The news: Things just keep getting worse for President Barack Obama. It seems like this happens every other week, but Obama has, once again, reached the lowest approval ratings of his presidency in a new poll. Somebody get the man a glass of eggnog.
In the poll from the Washington Post, released on December 17, Obama finds just 43% of Americans approving of his job performance – compared to 55% disapproving. Granted, this is just one poll, but a CBS poll from November found, too, the worst approval ratings of Obama’s presidency for that respective poll, at a dismal 37%. Things aren’t looking great for Obama as we head into the holidays.
Lining up almost exactly with general approval of the president is Americans’ approval of his job handling the economy, with only 42% giving him a thumbs up. The real trouble comes with the Affordable Care Act, where a whopping 62% disapprove of the way Obama has gone about implementing the new law.
Source: The Washington Post
How bad is it? Pretty bad. Historically bad, you might say. For approval ratings at the end of presidents’ fifth years, Obama’s 43% is the worst since Richard Nixon. Nixon. Who was dealing with that whole Watergate thing. In fact, Obama and Nixon are the only two presidents to find themselves under 50% approval after year five since the second World War. I don’t want to insinuate anything, but hey, the company you keep.
Why it matters: Again, it’s just one poll. For now. But it’s indicative of the year Obama has had, just how far he’s fallen since his dominant reelection one year ago. His second term has gotten off to a rocky start, to say the least. Between the National Security Agency leaks, Syria fumbling, and botched rollout of the ACA, Obama might be lucky he isn’t in worse standing with the public.
But Obama still has three more years to go. He doesn’t have to run for reelection again. Unless he royally screws up, he won’t have to worry about leaving office early like Nixon. So it’s a bit silly to think these polls mean he’s “finished.” Sure, they’re troubling. It’d be nice if more than half the country approved of his performance. And you can bet Congressional Democrats will be wishing a few more people approved of the president when the midterms roll around. But the president has a lot of time to get his numbers up.
And hey, speaking of Congress, it could always be worse. You know, Obama could always have Congress’ approval rating, at 16%.