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Gallup: Obama approval rating drops below 50 percent for the first time

By Garance Franke-Ruta
President Obama's job approval rating has dropped below 50 percent for the first time since he assumed office, according to Gallup's tracking poll.

The poll averages results over three days. When Obama took office, the poll measured his approval rating at 68 percent for the Jan. 21-23, 2009, period. His approval rating was as high as 54 percent just two weeks ago, but the overall trend line has been down since the summer.

"Although the current decline below 50 percent has symbolic significance, most of the recent decline in support for Obama occurred in July and August," explains pollster Jeffrey L. Jones. "He began July at 60 percent approval. The ongoing, contentious debate over national health-care reform has likely served as a drag on his public support, as have continuing economic problems. Americans are also concerned about the Obama administration's reliance on government spending to solve the nation's problems and the growing federal budget deficit.

"Since September, Obama's approval rating had been holding in the low 50s and, although it has reached 50 percent numerous times, it had never dropped below 50 percent until now."

Obama's drop in support is similar to that experienced by Ronald Reagan, according to the pollsters. Reagan's drop to below 50 percent took place Nov. 13-16, 1981, they report, while Gerald Ford dropped below 50 percent in his third month in office, and Bill Clinton in his fourth month.

"Of the post-World War II presidents, Obama now is the fourth fastest to drop below the majority approval level," Jones writes.

By Garance Franke-Ruta  |  November 20, 2009; 1:27 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , The Pollster  
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Is it any wonder that the polls for President Obama is slipping? Our president is supporting increased taxes and new taxes with Cap and Trade bill, Stimulus Package, Cash for clunkers program, and now the Health Care Reform bill...He obviously doesn't care or calloused towards what the average American is struggling with economically...Unemployment is over 10% and continue to increase. In the state of CA it is over 11%...He really has lost focus on what is looming over Americans...

This Health Care plan(bill) that he and the democratic party is going to affect each and every tax paying American with higher and new taxes, higher insurance premiums, and crush small businesses with the laws they are imposing....President Obama, his administraion and the democrats have the gaul to lie to the American people about the stat numbers of uninsured and the amount the actual bill will cost taxpayers....The statement below says it all....lie, lie, lie....

"Many of the opponents of health reform stopped relying on truth, facts and reasoned argument a long time ago," said Dan Pfeiffer, White House deputy communications director

Posted by: Rhonda5 | November 25, 2009 1:24 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: RABBLEROUSERHAT | November 23, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: RABBLEROUSERHAT | November 23, 2009 5:18 PM | Report abuse

I am still convinced that Obama will have time to recover if he heeds the call on the economy. This showing is all about our pocket books. Too many of us are out of work. Once again it's the economy stupid!

But Barack Obama is smart-- realizes what must be done. And quickly. Just waiting to see him share his cards with the rest us while the plots a new strategy to regain lost confidence in his leadership.
It will come.

Posted by: Victoria5 | November 23, 2009 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Americans are in an understandable era of fear. What we are seeing in this Gallup poll is a human response to one of the most trying times in our history when old and present models of practice aren't working and everyone is waiting for the next paradigm to give us answers that will calm our anxieties. The complexities of our world have changed and we have to not only deal with the enormous task of our domestic economy, human welfare, joblessness from companies outsourcing outside our borders, a minimal margin of error in policy making but also the complexity of the international arena where a cacaphony of demands and threats seem to howl at our doorstep. I believe President Obama is doing admirable work that few if any human beings could do or would wish to do. Human energy is not boundless, human time is limited to the needs of respite, sleep and nutrition. Even if our president did not have to deal with the tsunami of misgovernment of Bush, the times are complex and, thanks to technology, our world is so intimately linked.. our poor nervous systems (that haven't changed in millennia) now have to integrate the data streaming minute by minute into our lives. Of all times Americans need to soberly and compassionately unite to help this country, our own lives and those of our children..the time is now. The financial sector and their herd-like practices have made huge mistakes that must be remedied through new insightful federal regulation in future months. Joblessness means to review carefully industry's commitment to America's welfare as well as forming an FDR-esque federal back- to- work policy that brings workers of every technical background to focus on a neglected infrastructure so apparent during Bush years.

Legislators are our public servants yet their survival depends most often on the financial backing of vested interests that are often at odds with the critical needs of constituents. Much of the misinformation that is released to the press has much to do with vested commercial interests which fear losing in the market or being diminished by competitors. Health care is a case in point. Cost/benefit ratios need to be considered by the American public and while there is a knee jerk attitude towards centralizing government power, a federal mandate for universal health care means that, like the citizens of our Europeans allies, all Americans would be assured health care, whether emergent, acute or chronic. That we need such a policy is difficult to argue against but the fine tuning of such an instrument will be required continuously in order to serve a diverse human population as we have in the US.

