Obama disapproval back over 50% in Gallup tracking poll

Barack Obama’s political team might have hoped that last week’s announcement of a drop in the jobless rate would give the President a polling bounce.  Instead, Gallup’s three-day rolling average from its daily tracking poll shows disapproval peaking once again at 51%:

President Obama’s job approval rating has ticked down to 41 percent in Gallup’s latest daily tracking poll, with his disapproval at 51 percent.

It’s a drop from where the president stood at the beginning of December, and reflects the widest gap between the president’s approval and disapproval numbers in Gallup’s polling in recent weeks.

The poll, which is based on three-day rolling averages, recorded a 44 percent job approval rating against a 48 percent disapproval rating as recently as Nov. 23-26, and a 44 percent approval rating compared to a 47 percent disapproval rating on Nov. 25-27.

That’s still a bit better than his mid-October rating of 39/54, but hardly the kind of number that the White House would have expected after last Friday’s jobless report, which they tried to spin as progress.  This results from surveys taken well after the jobs report, which showed a 0.4% drop in the overall rate but also 315,000 more people leaving the workforce.  The media for the most part went along with the White House spin, but it clearly didn’t impress voters.

So far, the class-warfare strategy doesn’t appear to be paying dividends.  Obama gave the joint-session speech that launched his soak-the-rich theme on September 8, and his Gallup rating in the tracking poll at that time was 43/48.  He managed to narrow that to 45/47 in mid-November, but for most of that time his disapproval has gone up, not down.  When the gap has narrowed, it’s been more from lower disapproval than gains in approval, which has only gotten as high as 45% once in the past three months in this series.

Republicans might have worried that their lively primary fight might raise Obama’s stature ahead of the general election. So far, that doesn’t appear to be a problem.