Fox poll shows Obama approval at new low, 40/51

A new poll by Fox News and Opinion Dynamics shows the job approval rating for Barack Obama hitting a new low, 40%, while disapproval hits 51%, just one point below his previous record set in September.  Approval among independents hit an even lower level of 37/48, virtually unchanged from October’s 37/49.  Andrew Malcolm reports that almost two-thirds of respondents now don’t believe that Obama will win a second term:

“Your best guess, as of today do you think Barack Obama will be reelected president in 2012 or not?”

Mid-December 2010 Overall: 29% Yes, 64% No.

Mid-December 2009 Overall: 44% Yes, 46% No.

Tellingly, among Obama’s core Democrats, those who believe he’ll be reelected fell from 71% a year ago to a minority, 49%, now. Those Democrats who say he won’t be reelected increased from 19% to 42%.

Among independents, a crucial part of the Democrat’s winning 2008 coalition, those who think he’ll be reelected fell from 46% to 31%. Those who predict he won’t jumped from 44% to 63%.

This stands in stark contrast to the Washington Post/ABC poll released earlier this week.  That showed Obama losing ground on Afghanistan, with a 45/46 rating, and tanking on the economy, 43/54, and the deficit, 38/55 — but maintaining a 49/47 approval rating.  However, even after 4 days of publishing stories from the poll results, neither WaPo nor ABC has released any of the sample data from the survey.  Given their predilection for oversampling Democrats, the lack of transparency should warn anyone about taking it seriously, especially since Marist found the same trend as Fox and almost the same numbers (42/50).

Another question asked respondents whether Obama deserved to be re-elected after his performance in the first two years of his term.  Those figures were only marginally better, with 35% saying Obama deserved a second term and 53% wanting to take their chances with someone else.  Among independents, those numbers dropped to 32/50, and only 67% of Democrats think Obama should get a second term.  That’s not exactly an enthusiastic base.   On the plus side, Obama beats George W. Bush in a head-to-head match … but only by eight points and without a majority, 48/40.

Unlike the Post and ABC, Fox released the party-affiliation composition of its survey.  Republicans have a three-point edge, which at least gets the leadership right, but the poll oversamples both parties a bit at the expense of independents (38/35/27).  Given that the Marist poll showed similar results with a seven-point Democratic edge in the sample, it seems as though the consensus is that Obama’s doing poorly, just as the midterms indicated.