Posted by: timeforhonesty | November 22, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

How kind of the writer to never mention the actual approval rating (we assume it is somewhere in the 40% range). They might have reported that Obama's rating has dropped from 68% to 48%, a full 20 points in just his first year in office.

We could better understand why news is spun the way it is every writer were required to indicate their political preference (D, R, I).

Posted by: Everwatchful | November 21, 2009 2:01 PM | Report abuse

This is something you really, really can't blame on Republicans. Most of us were so sick to our stomach of Bush that we wanted nothing to do with them. Most of us find Sarah Palin an absolute nothing. Most of us consider Republicans to be presently the party of no. Beck and Limbaugh have only fringe percentages of viewers. Liberals have complete control of the media, with Chris Matthews using the name "wingnuts" a dozen times per show -- and STILL we don't think Obama has delivered a single answer.

Posted by: cerebral_but | November 21, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

The first KING of America, and his Queen Pelosi have NO CLUE whatsoever, especially when they do not listen and shrug-off Constitutional questions about the limits to their powers! This latest trip by the king had NOTHING TO DO WITH JOBS!

It was to suck-up to the communists who now hold most of America's debts! How much more has he promised them while there?

This little king is too busy hiding inside Air Force One trying to make up his mind what to do next. In a YEAR of office, he has yet to DO ANYTHING constructive! We The People are getting really tired of waiting. While the faux queen snears down at the masses from whom her powers come from, we are being choked to death.

Oh, but that's ok...Washington "representatives" by any label stopped listening long ago! This has done on for decades, and has to be addressed.

Tea is for patriots ONLY! Is anybody there? DOES ANYBODY CARE?

Posted by: Silvermoon1 | November 21, 2009 12:14 PM | Report abuse

This is big news.

Every time Bush dropped in ratings it was splashed across the front pages of the Liberal Press ... oh, I'm being redundant ... The Press.

Talk shows lead with it, the pundants babbled about it, and hammered how unpopular Bush had become.

Now it is only reported on 44 Politics.

Posted by: jgfox39 | November 21, 2009 11:29 AM | Report abuse

Leaders are supposed to inspire and tranquilize the people. Is anybody inspired by any world leader right now? Inspiration is a very definite feeling.

Posted by: wbret123 | November 20, 2009 5:40 PM

And when you have the media, right wing radio and TV, Republicans doing everything they can to undermine the current leadership what do you think will happen ? Republicans/conservatives/right wingers have told the American people numerous times and in numerous ways that they want this President to fail. What part of that don't you understand. They are undermining everything that President Obama says or does. They don't care about the American people. They only care about undermining President Obama and scaring you to death so you gullible people will vote against your own best interest. Wake up and take the blinders off.

Posted by: catmomtx | November 21, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

Cerebral_but says "He promised to end 'politics as usual', and instead we have the worst partisan debacle in memory with the healthcare debate." Who turned it into a debacle? Republicans pushing their brand of 'politics as usual' FEAR!!! Making stuff up to twist any initiative taken by the administration and the Democratic party into something dangerous and un-american.

Posted by: fnlorrain | November 21, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

No surprise when you have constant negative press. I would bet if one looks st the number of negative things said about President Obama and what he is doing versus the number of positive reports there would be a big discrepancy. Add that to right wing radio and TV blasting their negativity 24/7. Just this past week the most ignorant among the radio "entertainers", Limbaugh and Beck and a few others were screaming that President Obama was raping the country. That is a sure way to get white America riled up. Then all the gullible people out there who would rather believe the lies and garbage spewed by these people believe every negative thing they say. Those who hate President Obama just because, fill all the blogs and talk shows with the hate talking points of the day and then you wonder why President Obama's ratings are down.

People write on the blogs whining that President Obama hasn't accomplished anything. If you had a brain and google what his accomplishments actually are in the 10 months he has been in office, most people would be pleasantly surprised. Of course though if the media/right wing put that information out there people might be inclined to see President Obama in a better way. Heaven forbid they might even give him credit and that would totally go against the right wing/Republican/Obama haters agenda. Don't forget, they want the President and our country to fail just so they can say "we told you so". They don't give a hoot about the American people. They are punishing those who rejected Republicans, Republican ideologies and Republican policies that we have proof did not work.

Posted by: catmomtx | November 21, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Believe Obama on Global Warming too?

