President Barack Obama is viewed more negatively now than at any point in his presidential term, according to a new survey from Gallup.
Just 47% of respondents said they view Obama favourably, compared with 52% who indicated they have an unfavorable opinion of Obama. The gap of 5 percentage points accounts for the worst split of his time in office.
Though his approval ratings have fluctuated significantly throughout his presidency, Obama has generally maintained a positive personal image with the American public. The previous high level of respondents who said they viewed him negatively in a Gallup poll was 50% in late 2010.
In recent weeks, the Obama administration has faced fire over the scandal at the Department of Veterans Affairs and its prisoner swap that freed U.S. Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl in exchange for five Taliban-affiliated troops who were being held at the Guantanamo Bay prison.
Interestingly, while Obama’s favorability ratings have gone down his approval ratings have largely held steady — and they have even risen over the past month, according to Gallup’s daily tracking poll. Favorability measures how respondents view Obama as a person while the approval rating measures peoples’ assessment of the job he’s doing. Gallup’s Jeffrey M. Jones speculated an improving economy may be bolstering his approval ratings, while the scandals take a toll on his personal image.
Here’s a chart from Gallup on Obama’s personal favorability ratings throughout his time in office:
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