As the anniversary of the election approaches, the tidal wave of hope that swept Obama into office has ebbed and some perceptions of the president have changed, the USA TODAY/Gallup Poll finds. He’s seen more as a down-the-line liberal, less as someone who can bridge partisan divides. Still, he retains a fair share of voter regard and his approval rating, while no longer in the stratosphere of those early days, remains at 50% or just above in Gallup’s daily survey.
A year later, it’s a wait-and-see nation.
“There’s a kind of realism that’s taken over, that ‘the change you can believe in’ — people have woken up and seen that as kind of a talking point, and I think there’s some disappointment, some deflation,” says Lawrence Jacobs, director of the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota. “On the other hand, when you take into account he’s been president during the sharpest economic decline since the Great Depression, it’s astounding that his support is not weaker.”