From Yesterday's NY Times-

"In several e-mail exchanges, Kevin Trenberth, a climatologist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research, and other scientists discussed whether a string of recent years of relatively stable temperatures undermined scientific models that predict long-term warming.

“The fact is that we can’t account for the lack of warming at the moment and it is a travesty that we can’t,” Dr. Trenberth wrote."

Looks like Al Gore's profits are in jeopardy- no problem for Al: he's already a multimillionaire from this panic.

Posted by: thecannula | November 21, 2009 9:52 AM | Report abuse

So,here is somemore good news about the head Muslim Terrorist in the White House
Barack Hussein Obama as Rasmussen Polls for
the last few days are also clearly showing
that 40% Strongly Disapprove of Obama's Job
Performance and less then 26% Strongly Approve of it! Thats a Minus 14 Points here
and overall 52% Disapprove and 47% Approve
as well. The Latest Zogby Poll also puts
Barack Hussein Obama well below 50% as well. One Term Obama your days as President
will end in 2012 if sooner after the GOP
regains control of Congress in 2010!

Also,Rasmussen shows for the past several
months the Republicans Win the Generic
Congressional Candidate Poll by 6 Points.
Send Crazy Harry Reid & Nutty Nancy Pelosi
and the Dimwit Liberal Democrats Packing
in 2010 and 2012 My Fellow Americans! Time
To Impeace Muslim Lover Barack Obama!

Posted by: loneeagle1938 | November 21, 2009 7:51 AM | Report abuse

This is big news.

Every time Bush dropped in ratings it was splashed across the front pages of the Liberal Press ... oh, I'm being redundant ... The Press.

Talk shows lead with it, the pundants babbled about it, and hammered how unpopular Bush had become.

Now it is only reported on 44 Politics.

Posted by: jgfox39 | November 21, 2009 7:20 AM | Report abuse

Leaders are supposed to inspire and tranquilize the people. Is anybody inspired by any world leader right now? Inspiration is a very definite feeling.

Posted by: wbret123 | November 20, 2009 5:40 PM | Report abuse

"I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction," says Obama.

Well, Barry-O, it's high time for you to go to the Mosque and stand with the Muslims.

Posted by: mock1ngb1rd | November 20, 2009 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Not a big deal. This is on track for other president's and is also in question given the suspect history of these tracking polls and the recent history of poll showing Obama back towards 60.

Posted by: parkerfl1 | November 20, 2009 5:26 PM | Report abuse

You can fool some of the people all the time (Obozzo campaign). You can fool all the people some of the time (America expecting change). But you can't fool all the people all the time (10 months of BS story after BS story after BS story after BS story). Enough is enough; man up and resign already!!!

Posted by: Bcamp55 | November 20, 2009 4:50 PM | Report abuse

That didn't take long at all. Only about 10 months in office and Obummer's ratings are falling through the floor. Americans made a big mistake when they voted for him, and they are stating to wake up.

He's a one-termer at best, he is likely to be impeached before his one term is up.

Posted by: mock1ngb1rd | November 20, 2009 4:44 PM | Report abuse

I voted for Obama, but I'd never do it again, that is if the Republicans can find a "real" candidate, which they show no signs of doing. The 2 big reasons Obama was elected are # 1. & the biggest, the Country hated George Bush, they hated everything he stood for. # 2. Obama had the Press behind him, especially CNN ... Obama attracted attention every where he went & he was telling people about the big changes he'd make in the country. The day after the Presidential elections people woke up & their first thought was ... OMG we elected a black man President, their second thought was, well he promised us everything would get better. Nothing has got better, it's got worse, Obama threw Billions of tax payers dollars away trying to buy his way out of a Depression, it didn't work. Next he's spent the last 11 months pushing for a Health care bill that the majority of people don't understand or want & it will probably fail. He's so indecisive it's hard for him to make a decision on anything. World leaders consider him a weak President, even Israeli thumbs its nose at him. I thought Bush was the worst President in my life time, but Obama is becoming a close second.

Posted by: wasaUFO | November 20, 2009 4:40 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Obama's approval rating decline: As his spiritual mentor, Jeremiah Wright, stated so well: "The chickens are coming home to roost!"

Posted by: resumeman | November 20, 2009 4:34 PM | Report abuse

If what he SAID made him popular, then the fact that he's DONE largely the opposite is catching up with him.

Posted by: andrew23boyle | November 20, 2009 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Behold the dark hand of the evil Sith Lord Karl Rove!

Obumbles is shaping up to be a one-termer.

