President Barack Obama’s approval rating has fallen to dangerous lows for historical precedent on re-election in just the past three days, according to Gallup’s rolling three-day average. Gallup’s daily tracking poll today — which also showed Obama losing 51-46 to Republican nominee Mitt Romney among likely voters — puts the president’s approval rating at just 46 per cent.
That’s a staggering 7-point swing from Wednesday, when Obama’s approval rating sat at 53 per cent. And it marks Obama’s lowest point since late September.
Obama’s disapproval rating, meanwhile, jumped to 49 per cent. That accounts for another 7-point change since Wednesday, meaning the total swing has been 14 points. The disapproval rating is the president’s highest since mid-August.
A lot of this could be statistical noise, considering such wild swings without any major-moving events in the past few days are extremely rare.
But though Gallup’s numbers are lower than other polls, there seems to be a trend developing: Every recent poll has put it below 50 per cent.
Photo: Real Clear Politics
Here’s 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’s bad news for Obama, because Bush’s approval rating had never been this low at this late stage in the campaign. During the Oct. 22-24, 2004, tracking period, Bush’s approval-to-disapproval split stood at 51-46.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.