President Barack Obama’s approval rating in Gallup’s rolling survey has plunged 6 percentage points in two weeks, a troubling sign that puts him on shaky historical ground for re-election. Obama’s approval rating is down to just 46 per cent, down from a high of 52 per cent after the Democratic National Convention. His disapproval rating, meanwhile, now stands at 48 per cent, up from 42 per cent after the DNC. Altogether, that’s a 12-point swing in two weeks.
Recall why the 50 per cent threshold is important, per Gallup managing editor Jeffrey M. Jones:
The 50% approval mark is significant because post-World War II incumbent presidents who have been above 50% job approval on Election Day were easily re-elected. Presidents with approval ratings below 50% have more uncertain re-election prospects. Historically, two presidents below 50% in their final approval rating before the election — George W. Bush and Harry Truman — won, and three, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush, lost.
That should concern Obama, in part because George W. Bush never dropped this low this late in the race.
The last time Bush sat at 46 per cent was in May 2004 when he was running for re-election against John Kerry. Bush’s approval rating stood at 54 per cent around this time in 2004, though he did drop back down to 47 per cent briefly in October.
Obama and Romney were tied in the latest Gallup tracking poll Thursday.
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