Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

October 19, 2013 11:56 AM

President Obama

The public’s grade for the job President Obama is doing (as found by Gallup) is 42% approval/52% disapproval as of 10/16/13. Of the 5 previous two- term Presidents at this point in their second term Obama’s current approval rating is better than George Bush II and Richard Nixon. The list of 6 follows:

  Approve Disapprove
Reagan 63 29 (10/14/85)
Eisenhower 57 27 (10/15/57)
Clinton 55 36 (10/5/97)
Obama 42 52 (10/16/13)
G Bush (II) 39 58 (10/16/05)
Nixon 27 60 (10/22/73)

Oct 2013 47/48% 42/53% xxx xxx
Sept 2013 45/50% xxx 45/52% 46/46%
Aug 2013* 44/48% (NBC only) xxx xxx xxx
July 2013 45/50% 49/44% xxx 48/45% (CBS)
June 2013 48/47% xxx 45/54%* 47/43%
Apr 2013 47/48% 50/45%* 51/47% 47/45%
Jan 2013 52/44% 55/41% 55/43% 51/41%
* Latest survey in this line

From a high of 51%, the approval of the President’s job performance by business owners is currently at 37%. That is up from the low of 31% recorded in of mid-2011. Among “all workers” Obama’s approval has dropped from 63% in 2009 to 45% today. It has been as low as 41% (also in 2011). [Gallup 10/2/13]

Obama’s performance on the economy continues to be rated negatively. Fox News reported disapproval 56% to 40% on 10/2/13. On 9/23/13, CBS/NYT poll showed disapproval at 54% to 41%.

The rating of the President’s performance on foreign policy is almost as bleak. The CBS/NYT survey 9/23/13 reported disapproval at 49% to 40%.

While the public disapproves of the way Obama has handled the negotiations over the budget by 51% to 45%, and while the Democrats in Congress are rated less negatively than Republicans in the Congress, neither of these groups has much to crow about. The Democrats are rated negatively by 61% to 35%; the Republicans are rated negatively by 70% to 24%. [WP/ABC 10/6/13]

Since January Barack Obama’s positive rating has dropped from 52% to 47% (-5). The other two principle players in the budget drama have remained steady, although much in negative territory. House Speaker John Boehner had a positive rating of 18% in January and today it is 17%. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid had a positive rating of 16% and has bumped up to18% today. [NBC/WSJ 10/6/13]

We do not yet have a measure of the President’s job approval rating since the end of the government shutdown and the extension of the debit limit. Thus, the public score for his actions during the last few weeks has yet to come.

Whatever that score turns out to be, the President’s active involvement and the firmness of his position, both publicly and privately during the shutdown/debt ceiling action, portends well for a better than expected second term.


It is way too early to handicap the 2016 Presidential race. So, for the foreseeable future the Watch’s only attention to the race will be to keep a running list of folks who are getting serious mention. The Republican list has been expanded since the September edition of WW.

Republicans Democrats
Jeb Bush Joe Biden
Chris Christie Hillary Clinton
Bobby Jindal Andrew Cuomo
Rand Paul Kristin Gillibrand
Marco Rubio Amy Klobuchar
Paul Ryan Martin O’Malley
Mike Pence Elizabeth Warren
John Kasich  
Scott Walker  
Ted Cruz  

In the 2012 election, the percentage turnout of eligible black voters exceeded the percentage turnout of non-Hispanic whites and of Hispanics. 66.2 % of eligible blacks turned out, an increase from 64.7% in 2008. Non-Hispanic whites turned out at a 64.1% rate, which was down from 66.1% in 2008. Hispanic turnout dipped from 49.9% in 2008 to 48%.

Women outvoted men by 64% to 60%. [AP 8/13]

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