President Barack Obama’s approval rating dropped more than 3 percentage points, on average, in the July 20-Oct. 19 period, his 18th quarter in office.
Obama’s approval rating averaged 44.5% in the quarter, according to new figures released by Gallup on Monday. That’s the third-lowest quarter in his presidency, behind a big drop in his first year in office and a 6-point drop amid the first debt-ceiling crisis.
The decline in the quarter was precipitated in the early part by continuing fallout over revelations about the National Security Agency’s surveillance powers. In the middle of the quarter, Obama pushed for limited military intervention in Syria, something most Americans continually opposed before a diplomatic solution was ultimately brokered. And the quarter’s end saw the first federal government shutdown in 17 years, as well as brinkmanship on raising the nation’s debt ceiling.
On the last points, Republicans have taken the brunt of public angst. Multiple polls show that Americans blame the GOP more for the fiscal crises, and a new poll out Monday showed that a majority think it’s a “bad thing” that the party controls the House.
Still, the new Gallup numbers don’t bode particularly well for Obama and his agenda for the rest of the year, which he laid out in a speech at the White House the day after the shutdown ended. The 44.5% approval rating mirrors the 43.9% rating that George W. Bush had at this point in his presidency in 2005.
Here’s a chart that shows the fluctuations of Obama’s approval rating throughout the quarter:
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