :-)

sicoit on March 9, 2011 at 12:32 PM

I believe it was Cassius Marcellus Clay, Jr.

Slowburn on March 9, 2011 at 12:35 PM

dang, that quote thing is backwards….again.

sicoit on March 9, 2011 at 12:35 PM

Count it!

/crr6

fossten on March 9, 2011 at 12:43 PM

Last week, an average of 79% of Democrats approved of Obama, down from 84% in late January.

Wow. So, some Democrats are waking up. But what about the rest? Are they stupid? Delusional? Misinformed? Racially motivated?

UltimateBob on March 9, 2011 at 12:43 PM

At this stage in his presidency, Reagan had a 39% approval rating. He did pretty well 18 months later.

Just another useless factoid.

factoid on March 9, 2011 at 11:52 AM

Obama is no Reagan.

Good Lt on March 9, 2011 at 12:46 PM

At this stage in his presidency, Reagan had a 39% approval rating. He did pretty well 18 months later.

Just another useless factoid.

factoid on March 9, 2011 at 11:52 AM

LOL, you had to go all the way back to Reagan to cherry pick this stat?

At this point in his first term, Chimpy Bush had a 60% job approval rating. And it took Bush 4 years to drop the same distance your Dear Leader has dropped in half that time.

Del Dolemonte on March 9, 2011 at 12:46 PM

He doesn’t care what his approval is.

He’s got the GOP all cowered. That’s all he needs. :-)

PappyD61 on March 9, 2011 at 12:49 PM

All we really need to do now is just wait for the DC Pundit class (Brooks/Will/Parker/etc.)to tell us WHO to vote for.

Romney

TPaw

Daniels

Thune

Jeb

Christie

and so on……….

…………waiting.

PappyD61 on March 9, 2011 at 12:52 PM

Didn’t George Bush 41 have a 91% approval rating this time 20 years ago before he lost his re-election bid in Nov 1992?

PappyD61 on March 9, 2011 at 12:55 PM

Watch for the “Razzle Dazzle” and the “Rope a Dope”

Roy Rogers on March 9, 2011 at 12:31 PM

He used the “Rope a Dope” to get elected.

His “Razzle Dazzle” only exists in his mirror.

rukiddingme on March 9, 2011 at 12:56 PM

A 46% approval rating isn’t exactly a number that guarantees re-election, but it’s not low enough to make it out of the question, either.

I can’t cite it, Ed, but I know I read that the magic range was 47-50. No president below 47 has ever been reelected and no president above 50 has ever been defeated.

Therefore on your list of factors, A & B determine his popularity and C only comes into play if he’s in the magic range. If he really is determined to march the wrong way on A & B, then C will never play into it. I believe that to be the case which is why I am all in for Palin. In my opinion, because of the way she’s been treated, her only chance is against a deeply unpopular incumbent and Øbama is well on his way to becoming one.

Kafir on March 9, 2011 at 1:00 PM

In the last paragraph, you use the word “if” a lot. If the economy improves, if unemployement drops, if he exhibits leadership, if, if, if.

As one of my mom’s friends used to say, if my aunt was a man she’d be my uncle. The exact quote is more trenchant, but I edited it as this is a family friendly web site.

RPL on March 9, 2011 at 1:00 PM

NEW at 1pm : Today’s Gallup Daily Tracking has him down to 45%, and Disapproval up to 48%/

ChrisB on March 9, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Next: Obama holds a nationwide beer summit.
kingsjester on March 9, 2011 at 11:35 AM

I’m there.

Hope he brews enough White House beer. I’m not going to stand for it if he tries to serve Blue Moon.

Vyce on March 9, 2011 at 1:04 PM

Doh! He’s at 45% today with 48% disapproval – Gallup and a fat -25 on Rasmussen.

Loser.

Key West Reader on March 9, 2011 at 1:06 PM

Ooops I mean -15 on Rasmussen.

Key West Reader on March 9, 2011 at 1:06 PM

SEIU and Kos are starting their own polling operation! Should be giddy fun.

Just hope RCP doesn’t give them any credibility. Useless commie fools.

