Gallup released its state-by-state approval ratings of President Barack Obama last week, and the numbers show that Obama should be concerned about his prospects in 14 states heading into the November election.
Obama’s approval ratings sits at 50 per cent or above — the level considered safe for re-election — in 13 states and the District of Columbia.
But there are 14 states where his job approval is somewhere between the 40 and 50 per cent range — Oregon, Nevada, Colorado, New Mexico, Iowa, Wisconsin, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, North Carolina, Florida, New Hampshire and Maine.
Here’s a look:
All of these states, with the exception of Maine and Oregon, are considered battlegrounds in the 2012 presidential race. Oregon and Maine went to Obama in 2008 and are seen as reliable states for him this time around.
Here’s how the maths breaks down: The 13 states and D.C. give Obama 185 electoral votes. He needs to accumulate 85 more electoral votes to beat Romney.
Based on recent polling, Obama tends to lead in all of these states except North Carolina and Florida.
But the approval numbers should at least cast some doubt on the President’s re-election chances, if history is any indication.
Gallup is a stickler on the 50-per cent approval mark being an essential statistic for re-election. Managing editor Jeffrey M. Jones explains:
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.
The silver lining for Obama’s re-election team is that voters still view Romney more unfavorably. And his lagging approval rating has actually still improved in all 14 of the states in question, marking a positive shift from last year, when Obama’s approval rating sunk in all but three states overall.
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