Photo: Flickr/White House
According to a new Quinnipiac University poll, President Obama’s approval rating has reached a new low. More worrisome for his handlers, perhaps, voters now say he does not “deserve” re-election by a margin of 50-41%, according to the poll.
We’re sceptical about highs and lows in polls and generally recommend the Real Clear Politics “moving averages” of all the polls on questions like presidential job approvals, mood of the nation, etc.
The RCP “moving averages” have been remarkably accurate in the past. The current RCP “moving average” of President Obama’s approval rating is here. It’s roughly 50%-50% amongst those who offer an opinion.
As for his “re-elect” number, it’s been obvious since the mid-term elections that President Obama will be hard-pressed to reprise his majority vote (53%) of the 2008 presidential election. Generally speaking, Democratic presidential candidates have a hard time breaking 50%.
The last Democratic presidential candidate to break 50% in the popular vote was Jimmy Carter in 1976. And he just got there (with 50.1%). The only Democrat, other than President Obama, who won a solid majority since the Second World War was Lyndon Johnson in 1964 (who won in a landslide over Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater).
It may be true that 50% of the nation’s voters believe that President Obama does not “deserve” re-election. But given the state of the economy and the problems all over the world, that data point doesn’t mean much. Better to look at head-to-head match ups with likely 2012 GOP presidential candidates. In those match-ups, President Obama isn’t particularly strong. But he’s not weak either.
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