Reuters poll: Obama approval drops to 43%

posted at 8:01 am on March 6, 2013 by Ed Morrissey

A few days ago, I noted that a Reason/Rupe poll had Barack Obama’s approval rating underwater at 47/49, even with a sample that gave Democrats an 11-point edge over Republicans.  At the time, I called it an outlier, as Obama had been enjoying relatively strong approval ratings since the election, but Sean Trende warned me in an e-mail that Obama’s approval ratings had begun to turn sour.  And today, Reuters makes Sean look like a genius:

Less than two months into his second term, President Barack Obama’s approval rating has dropped and Americans blame him and his fellow Democrats almost as much as his Republican opponents for a fiscal mess.

A Reuters/Ipsos online poll released on Wednesday showed 43 percent of people approve of Obama’s handling of his job, down 7 percentage points from February 19.

Most of that steep drop came in the week to February 26 when it was becoming clear that Washington was going to be unable to put aside partisan differences and agree to halt automatic budget cuts which started last Friday.

Confounding the White House’s efforts to blame Republicans for the cuts, most respondents in the online survey hold both Democrats and Republicans responsible.

Reuters/Ipsos has not released the crosstabs on this poll, but those numbers are hardly cheery for the White House.  They put a lot of effort into the last three weeks to campaign against the sequester and to blame Republicans for it.  Not only does that not appear to be working, the strategy has damaged Obama’s standing, probably in no small part because of the hysteria showed by Obama and his Cabinet members over cuts that arguably don’t actually cut anything but merely slow spending growth.

Sean’s e-mail pointed to Gallup’s approval ratings, and Reuters points out that the Gallup slide put the White House “on the defensive” yesterday:

The fall in Obama’s rating was similar to that in the Gallup three-day average tracking poll which shows his approval dropping 7 percentage points from late February to last weekend before recovering slightly.

That survey put the White House on the defensive on Tuesday. Spokesman Jay Carney cautioned that the result should not detract from Obama’s efforts to fix thorny tax and spending issues after a convincing election defeat of Republican candidate Mitt Romney last November.

“Before we say anything is clear based on one poll, could we just remember, just think back a few months to the summer and fall of 2012, and understand that we’re here focused on the president’s agenda, getting the work done that we think is most beneficial to the middle class,” he told a briefing.

By late yesterday, though, Obama had rebounded back into positive territory:

gallup-obamaapproval

Note the overall trend when compared to the fiscal-cliff battles.  In December and January, Obama rose to a strong approval rating after fighting for and getting most of the tax hikes he wanted. That bump had somewhat dissipated by the first of February, when attention turned to the sequester, and his approval ratings declined slightly during that debate, only to fall off the table at the very end. It’s almost as if people want a balanced approach to deficit reduction, and suddenly realized that Barack Obama really doesn’t.

Still, this may not have much relevance to Obama any longer.  Lower approval ratings would traditionally mean more difficulty in getting an agenda through Congress, but Obama probably has little hope of getting what he wants from the House — especially if John Boehner sticks to his guns on normal-order budgeting and an end to offline deals with the White House.  Obama won’t run for office again, and so doesn’t have to worry about how popular or unpopular he becomes, except for personal satisfaction.  The only people who will really worry if Obama’s approval level remains in the tank — and we haven’t yet seen any signs of that nature — will be Democrats who have to run for office in 2014.  As the first midterm taught Democrats, Obama doesn’t really care much about that, either.


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Bestest President…Evah!

Electrongod on March 6, 2013 at 8:03 AM

43%? About 10+ percentage points too high…

albill on March 6, 2013 at 8:04 AM

The war on the other 57% is getting old.

CTSherman on March 6, 2013 at 8:05 AM

Too bleeping late!

OldEnglish on March 6, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Too bleeping late!

OldEnglish on March 6, 2013 at 8:06 AM

Exactly! What difference does his approval level make now? Is he planning on running again. Oh… yeah, he is. Never mind.

MikeA on March 6, 2013 at 8:08 AM

I kinda like Rush’s take yesterday.

Obama, when interviewed by Univision, said that he learnt that you can’t change Washington from the inside.

Obama has never really taken the position of President.
He’s some outsider trying to change Washington.

Some are starting to notice.

