If History Is A Guide, Obama Is Heading For A Loss In November

barack obama

Photo: The White House

Gallup is out with a look today at some key indicators that look troublesome for Barack Obama’s re-election prospects this fall. There are three main indicators, which Gallup looks at from historical perspective to judge Obama’s prospects this year. They are his approval rating, economic factors and Americans’ view of the direction in which the country is headed.

So, first is Obama’s job approval. At 47 per cent in May, it compares with other presidents that have lost their bids for re-election in recent history. At this point in 2004, George W. Bush had a 49 per cent approval rating. That’s the lowest for a president to win re-election since 1964.

The key here is whether the number improves as we head closer to November. Bush was back up to 50 per cent by October. Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush — three presidents that lost re-election — plummeted down to the 30s. 

Obama Gallup poll

Photo: Gallup

Then there is the economic confidence index. Obama’s negative-18 rating is the worst since George H.W. Bush. The first Bush that lost re-election saw that number also plummet as the election progressed. The second Bush, that won re-election, saw that number increase into a positive. 

Obama Gallup poll

Photo: Gallup

Last but not least is Gallup’s tracking of Americans’ satisfaction. Satisfaction with the direction in which the country is going. 

Obama’s level stands at a dreadful 24 per cent, the worst again since H.W. Bush. That number has routinely been at least in the high-30s for successfully re-elected presidents. This all confirms what we’ve known — that the improvement of the economy, or lack thereof, will likely decide Obama’s fate in November. 

Obama Gallup poll

Photo: Gallup

Also worth noting: George W. Bush gets a bit of a jump, because the U.S. was in the midst of two full-fledged wars when he got elected. Not the same in the case of Obama.

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