President Barack Obama enters the 2012 election year with a 48 percent approval rating. Just four other post-war presidents faced re-election with an approval rating under 50 percent and only Richard Nixon survived, The Washington Post’s Behind the Numbers blog
The four presidents who started their reelection year below a 50 percent approval were: Lyndon Johnson in 1968 at 48 percent; Nixon in 1972 at 49; Gerald Ford in 1976 at 46; and George H.W. Bush in 1992 at 45 percent. Johnson chose not to run for re-election and Ford and Bush lost their re-election bids.
However, despite his dismal numbers, Obama is not separated by much from some successful re-election bids. Obama’s 48 percent approval rate includes the support of 83 percent of Democrats, 13 percent of Republicans and 43 percent of Independents.
President Bill Clinton started 1996 with a 53 percent approval rating made up of 80 percent of Democrats, 18 percent of Republicans and 54 percent of independents, according to the Post.
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