For the first time in his presidency on Tuesday, President Barack Obama’s approval rating sunk below 40% in the Real Clear Politics average of eight prominent polls.
It’s the latest in a series of approval-ratings lows for the president over the past few weeks, as problems with the Affordable Care Act’s rollout have lingered into another month. In individual polls, his approval rating has dipped below the 40% level, but the average of these polls confirms what is, for Obama, an unwelcome trend into dangerous territory.
The sinking approval ratings don’t bode well for Obama and his legislative agenda — which, early next year, will a new push to pass comprehensive immigration reform. They also present a plausible problem for Democrats running for election and re-election next year.
It has proven historically difficult for recent presidents who dive into the 30s to rebound back to good approval ratings, especially in their second terms in office. George W. Bush first hit 39% in Gallup’s daily tracking survey on Oct. 13-16, 2005. He never moved back above 43% after that.
Three of the polls in the RCP average have Obama’s approval rating at either 37% or 38%. Two more have it right at 40%. The biggest margin of an approval-to-disapproval split is an Economist/YouGov poll, which found that 37% approve and 58% disapprove.
From Real Clear Politics, here’s a look at how Obama’s approval ratings have shifted from a high at the beginning of this year to now:
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