As long as Americans perceive the economy to be weak, Obama will keep getting poll readings below 50%. It’s as simple as that.
What we have is a comparison of Barack Obama’s approval ratings on the economy to his approval ratings overall. It includes all polls in the Pollster.com database that asked about both approval of Obama on the economy and his overall job performance — a total of 109 polls dating back to the start of his term. I’ve then drawn in some LOESS curves to illustrate the trend.
The two lines track each other uncannily well. From the very start of Obama’s term, there’s been about a 5-6 point gap between approval of his performance on the economy and his performance overall, with the latter figure consistently being somewhat higher. Although Obama’s approval has declined in both departments (particularly during period between about April 1 and August 1; it may not be declining any further now), the magnitude of the gap has been exceptionally steady over time.
This is why a second stimulus is basically a sure thing. As a politician — actually, we suspect this applies to all Democratic politicians — there’s just no good reason for Obama not to try every measure avilable to pull demand forward and stimulate things right now.
It’s the reality of our system, that there’s no good reason to think long-term if you’re a politician that’s always running for re-election in some manner or other.
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