Mike Berman’s Washington Watch

October 28, 2014 11:59 AM

President Obama

The public’s grade on President Obama's job approval (as found by Gallup 10/26) is 42% approval/52% disapproval. During the 23rd quarter of Obama’s Administration his job approval averaged 41.5%, the lowest quarterly average of his tenure other than the 11th quarter and the 3rd quarter of 2011, when he averaged 41%.

The WP/ABC survey found the President’s job approval at 43% up from 40% earlier in the month.

In assessing specific elements of his job performance, it recorded the lowest job approval of his tenure on immigration (29%), international affairs (37%), and the threat of terrorism (42%). His approval scores on implementation of the new health care law (35%) and the economy (44%) have been [ABC/WP 10/14] somewhat lower. [ABC/WP 10/14]

Oct. 2014 xxx 43/51% xxx xxx
Oct. 2014 42/52% RV 43/51% ALL xxx xxx
Sept. 2014 40/54% 42/51% 44/52% 40/50%
August 2014 40/54% xxx xxx 41/50% (CBS)
June 2014 42/53% xxx 43/55% 40/54%
Jan 2014 43/51% 45/52% 45/51% 46/47% (CBS)
July 2013 45/50% 49/44% xxx 48/45% (CBS)
Jan 2013 52/44% 55/41% 55/43% 51/41%

Among the last five Presidents to serve two full terms, Obama’s approval rating at this time ranks 4th.

  Approve Disapprove
Clinton 65 32 (10/25/98)
Reagan 63 29 (10//27/86)
Eisenhower 57 27 (10/20/58)
Obama 42 52 (10/26/14)
GW Bush 37 58 (10/22/06)

In many ways, President Obama is the “victim” of a confluence of events: in no particular order, they include Israel vs. Hamas; revolution in Syria; the failures of the Iraqi government; ISIS; the Ukraine; the immigration debate/the Border Patrol; the 2014 Congressional and gubernatorial campaigns in which his performance in office has become an issue; Congressional inaction; sequester; continuing revelation of the inadequacy of government contractors; the alleged politicizing of the IRS; the beginning enrollment under the Affordable Care Act; corporate inversions; problems in the Department of Homeland Security; issues with the Secret Service; problems at the Veterans Administration; and finally the Ebola scare and the realization that the CDC is not as prepared as it thought it was; and the intensity of partisanship on both sides.

The question on which everyone has an opinion is whether or not Obama’s lack of popularity will be the cause of anticipated Democratic losses in the Senate and in the House.

The current WP/ABC survey (10/26/14) paints the following picture. The question asked is: “Will/was one reason for your vote for Congress (be) to express (support for) Obama, to express (opposition to) Obama, or is/was Obama not a factor in your choice?”

  Support Opposition Not a factor
2014 (Obama) 16% 26% 56%
2006 (Bush) 17 31 50
1998 (Clinton) 13 9 77

In 2006, the Democrats gained 6 Senate seats and 31 House seats.

In 1998, there was no change in the Senate, and the Democrats picked up 5 House seats.

When it comes to how Americans “feel” about Obama, 46% say they have negative feelings and 43% have positive feelings. A year ago, 47% had positive feelings and 41% had negative feelings. [NBC/WSJ10/14]

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