Obama's Approval Plunges Below Worst-Ever President Carter

Tuesday, 29 Nov 2011 04:20 PM

By John Bachman

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President Barack Obama has one of the worst approval ratings of any president in modern political history, Paul Bedard notes in his Washington Whispers blog in US News.

Obama’s 43 percent rating in Gallup’s daily presidential job approval index today is far below Democrat Jimmy Carter’s 51 percent at the same point in his presidency. Carter has been considered one of the 20th century’s worst presidents, according to the index.

Political experts consider the ratings a crystal ball with the potential for predicting a president’s chances for re-election.

Historically, it has been difficult for incumbents to remain in office if their approval ratings are below 47 percent. At this same stage of Dwight Eisenhower’s term, the popular Republican president had an approval rating of 78 percent.

Bedard chronicles the approval ratings of other presidents at this point in their presidencies:
  • Harry S. Truman — 54 percent
  • Lyndon B. Johnson — 44 percent
  • Richard M. Nixon — 50 percent
  • Ronald Reagan — 54 percent
  • George H.W. Bush — 52 percent
  • Bill Clinton — 51 percent
  • George W. Bush — 55 percent.
“What's more,” Bedard writes, “Gallup finds that Obama's overall job approval rating so far has averaged 49 percent. Only three former presidents have had a worse average rating at this stage: Carter, [Gerald] Ford, and Harry S. Truman. Only Truman won re-election in an anti-Congress campaign that Obama's team is using as a model.”

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