Despite the weak economy, the rampant obstruction of the opposition party, and the looming debt-ceiling apocalypse, President Obama’s approval rating has remained relatively stable, neither dipping or jumping any significant amount.
This has left chief Gallup pollster, Frank Newport, scratching his head.
Compared with other recent presidents, President Obama’s approval numbers are “overperforming,” given the struggling economy and Americans’ low levels of satisfaction with the direction of the country, says Frank Newport, editor in chief of the Gallup Poll. [...]
“Looking at history, particularly Clinton and Reagan, it is somewhat surprising that [Obama] has never yet fallen into the 30 percent range in our approval rating,” Newport said. “And yet both Reagan and Clinton, in their first terms when the economy was perceived as bad … both fell into the 30s.”
Newport noted, “Satisfaction with the way things are going is … correlated with economic perceptions fairly strongly.” At the same time, Obama “is overperforming. Based on where every president has been, his approval rating now is higher than we would predict it to be based on” how satisfied American adults say they are.
Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan were forced to wrestle with economic problems, but neither of them faced the kind of opposition and deliberate obstruction we are witnessing today.
Neither of them dealt with an opposition party that would sooner drive the nation off a cliff than agree with them on a single item of legislation. Neither of them faced questions regarding the legitimacy of their birth certificates. Rosemary’s Tea Party had not yet been conceived in the womb of Corporate America.
Sure, the insurrection of Newt Gingrich was ugly, but it doesn’t even rate compared to the doctrine of mutually assured destruction adopted by today’s Republican party.
A majority of Americans can clearly see that.
Obama campaign manager David Plouffe’s assertion that Americans will not vote based on unemployment in 2012 will remain untested until that time comes, but current polling does support his hypothesis.