“I am not a dictator”
“I am not a Jedi”

Some are sadden by Obama’s words.

Electrongod on March 6, 2013 at 8:09 AM

Times must be tough for the One if he’s losing the 47%

blammm on March 6, 2013 at 8:10 AM

The real question….is he prepared to leave office “unpopular”?

One word answers that question: ALINSKY.

PappyD61 on March 6, 2013 at 8:11 AM

Maybe another sit-in on “The View” might help.

Electrongod on March 6, 2013 at 8:11 AM

President Obama’s poll numbers will not fall below 48 percent for an extended period for one simple reason. Black people will never disapprove of him in a poll. He has his liberal base and his black people base that will never leave him. He’s golden

davemason2k on March 6, 2013 at 8:11 AM

I see it as a couple of random acts of journalism (Gregory, Crowley, etc) making an impact. Just ponder if they were real journalists all the time…

hillsoftx on March 6, 2013 at 8:12 AM

If this is seen by the public as a moment where his crisis-creating style is way overblown, that could hurt him long term. If, in a relatively minor situation (as the sequester is), he blows the PR then I think it can create skepticism in the public’s mind about more of his claims going forward. It could even be a watershed moment of sorts, and we will finally see a more receptive public willing to listen to the other side of the argument. His style is to double down though, so I don’t think he will just let the chips fall where they may– he will actively try to make this sequester as painful as possible, and closing the White House is just a small start. Buckle up, it could get rocky.

MTF on March 6, 2013 at 8:15 AM

Well, Barack baby, it’s like this!

When you shrug off your role as being a responsible leader and instead deliberately allow this country to go to hell in a hand basket, just so you can flip the Congress to Democrat control and insure Nancy Pelosi will once again be Speaker of The House, people do tend to get a tad bit cranky, and your approval numbers do tend to go into the toilet at that point!

pilamaye on March 6, 2013 at 8:21 AM

Sucks to be him

gophergirl on March 6, 2013 at 8:23 AM

PappyD61 on March 6, 2013 at 8:11 AM

Sorry, one word too many…
“Is he prepared to leave office?” should of been the question.

Reading WaPo’s lauding (gag) article on Chavez yesterday and Obama’s continual campaigning kind of leads me to believe he will campaign for a 3rd term…and he’ll probably get one.

Tuari on March 6, 2013 at 8:26 AM

I wonder what FDR’s numbers would have been like into his 2nd term.
All the horrible things he did to this country, all the crooked despicable things he did, & yet, got elected for a 3rd term.
I realize the war made him a hero in some people’s eyes.
But in the end, he was an evil diabolic crooked politician who laid the major roots of this country’s undoing.
And a lot of people just fracking looooooved him.
Maybe if they would have had access to media like today’s people it would have been less people that loved him.
But notice how many think Bammy’s so awesome that do have access.
They don’t use their information access to become informed about important things concerning Liberty.
They use it for garbage (social media crap).
People are still the same. Scared to live on their own without a parent to tell them what to do.
The gubmint is their Daddy.
Liberty goes against a lot of human nature. Bcs humans like to pick the path that makes you work the least.
Freedom & Liberty require effort. In nature, survival takes the path of least resistance, like water.

Badger40 on March 6, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Can we stop with these polls already….

..these numbers will never go below 40%
we get it, half the country is effing Idiots….

ToddPA on March 6, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Sure.

Five years into this disaster of a president and the dupes are finally starting to realize what the rest of us knew.

Mr. Obama has no interest in proliferating fundamental American values. He is incapable of anything resembling leadership, is a serial aristarch and a person well beneath the job. He used both sonorous rhetoric and propaganda to further his contra-intellectual goals which have destroyed our economy, are devastating our healthcare system and raised their costs, are bankrupting the nation and increased taxes. In the process Mr. Obama pitted neighbor against neighbor, escalated political tones, made our world a more dangerous place and has given our children a bleaker future.

But Hollywood loves him or something.

Now that he has be reelected, Mr. Obama no longer cares about popularity. I suspect this is just the beginning.

Marcus Traianus on March 6, 2013 at 8:34 AM

Obama’s approval numbers matter insofar as they affect the 2014 mid-terms and 2016.

