Gallup: No, 2013 wasn’t Obama’s worst year in office, but …

posted at 8:41 am on January 22, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

it’s close. It’s also close to the worst fifth presidential year on record, excluding Richard Nixon, who should be considered an outlier. If you start approaching Nixonian numbers in a second term, you don’t need Gallup to tell you where you stand. Barack Obama’s average job-approval rating in Gallup polling for 2013 was 45.8%, slightly above 2011′s 44.4% but down from 2012′s 48.1%:

gallup-2013presapprovalThe problem here for Obama is the trend:

The results are based on more than 175,000 Gallup Daily tracking interviews conducted throughout Obama’s fifth year in office, from Jan. 20, 2013 (also the start of his second term), through Jan. 19, 2014.

On the heels of his re-election victory, Obama’s fifth year started off strongly, with consistent majority approval. However Americans’ approval of Obama declined over the course of 2013. His latest Gallup Daily tracking job approval rating, based on Jan. 17-19 interviewing, is 40%, just two points above his personal low approval rating.

From a historical perspective, Obama’s fifth-year approval average is in the lower range. It is similar to George W. Bush’s 45.7%, but lower than those for Dwight Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton. Obama’s fifth-year average exceeds Richard Nixon’s 41.1% in the year ending Jan. 19, 1974. Nixon’s fifth-year approval rating reflected declining support as the Watergate scandal unfolded, but his fifth year ended well before he resigned from office.

Obama wound up with almost identical fifth-year numbers as George W. Bush, which is (for political purposes) not much better off than hitting the Nixon Line. Of the six American Presidents to have a fifth year in office since Gallup started regular job-approval polling, only Obama, Bush, and Nixon failed to hit 50%. Needless to say, the other two Presidents didn’t have happy second terms, even by the usual lower expectations of second terms.

The trend for Obama is looking perhaps more grim than this indicates, too. The most recent quarter was almost the worst of his presidency, and the line is still trending downward. Obama hit a nadir of 41.0% in his eleventh quarter, and almost hit that in this past quarter (Q20) at 41.2%. That is a 10-point drop from 51.9% in Q16, and more than a three-point drop from Q19′s 44.5%.

Bush not only had an unhappy second term, he had a disastrous midterm in his sixth year. Sean Trende links presidential approval state-by-state to second-term midterms, and concludes that Democrats should be afraid of the upcoming election — very afraid:

What I’m really interested in here, though, is that in the 31 competitive Senate races held in 2010 and 2012, the Democratic candidate has run within five points of the president’s job approval in 23 of them (75 percent). Additionally, no Democratic candidate in a competitive race has run more than 10 points ahead of the president’s job approval (or behind it).

Now, the fact that a Democratic candidate hasn’t run more than 10 points ahead of the president’s job approval doesn’t mean that a candidate can never do so. At the same time, this is noteworthy, and is perhaps suggestive of the difficulties of doing so in a hyper-polarized age.

So what does this tell us about 2014? Without getting too far into the weeds, I estimated the president’s job approval in each state as of Election Day 2012 based on the exit polls, then tracked what it might look like with various measurements in the RCP Average. I assumed a uniform swing in states — in other words, if it falls five points nationally, it would fall five points in each state.  …

The Democrats still lead in most of these states, sometimes by healthy margins. But we can’t escape the suggestion that their future is bound up with the president’s job approval.  Now, to be clear, in some of these races the Republican challenger will flame out, and the Democrat will begin to run ahead of the president’s job approval.  If Al Franken’s opponent doesn’t catch fire — which is perfectly plausible — Franken will probably win by a decent margin.  Likewise, Republicans in Iowa and Colorado are, respectively, either untested or have tested poorly.

But some of these challengers will catch fire, and some of these races will surprise us.  If the president’s job approval is still around 43 percent in November — lower than it was on Election Day in 2010 — the question would probably not be whether the Democrats will hold the Senate, but whether Republicans can win 54 or 55 seats. Given the numbers right now, that should not be unthinkable.