Posted by: luca_20009 | November 20, 2009 4:21 PM | Report abuse

No surprise here. He did everything to get elected except have a REAL plan to help all of the people. His ratings would be at 20% if the media was doing its job instead of doing everything in their power to prop him up.

Posted by: DL13 | November 20, 2009 3:49 PM | Report abuse

And I don't think it means a whole lot to Americans to see our president flying all over the world exporting our values about how others should be when the this country is a mess and you could do the same thing on a Webinar and save the money. The leaders of this world need to grow up, way up instead of irrelevant stupid photo-ops.

Posted by: wbret123 | November 20, 2009 3:47 PM | Report abuse

OMG!!!, A complete and total disaster for the Organ Grinder.
Here he has been busy making Barack Hussein "Babooma the Organ Grinder's Monkey" Obama dance at every opportunity.
The "News Media" has followed through, like the good little minions they are and done everything they could to keep the Babooma media blitz running 24/7.

Posted by: panielsen | November 20, 2009 3:45 PM | Report abuse

This is spot on with our monitoring of the Twitter Mood for President Obama.

Posted by: jts1 | November 20, 2009 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Below 50%?
Give it a couple more years and it will be at 0%.

Posted by: Thozmaniac | November 20, 2009 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Put him on trial along with Kalid.

Posted by: WyattE | November 20, 2009 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Amazing that he is that high given the fact that he is doing all he can to deliberatley destroy this country.

Posted by: WyattE | November 20, 2009 3:25 PM | Report abuse

The situation for Obama, and I like the guy, is that the people are not seeing any "change that we can believe in". This week it is revealed that there is 96 billion dollars in Federal Waste. Where are the accountants? Who is getting the money? That is a billion dollars each year that could be going to our 100 largest cities.
And if politicians are in a state of denial about the deficit, then they are no better than an alcoholic. Yes, we bailed out Wallstreet but with what lasting benefit to Mainstreet? Wallstreet and Washington caused this economic fiasco and they all ought to be working for a dollar per year till they straighten it out. One million people about to lose their benefits. Oh, this is going to get interesting. I don't blame Obama for causing this mess. However, the American people are not stupid. There is almost nothing being done about anything when it comes to really remedying the current needs of the majority. Everything is a process. There are answers. I don't have a clue what to do, but I bet somebody does. Do we need a divining rod? I don't think America is mad enough.

Posted by: wbret123 | November 20, 2009 3:16 PM | Report abuse

He is the best campaigner the world has ever known, and he is busy busy busy, raising
money, making speeches...
but that change thing?
it is just campaign talk,
he is the paris hilton celebrity
empty suit, after all.
the kid never held a real job in
his whole life,
he is a product of the liberal
hand-outs system.
Harvard, senate,
all on our dime.
We do need to consider
electing a person who has
grown up in america,
succeeded in america,
because he has american
ideals and morals,
not because he is a
kennedy, of a Daly,
project kid.

Posted by: simonsays1 | November 20, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse


Which Party do you blame for this economic recession?


Posted by: usadblake | November 20, 2009 3:07 PM | Report abuse

This dude should be a zero. Maybe he will be when he starts sagging. He needed much more pratice before trying to be a leader.

Posted by: myop1 | November 20, 2009 3:04 PM | Report abuse

This dude should be a zero. Maybe he will be when he starts sagging. He needed much more pratice before trying to be a leader.

Posted by: myop1 | November 20, 2009 3:03 PM | Report abuse

Not a big deal.

If the economy would perk up he'd be flying high again.

Posted by: RedBird27 | November 20, 2009 2:50 PM | Report abuse

No surprise there. He hasn't done a damned thing that he promised during his campaign, and has done exactly the opposite on many things. It turns out he is just another version of John McCain. What a wasted election.

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | November 20, 2009 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I like Barak, but regarding his approval rating? He promised to end 'politics as usual', and instead we have the worst partisan debacle in memory with the healthcare debate. He got the 3AM call (Afghanistan), and wants months to decide what to do. He's spent all our children's money and some of our grandchildren's, and we have the worst unemployment in memory. How can he expect approval?

Posted by: cerebral_but | November 20, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

WOW! Google dropped this Polling news from Google News page in about 5 minutes, must be a record. Guess they are trying not to let the word get out that people are on to this arrogant twit.

Posted by: epmurphy | November 20, 2009 2:27 PM | Report abuse

BEARD 'Theatre God's Judgem' (1612) 93 Both two hauing bin professors in time past.

Posted by: edtroyhampton | November 20, 2009 2:11 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: edtroyhampton | November 20, 2009 1:58 PM | Report abuse

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