Wait until Obamacare starts really going into effect in 2014 and see what his approval rating looks like then…

As Democrats scream for Republicans to help them “fix” it, the GOP’s answer better be “We have a fix. It’s called ‘repeal.’”

And, of course, the economy will only get worse over the next four years, as well.

DRayRaven on March 6, 2013 at 8:34 AM

The only people who will really worry if Obama’s approval level remains in the tank — and we haven’t yet seen any signs of that nature — will be Democrats who have to run for office in 2014. As the first midterm taught Democrats, Obama doesn’t really care much about that, either.

But this time around it does matter to Obama. If everything he’s doing is centered around his goal to flip the House back to the Dems(not to mention hold onto the Senate) in 2014, then it’s not gonna help if his numbers sink into the 40′s. When more people disapprove than approve of the job you’re doing, you’re not gonna be an asset on the campaign trail. And remember, Obama and the Dems need to flip seats in mostly Republican districts. An unpopular incumbent President is the last thing you want in that situation.

Doughboy on March 6, 2013 at 8:37 AM

+1 toddpa

cmsinaz on March 6, 2013 at 8:37 AM

Reuters/Ipsos and Gallup are giving poll numbers in the 40% range but Rasmussen consistently has Obama around 51%. I think Rasmussen polls Obama’s staff on a daily basis.

rplat on March 6, 2013 at 8:38 AM

What difference does it make now??? *bangs table, throws hands in air, cackles furiously*

erp, wrong thread….

ted c on March 6, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Dive, dive, dive!

thebrokenrattle on March 6, 2013 at 8:46 AM

Obviously they are racist.

The approval rate is 100% just like the hundreds of precincts that voted 100% for him.

acyl72 on March 6, 2013 at 8:52 AM

Whatever. Those polls were at 43% for most of his first term and magically an appearance of the One with C. Christie put him at 52% on election day. I don’t beleive in magic.

BetseyRoss on March 6, 2013 at 8:53 AM

It ought to have been around 30&% even when you merge the die hard Marxists, the free lunch crowd and the “lust is us” folks. Jimmy Carter notwithstanding.

Don L on March 6, 2013 at 8:56 AM

And all because Bark cancelled WH tours.

Bishop on March 6, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Rasmussen consistently has Obama around 51%. I think Rasmussen polls Obama’s staff on a daily basis.

rplat on March 6, 2013 at 8:38 AM

Maybe Rahm just phones it in everyday to help him out?

Don L on March 6, 2013 at 8:57 AM

Sucks to be him

gophergirl on March 6, 2013 at 8:23 AM

I will raise you…sucks to be us!

SPGuy on March 6, 2013 at 9:12 AM

The 2014`s aside…does it really make ANY difference what his approval ratings are, he is at 0% in my house…who cares, as if his approval #`s will lessen the boning.

NY Conservative on March 6, 2013 at 9:14 AM

What difference does it make now???

*bangs table, throws hands in air, cackles furiously*

erp, wrong thread….

ted c on March 6, 2013 at 8:42 AM

Nope, that pretty much works on all Obama threads.

Remember this oldie but goodie?

80% of people happy with health care as it is today.
That means 80% of people don’t want the government to do a single thing.

Fallon on March 6, 2013 at 9:17 AM

I don’t reckon Pol Pot’s #s were all that good towards the end of his reign but that sure didn’t stop him from burning the whole society to the ground

Obama probably thinks it’s funny, actually…

Reaganite Republican on March 6, 2013 at 9:18 AM

I told my 0bama-loving dad that by the end of his term, 0bama’s approval ratings will be in Bush Country or below. Looks like I’m going to be right…..again.

Sekhmet on March 6, 2013 at 9:18 AM

We had negative/zero growth in the 4th quarter and those that get paychecks saw them shrink by the payroll tax increase. Even the Obama voters. What is the focus of Washington? Gun control, immigration reform, sequester, academy awards, universal pre-K?? It’s still the economy.

monalisa on March 6, 2013 at 9:18 AM

But this time around it does matter to Obama. If everything he’s doing is centered around his goal to flip the House back to the Dems(not to mention hold onto the Senate) in 2014, then it’s not gonna help if his numbers sink into the 40′s. When more people disapprove than approve of the job you’re doing, you’re not gonna be an asset on the campaign trail. And remember, Obama and the Dems need to flip seats in mostly Republican districts. An unpopular incumbent President is the last thing you want in that situation.

