POLITICS: White House

Obama's approval numbers deep in the tank again

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Beltway Confidential,Opinion,White House,Barack Obama,Polls,Becket Adams

President Obama's approval rating declined this week by three points to 39 percent, down from its previous posting of 42 percent, according to the latest Gallup polling data.

The new data, which Gallup collects daily and has a margin of error of plus of minus 3 percentage points, reflects how American voters feel about the job Obama is doing in the White House.

The decline in approval comes at a time when the White House has fumbled its response to the growing crisis on the border, Russia's provocations in the east and the increasingly violent civil war in Iraq.

Of the 1,500 adults surveyed by Gallup, roughly 54 percent say they disapprove of Obama's performance in the Oval Office.

The president's current approval rating almost matches his all-time low in October 2011, just after Standard and Poor's downgraded the U.S. credit rating and a jobs report that showed little to no growth, of just 38 percent, according to Gallup.

This obviously isn't the worst approval rating for any U.S. president, as George W. Bush left the White House in 2008 with an approval rating of only 34 percent, according to the same source.

Still, it's rather remarkable to see that Obama's approval rating has declined to levels not seen since around the time of the downgrade, the passage of the extraordinarily contentious Affordable Care Act and the November midterm “red wave” of 2010.

Further, a separate survey released this week by CNN/ORC International also found that the president's approval rating has slipped, although the CNN poll puts him at around 42 percent.

"When Hurricane Katrina devastated New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in 2005, the biggest impact on attitudes toward George W. Bush came in the number who said that he could manage the government effectively. That number dropped 10 points, and no other personal quality measured at that time changed as much," CNN Polling Director Keating Holland said. "Using that as a definition of a 'Katrina moment,' it looks like Obama has not experienced a similar drop in the summer of 2014, in part because his numbers already took that hit last year and have stabilized since then."

Based on data cited by both Gallup and CNN, it seems clear that the White House's continued dithering on issues both foreign and domestic has shaken voter confidence in Washington.

"Once again, those numbers are not good news for the White House, but the clear indication is that the President's problems pre-date the current immigration crisis along the Mexican border or anything else that has happened this summer, and that those problems have not made things significantly worse for the President," Holland said.

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