How Popular Is Obama?
From Gary Langer of ABC News:
There are a couple of data points worth keeping in mind . . . as we digest an aide’s claim today, as Jake Tapper reports, that his strong approval rating is “earned.” One, while his rating is high, it’s also dead average for a new president. The other is the impressive partisanship beneath it.In fact, the current approval rating of Obama is best estimated as 62.5%, according to an average of polls on Real Clear Politics.
We have approval ratings for each of the last nine elected presidents after their first month in office, back to Dwight Eisenhower. (We’re leaving Johnson and Ford aside.) There’s been a healthy range, from a low of 55 percent for George W. Bush after the disputed election of 2000 to a high of 76 percent for his father 12 years earlier. (I’m using ABC/Post polls since Reagan, Gallup previously).
But the average? Sixty-seven percent. And Obama’s? Sixty-eight percent, as we reported in our new poll yesterday. His initial rating, then, is strong – but it’s also generally typical for a new guy.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that Langer is understating the case. Since he is using ABC polls consistently (at least since Reagan) his conclusions on the comparative standing of Obama are quite likely valid, even if the exact numbers can be quibbled about.
In the meantime, Gallup is showing a 10% decline in Obama approval since the Inauguration. It now stands at 59%, according to the organization that invented the concept (and much else in polling).
While Obama’s standing isn’t low, by any means, the American public hasn’t gotten the memo about how he is the Messiah who will lead the citizens to the Promised Land (and yes, we know we are mixing Biblical metaphors).