Could Obama's approval fall as low as Bush's?

Beginning about May 2012, though, the two presidents’ approval ratings began to roughly converge. In the second week of that month, Obama’s Gallup rating hit 47 percent, while Bush’s had been 47 percent in May 2004, the same point in his presidency. In June of ’12, the ratings stayed within a couple of points of each other. In later summer 2012, Obama’s ratings actually fell below Bush’s late summer ’04 ratings, Obama at 45 percent to Bush’s 49 percent.

The graphs of each man’s ratings diverge a little — Bush’s was higher in December 2012/2004, while Obama’s was higher in January 2013/2005. But the lines are remarkably similar. In late March 2013/2005, both men were at 48 percent. In May, they were a point apart. In June, they were a point apart. In August, they were both at 45 percent. Same in late September. In late October, Obama was at 43 percent, to Bush’s 42 percent. In late November, Obama was at 40 percent, to Bush’s 43 percent.

Of course, that’s as far as Obama’s numbers go. But we can see Bush’s numbers continue through 2005 and 2006: 43 percent, then 40 percent, then 37 percent, then 31 percent in May ’06. Then, after a year of meandering around, 29 percent in July 2007, 28 percent May ’08; and 25 percent as the economy crashed in October 2008.