Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Obama's approval ratings level out

After sliding through the summer, President Barack Obama’s job approval ratings have leveled out, settling in the low 50s and comfortably next to those of recent presidents.

Politico reports:
Obama’s polling position going into the fall is a far cry from the spring, when he was cruising in the mid-60s. But despite his summer plunge, a number of top pollsters say that Obama’s 52 percent average approval rating in Gallup’s September survey is well within the expected range in the first year of a new administration. Presidents Bill Clinton, Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter and Richard Nixon all settled into the 50s by this time in the Gallup Poll. Dwight Eisenhower averaged a 61 percent approval rating during his first September as president.

The only recent presidents with approval ratings in the 70s at this point in their terms were John F. Kennedy, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush — though the younger Bush’s rating was strongly influenced by the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in 2001.

Obama “is certainly doing as well as, or better than, Reagan or Clinton,” said Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of the Gallup Poll. “He looks like he is holding his own compared to other presidents at this point.”

“His problems with his falling numbers at one point were being overwritten,” added Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center. “He’s doing reasonably well considering that we are in a country where unemployment is approaching 10 percent and we’re in the middle of a highly contentious debate.” READ MORE