The challenge will be to track that approval rating as the employer mandate hits in the fall and the pain of ObamaCare disruptions multiplies dramatically. It may be impossible to track that within such a short period, but the impact will be catastrophic for Obama — unless he postpones the whole mess again.


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The worst is yet to come.

AZCoyote on January 22, 2014 at 8:44 AM

The challenge will be to track that approval rating as the employer mandate hits in the fall and the pain of ObamaCare disruptions multiplies dramatically. It may be impossible to track that within such a short period, but the impact will be catastrophic for Obama — unless he postpones the whole mess again.

Which he will. I don’t know why everyone keeps assuming the employer mandate will go into effect this year when Obama is unilaterally delaying or discarding whatever he wants in the law if it poses a political inconvenience.

Doughboy on January 22, 2014 at 8:46 AM

He’ll postpone

cmsinaz on January 22, 2014 at 8:50 AM

……probably not be whether the Democrats will hold the Senate, but whether Republicans can win 54 or 55 seats

From your pen to the voting lever.

herm2416 on January 22, 2014 at 8:51 AM

I guess this is off topic but it’s kind of appropriate. I didn’t think my opinion of the Obama’s could go any lower. Then I read this for over at Townhall.

In her latest interview with People Magazine, First Lady Michelle Obama was asked to name female role models she would like to emulate when she gets older. Her choices? Actresses Cicely Tyson and Jane Fonda, infamously known as Hanoi Jane for supporting the enemy during the Vietnam War.

Oldnuke on January 22, 2014 at 8:52 AM

I have said this since obamacare was launched. Republicans will pick up at least 7 seats. Alot of folks are underestimating the impact of this destructive law.

Ta111 on January 22, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Liberals know this, that is why they are hysterical about bridge lanes being closed.

What do you do when you are scared? You go to your happy place.

Mord on January 22, 2014 at 8:57 AM

I’m beginning to suspect that the seas will not begin to recede and the planet will not begin to heal.

Seriously, where did all these racists come from?

Happy Nomad on January 22, 2014 at 9:00 AM

I have said this since obamacare was launched. Republicans will pick up at least 7 seats. Alot of folks are underestimating the impact of this destructive law.

Ta111 on January 22, 2014 at 8:55 AM

7 seats would give them the Senate, but only 52 seats total. There are way too many closet progressives in the GOP who’ll cross the aisle and vote with the Dems under those circumstances. Say what you will about the Democrat Party, but that Senate caucus is united on everything.

Doughboy on January 22, 2014 at 9:02 AM

What do you do when you are scared?

Mord on January 22, 2014 at 8:57 AM

Liberals:

Blame Bush
Blame racism
Blame global whatchamacallit
Blame Republicans
Blame the TEA Party
Blame the Koch brothers
Blame wealth inequality
Blame pro lifers
Blame the military
Blame guns (especially scary ones)

Oldnuke on January 22, 2014 at 9:02 AM

The challenge will be to track that approval rating as the employer mandate hits in the fall and the pain of ObamaCare disruptions multiplies dramatically. It may be impossible to track that within such a short period, but the impact will be catastrophic for Obama — unless he postpones the whole mess again.

Target is discontinuing health coverage for part-timers. While a relatively small number of employees use the plan (10%), I suspect that will be a common story as 2014 progresses.

Happy Nomad on January 22, 2014 at 9:04 AM

Target is discontinuing health coverage for part-timers. While a relatively small number of employees use the plan (10%), I suspect that will be a common story as 2014 progresses.

Happy Nomad on January 22, 2014 at 9:04 AM

There’s an element of that story that people are overlooking. If only 10% of the part-time employees are enrolled in the plans Target used to offer, doesn’t that mean a huge majority of their part-time workforce doesn’t have insurance(I doubt they’re shelling out for plans in the individual market) and now has to purchase it under the individual mandate? Granted, some Target employees are 26 and under, so they can leech off of their parents’ plans, but I shop at their stores periodically and I can tell you they employ a lot of folks who are over 26.

Doughboy on January 22, 2014 at 9:09 AM

Alot of folks are underestimating the impact of this destructive law.

