Barack Obama has reached an unprecedented low approval rating for a first-year president. The president’s most recent 47 percent rating marks the lowest ever recorded for a president during his first December in office, according to Gallup.
Obama’s tally dips below Ronald Reagan’s 49 percent record low approval rating from December 1981. Reagan’s low numbers, like Obama’s, came during the depths of economic turmoil.
Unemployment stood at 8.4 percent then, compared with 10 percent now.
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The president’s approval rating has hovered just under 50 percent since mid-November, but Gallup says it briefly hit 52 percent last week following his Afghanistan policy announcement.
Polling shows the public favors Obama’s Afghanistan policy 51 percent to 40 percent.
Bill Clinton’s approval rating stood at 53 percent in December 1993 as the country emerged from the 1991-92 recession. George W. Bush enjoyed an 86 percent approval rating — the highest ever recorded for the same period — in December 2001 as the nation reeled economically in the aftermath of 9/11.
Obama’s approval rating has slipped throughout the year under pressure from the economy, as well as the public’s distaste for his healthcare plan, according to Gallup.
Although Obama continues to enjoy strong support from fellow Democrats by an 8-1 margin with an 83 percent approval rating, he has lost significant ground among Republicans and independents.
His approval among them has slid 20 points since Inauguration Day, standing now at 14 percent among Republicans and 42 percent among independents.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs dismissed the poll’s relevance.
"I tell you, if I was a heart patient, and Gallup was my EKG, I'd visit my doctor," Gibbs said. "If you look back, I think five days ago, there was an 11-point spread, now there's a 1-point spread. I mean, I'm sure a 6-year-old with a crayon could do something not unlike that. I don't put a lot of stake in, never have, in the EKG that is the daily Gallup trend.
"I don't pay a lot of attention to the meaninglessness of it."
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