Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

February 9, 2013 11:58 AM

President Obama

The public’s grade for the job President Obama is doing (as found by Gallup) is 53/43. This is better than only one of the 5 previous Presidents at this point in their second term. The list of 6 follows:

  Approve Disapprove
Eisenhower 72 16 (2/57)
Clinton 60 31 (2/97)
Reagan 60 31 (2/85)
Nixon 65 25 (2/73)
G Bush (II) 49 48 (2/10/05)
Obama 52 41 (2/5/13)

49.1% is the average job approval rating that Obama realized during his first four years in office. President Clinton was only .5% higher at 49.6%. Obama ranks 10th and Clinton 9th in the average approval rating of the last twelve Presidents. Only Presidents Ford (partial term) and Carter had lower average approval ratings for their first terms.

In his fourth year in office, the high level of political polarization of President Obama’s job approval rating is matched only by President G.W. Bush’s in his fourth year in office. In each case, the gap between approval from their Party faithful and the other Party is 76 points. Bush did slightly better with Democrats than Obama does with Republicans.

President Clinton in his fourth year had a 61-point spread between his Democratic and Republican approval.

  Dem Approval GOP Approval Gap
Obama 86% 10% 76 points
G.W. Bush 15% 91% 76 points
Clinton 85% 24% 61 points

The last five years of Bush’s tenure and the first four years of Obama’s term represent nine of the ten most polarized years in Gallup records. The fourth year of Clinton rounds out the top ten. [Gallup]

49% approve of the job that the President is doing on the economy, while 48% disapprove.

52% have positive feelings about the President, while 37% have negative feelings toward him. Those that feel very positive about him is down from 37% in September 2012 to 31% today. Those that feel very negative is down since September from 31% to 26%. [NBC/WSJ 1/13]

Women have a more favorable opinion of Obama than men, by 64% to 55%. [WP/ABC 1/23-27]

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