Gallup’s latest synthesis of its quarterly polling provides Barack Obama with a mixed bag. Earlier, Gallup had reported a slight increase in Obama’s approval ratings, but still below the re-elect threshold, and some subgroups reflect that upward trend. For instance, Obama’s approval rating among install/repair workers jumped 13 points — but it’s still only 44%. Clerical/office worker approval jumped 8 points to 51%. Most of the rest of the changes fell within the margin of error, except one:
U.S. business owners’ approval of President Barack Obama fell in the second quarter of 2012 to 35%, essentially tying farmers and fishers for the lowest approval among major occupational groups. Overall, professional workers remain the most approving, at 52%. …
Obama’s job approval ratings by occupational group clearly relate to election preferences. Gallup previously found that Obama does best compared with likely Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney among voters who are professionals and service workers. Romney does best among voters who work in farming and fishing or construction, or are business owners.
In the overall average for the second quarter of 2012, 47% of working Americans approved of the job Obama is doing as president, and 47% disapproved. This is slightly improved from 45% approval and 48% disapproval in the first quarter.
Obama’s best category was “professional worker,” which remained unchanged at 52/43, hardly a ringing endorsement. Two others — clerical/office and service workers — topped 50%. The other eight categories have disapproval ratings above 50%, including five that tie or exceed the approval rating of professional workers:
- Manager/executive (52% disapproval)
- Transportation worker (55%)
- Construction or mining (53%)
- Farming/fishing/forestry (57%)
- Business owner (59%)
Business owners obviously weren’t terribly enamored of Obama even before the “you didn’t build that” comment. That prompts a question as to whether the anger it stokes among entrepreneurs will really do that much damage to Obama. He might lose a big chunk of the 35% of business owners that approved of him in the second quarter, but the class-warfare tactic could help to improve his standing in other categories.
The Romney campaign won’t let that ambiguity stop them from pressing the advantage. They have now broken out the “you didn’t build that” campaign into state-targeted efforts. This morning, Team Romney released this web ad for Nevada, an important battleground state in the interior West:
Presumably, these ads will hit the air when Romney can spend his general election funds, in about six weeks.