Key West Reader on March 9, 2011 at 1:08 PM

an impressive speech in Tucson

Impressive my a$$. Obama’s behavior was disgraceful. He praised Dupnik even as he spread the unconscionably vicious blood libel against Palin. And then he purported to act like a statesmen calling for civility when 90% of the incivility is from his supporters.

Basilsbest on March 9, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Wonder how many dead and nonexistent people participated in this poll? The Chicago Daley Family Crime Syndicate does, in fact, have more than a few people running this dog and pony show and they have decades of experience in “getting out the vote.” The “margin or error” is viewed by this gang as “attainable goals. “Don’t ever underestimate these crooks.

MayorDaley on March 9, 2011 at 1:16 PM

Subtract for the Bradley/Wilder effect and it’s probably donw around 36%…. and falling. ‘W’ levels on the horizon.

JimP on March 9, 2011 at 1:40 PM

Down 10% with independents, still at 37%.

How on the good Earth can one call him/herself an independent and vote for Obama?

This defies all logic and independence.

Schadenfreude on March 9, 2011 at 1:47 PM

if the economy roars back to life under Obama and the jobless rate drops below 7% and Obama takes the lead on significant budgetary reform, he’ll win no matter who runs against him in 2012

That’s about as likely as getting hit by a 10 km meteor in the next two years to make the election mute.
In spite of my view that the economy will not recover. I think Obama has a reasonable chance of reelection. FDR did without recovery. Obama is very similar to FDR.

burt on March 9, 2011 at 1:55 PM

Ed, did he give you some somber, impressive, “Well, I can do it like a carrot”, construct, type of speach? I cannot connect in any way shape or form, what you “saw” or more importantly , “heard” through this “Salvation Show”…….. Does he give a crap what becomes of Giffords in any way. Do you care?

betsyz on March 9, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Ed. You we’re impressed by something. Give it to us.

betsyz on March 9, 2011 at 1:58 PM

Baffled beyond words. You were stricken. Admit it.

betsyz on March 9, 2011 at 2:03 PM

He, the man, mouthed words. You weaped over this. In the mean time, he is doing parties, playgrounds, off-time betting over sports. He, shuffles out some extraordinary words that someone else has written for him..=THEN YOU CONNECT AND SHED A TEAR…finally, over = what
???????????????????????????…some mousy statement, and it’s all glory. P.S. Allah is not the beta male at all.

betsyz on March 9, 2011 at 2:34 PM

As energy prices go up, approval will drop.

And since he believes that energy prices must ‘necessarily skyrocket’ his popularity will necessarily crater.

ajacksonian on March 9, 2011 at 2:39 PM

Bush was crucified 24/7/365 by the mainstream media for most of his 8 year term. Obama has the mainstream media in his pocket.
volsense on March 9, 2011 at 11:48 AM

The MSM went “all in” for Obama in ’08.

They chose poorly.

Their credibility with the Right, Center-Right independents and Libertarian independents is gone. NPR is imploding. Olbermann is gone.

All that remains is the Left Base: unions, academia, big technology and unreliable, feckless youth.

Even the Obama true-believers are starting to come down with The Fear.

Things are looking up.

Bruno Strozek on March 9, 2011 at 2:53 PM

Amazingly high.

albill on March 9, 2011 at 3:19 PM

It’s gotta boil down to people not wanting to admit they made a mistake; to pride.

What a fiasco.

jodetoad on March 9, 2011 at 3:36 PM

Economy roars back with unemployment under 7%. Which 7%? The fake number or the real number? I’m sure the media can say that everything is rainbows and lollypops, but will it really be?

Tuari on March 9, 2011 at 6:34 PM

If Obama continues at this pace, a 46% from Gallup will look like a standing ovation by the time Obama has to start campaigning for re-election, and it won’t matter who the Republicans nominate to challenge him.

I’m sorry, but didn’t I read that 0bama has ALREADY begun his re-election campaign? I believe he went to Florida to do so?

I would look the information up but I need to reboot. :)

DannoJyd on March 9, 2011 at 8:54 PM

The 46% comes from the same source that puts unemployment at 8+%, yeah, right. When the counties around DC are poled percentages are high, of course this wouldn’t have anything to do with government employment being above 11% and when the sources are checked it’s always a dead end street except in DC.

mixplix on March 10, 2011 at 6:28 AM