Ta111 on January 22, 2014 at 8:55 AM

Oh they will start noticing it soon. Especially when they are still paying Out of Pocket for things that used to be covered under their old insurance around the Forth of July.

Johnnyreb on January 22, 2014 at 9:12 AM

First Lady Michelle Obama was asked to name female role models she would like to emulate when she gets older. Her choices? Actresses Cicely Tyson and Jane Fonda, infamously known as Hanoi Jane for supporting the enemy during the Vietnam War.

Oldnuke on January 22, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Michelle Obama may not know about Jane Fonda’s anti-American, anti-war activities. (After all, she’s not the brightest bulb, and she once admitted as First Lady that she had never before even thought about all the sacrifices veterans and their families have to make).

Michelle may have just meant that she aspires to be rich and have a lot of plastic surgery, like Jane Fonda. Or maybe she meant that she wants to divorce her celebrity husband, like Jane Fonda did (to Ted Turner).

AZCoyote on January 22, 2014 at 9:19 AM

Here are stories that are coming:

Decimated tax returns by those folks who decided not to sign up for 0bamacare. Note how much less you hear from companies doing fast tax returns this year (mostly loans based on a percentage of the upcoming tax return).

2010 started a big dropoff in births among Hispanics (no distinction made between citizens and illegals). All those niños born in 2009 turn cinco this year. Which disqualifies them (and their families through them) for WIC, and possibly TANF. Without a younger sibling to keep the family qualified, I suspect we will see a lot of illegal families moving back south this year.

Sekhmet on January 22, 2014 at 9:20 AM

Citing Obama and Bush being on parallel lines of disapproval excludes one significant aspect: THE MEDIA. If the presstitutes reported on Obama as they did with Bush, you would see Oblamer at the 35% peg.

hillsoftx on January 22, 2014 at 9:22 AM

If Al Franken’s opponent doesn’t catch fire — which is perfectly plausible — Franken will probably win by a decent margin.

..Ed!…What kind of people do you live with?

KOOLAID2 on January 22, 2014 at 9:24 AM

Oldnuke on January 22, 2014 at 8:52 AM

Cicely Tyson and Jane Fonda? So Mooch wants to emulate people who make their living pretending. Naming Mother Theresa might be a bit too much but are there not slews of women in business, politics, social work, or other endeavors worth emulating before naming a woman whose likeness can be found in urinals at VFW halls?

Happy Nomad on January 22, 2014 at 9:26 AM

Agree that the comparison of Bush to Obama is meaningless because of the media.

Remember the media drumbeat at 5% unemployment that the economy under Pres. Bush was the worst in 50 yrs? Now, with the wave of a hand, people are just no longer counted in the workforce leading to a 7% unemployment rate and the media responds with a story that Obama is pivoting to the economy.

Angineer on January 22, 2014 at 9:49 AM

No I think she knows all about the “(epithet self moderated)”. This is what she said about her.

“There’s Jane Fonda, a beautiful, engaged, politically savvy, sharp woman.”

a woman whose likeness can be found in urinals at VFW halls?

Happy Nomad on January 22, 2014 at 9:26 AM

For those so inclined.

Personally I made a vow not to pee on her even if she was on fire. Well to be honest I really meant “Only if she was on fire”. Otherwise it’s hose her down.

Oldnuke on January 22, 2014 at 10:02 AM

To help you along, here is an Obysmal screensaver:

This is Relaxing and Therapeutic. It also helps with some depression like that stated below.

When you get down and out, maybe a little depressed, it always helps to think of your friends enduring harder times than yourself.

For me, this has helped tremendously. What fun!!!!

If he gets stuck between the balls click and drag him to get him moving again. Or stick him between the balls.

http://media.y8.com/system/contents/13365/original/Falling_Obama.swf

There’s always the hope that these balls are hard as rocks !

onlineanalyst on January 22, 2014 at 10:03 AM

“…excluding Richard Nixon, who should be considered an outlier.

And Obama is simply an outrightliar.

Tsar of Earth on January 22, 2014 at 12:10 PM