Doughboy on March 6, 2013 at 8:37 AM

It’s less important this far out, with the focus in 2014 at the state and local level. But what it does show is that — while Team Obama can get the low-information voters to believe their line when it’s done as part of a political campaign of over a year and with the big media helping them demoninize a handful of specific people (Romney and the other 2012 GOP hopefuls), the point is still the low information voters are the low information voters because they really don’t focus on politics, which means Team Obama can’t use them as some sort of ‘Rent-A-Mob’ to go out and angrily protest Republicans every time the White House gives the signal.

As 2010 showed, when you’ve got 435 Congressmen and 33 Senators to deal with, personalizing the attacks down to the state and district levels isn’t easy. They’ve got to convince people not in John Boehner’s district to be mad at their rep because of John Boehner, since he’s the only one dealing directly with Obama. In an off-year election, that matters.

jon1979 on March 6, 2013 at 9:20 AM

BS, if there was another election today the maggot would still win, the libs will always win now, the conservatives cannot beat the liberal education system, the MSM or the immigrants. We are outnumbered.

royzer on March 6, 2013 at 9:21 AM

The 2014`s aside…does it really make ANY difference what his approval ratings are, he is at 0% in my house…who cares, as if his approval #`s will lessen the boning.

NY Conservative on March 6, 2013 at 9:14 AM

I would argue it does. Let’s say his numbers were to dip to 40% or even lower. He would start to hear it from his fellow Democrats and this constant buck-passing and never-ending campaigning would have to be toned down in favor of actual governing. Cuz even though Obama doesn’t have to face reelection again, his party does have to answer to voters in 2014 and 2016. And those elections will in many respects be a referendum on his Presidency.

Doughboy on March 6, 2013 at 9:23 AM

Liberty goes against a lot of human nature. Bcs humans like to pick the path that makes you work the least.

Badger40 on March 6, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Liberty is congruent with human nature. Picking the path that makes you work the least is actually the goal of a productive and purposeful workforce. We are always looking for ways to maximize output relative to input. It can also be called resourcefulness. Are you saying humans are lazy by nature? Don’t jeopardize you credibility by saying such things.

Freedom & Liberty require effort. In nature, survival takes the path of least resistance, like water.

Badger40 on March 6, 2013 at 8:30 AM

Taking the gubmit handouts and voting for welfare and Santa Claus may be the path of least resistance but it does not lead to survival; not survival as a human being, that is.

I see the temptation to lay down such broad strokes in your conclusions about people- I too am baffled by how so many can still favor this prez given the improved media exposure since days of FDR.

I would say many are tepid supporters- the young-and-still learning group and many others are in the “can’t beat ‘em join ‘em” camp while another large group may be those that truly believe the rhetoric simply out of an honest mistake of what is in their best interest. But that most is the result of a “weak” human nature as you describe? nah.

beselfish on March 6, 2013 at 9:25 AM

I would like to point out this “surprising” drop in Obama’s approval is what would have happened, in greater degree, if the Republicans would have let the Bush Tax hikes expire. The public doesn’t understand the debate. The public understands when something bad happens to them and the would have blamed Obama for their taxes going up as he IS the President.

Not that it matter but we could have killed Obama’s BS even more letting taxes go up on everybody and then lowering them back down and making it retroactive.

Lesson for GOP. Obama won’t get the blame unless you hold tough. You approval is going nowhere. His will go down.

Conan on March 6, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Well then, let’s do to Obama what the Democrats did to George W. Bush. We could have that approval rating in the low thirties in no time…if the GOP would actually fight.

joekenha on March 6, 2013 at 9:29 AM

Maybe some of the 47% are beginning to see that Obama and his administration are a bunch of damn liars.

kemojr on March 6, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Reuters poll: Obama approval drops to 43%

…4 months too late…but he could be at 33% and still win!…and we know how!…they just won’t ‘investigate’ it…

KOOLAID2 on March 6, 2013 at 9:37 AM

Barky’s conclusions from this data:

(1) Haven’t caused enough economic pain yet.
(2) Haven’t blamed the republicans for (1) enough.

bofh on March 6, 2013 at 9:48 AM

43% my ass.

