Obama's Approval Ratings Plunge in 3 Months of Upheaval

Monday, 21 Oct 2013 05:28 PM

By Cathy Burke

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President Barack Obama's approval rating over the last three months sunk into the third largest drop of his presidency — fueled in part by a contentious 16-day government shutdown, a new poll showed Monday.

Obama's favorability rating dropped 3 percentage points, to 44.5 percent, between July 20 and Oct. 19, the Gallup polled showed.

The shutdown was the main driver of the ratings dip — as it was for the GOP in general and House Speaker John Boehner in particular, in a CNN survey released Monday.

The quarter surveyed by Gallup included the shutdown that began Oct. 1 and included the eleventh-hour negotiations to increase the debit limit — a time during which Obama's job approval crashed to as low as 41 percent, the survey noted.

It was the lowest job mark the president had gotten since November 2011, during the last debt-ceiling debate that led to sequestration, The Washington Examiner reported.  

The quarter, however, also included the period during which Obama was seeking congressional approval for military action in Syria "something the public did not favor," the survey noted.

The legislative battles over the federal budget and the Affordable Care Act, as well as the federal debt limit, all "took a toll on the president's popularity," the Gallup analysis stated.

Three post-World War II presidents — Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower, and Bill Clinton — had significantly higher approval ratings than Obama at the same times in their presidencies, all near 60 percent, the survey noted.

Two presidents had lower averages than Obama during that same presidency time frame: Nixon, during the Watergate investigations, and Lyndon Johnson, attributable mostly to the increasingly unpopular Vietnam War, the survey said.

Obama's approval ratings during the period were similar to those of Harry S Truman and George W. Bush.

"Like Obama, Bush saw his approval rating drop" during a quarter "marked by criticism of his administration's handling of the Hurricane Katrina rescue and recovery effort," the survey said.

"Obama is suffering through another approval slump, something he experienced during the latter part of his first year into his second year as president, and during the latter part of his third year," the survey analysis noted.

The survey was based on telephone interviews and has a margin of error of 1 percentage point.


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