He’s lucky to be at 33%, even including his followers that only came to the polls to continue suckling on his teat for 4 more years.

The milk is long past spoiled.

Polish Rifle on March 6, 2013 at 9:50 AM

Not to worry, March Madness is upon us. Obama will go on ESPN, fill out a bracket and all will be will in Obamaland again.

bluealice on March 6, 2013 at 9:54 AM

Polls are totally meaningless for a second term President…

mnjg on March 6, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Bammie’s in his Jammies on Snow Day!

Obama Schedule || Wednesday, March 6, 2013

by Keith Koffler on March 5, 2013, 10:13 pm

11:00 am || Receives the Presidential Daily Briefing
12:30 pm || Lunch with Biden
3:00 pm || Meets with Treasury Secretary Lew

All times Eastern
Live stream of Carney briefing at noon

http://www.whitehousedossier.com

Key West Reader on March 6, 2013 at 10:38 AM

Polls are totally meaningless for a second term President…

mnjg on March 6, 2013 at 9:57 AM

Unless you’re a second term Republican President-

March 13, 2006, on CNN:

WOLF BLITZER, CNN: It’s 4 p.m. here in Washington. So you’re getting the first look right now at our brand-new poll. The president’s job approval rating has taken a downward turn again, falling to only 36%. [break]

This represents his lowest rating ever in the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll. [break]

The president’s poll numbers are pretty bad, pretty awful right now, rock bottom as far as the CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll. [break]

The president’s Iraq problem and his new low point in the polls. [break]

His approval and policies now are at new lows. [break]

The president’s job approval number in this new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, rock bottom, the lowest it’s ever been. [break]

It’s 5 p.m. here in Washington where President Bush takes a beating in our latest poll. His approval rating at a low ebb. [break]

Our latest CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll just out in the past hour shows the president at an all-time low. [break]

His job approval rating at a new low. [break]

That’s rock bottom as far as our poll is concerned. [break]

It’s 7 p.m. here in Washington. The war in Iraq comes home to roost for President Bush. Our latest poll numbers showing his approval rating at a new low. [break]

Also: President Bush hits a new low in the polls. [break]

Now back to our lead story: President Bush’s approval rating now at an all-time low. [break]

As we noted, a new CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll shows his job approval rating at a new low. [break]

President Bush’s approval rating at a new low, 36%.

Del Dolemonte on March 6, 2013 at 10:51 AM

The worse it gets, the less influence he has in pushing any agenda, the lamer he gets and more liklihood of a total meltdown. Feb. 2014 is my bet.

can_con on March 6, 2013 at 11:01 AM

But hey, at least the rich white guy didn’t win, right?

crushliberalism on March 6, 2013 at 12:50 PM

I stopped caring what this tool’s approval numbers were on Nov. 7, 2012. What does it matter what his approval numbers are now? There’s not another election for another 3 3/4 years (if then), and I may be out of a job at least that long.

Don’t forget, his approval number dipped to the low 40s at points in 2010 and 2011. Lot of effing good that did when push came to shove.

Right Mover on March 6, 2013 at 12:51 PM

I stopped caring what this tool’s approval numbers were on Nov. 7, 2012. What does it matter what his approval numbers are now?

So much this.

RedNewEnglander on March 6, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Still 20 points too high

Schadenfreude on March 6, 2013 at 2:06 PM

43% is too high. Honeymoon is over? It was over 4 years ago for most of us. I’m so tired of this ass.

RDE2010 on March 6, 2013 at 4:23 PM

BS, if there was another election today the maggot would still win, the libs will always win now, the conservatives cannot beat the liberal education system, the MSM or the immigrants. We are outnumbered.

I’m not so pessimistic about the long term–sooner or later the Democrats will run out of other peoples’ money to spend, and the whole liberal house of cards will collapse–but I do agree that we on the right have to face the fact that for the moment, the US is no longer a center-right country.

Really, a POTUS with as horrible an economic record as Obama never should have been re-elected, and certainly should not have approval ratings above 30%.

MidniteRambler on March 6, 2013 at 4:32 PM