Obama approval at all-time low of 42% among general population

I’m not sure if this is significant or just a downward blip. Either way, the 42 percent approval rating – President Obama’s lowest since taking office – is newsworthy. This is a CNN/Opinion Research Poll, and just three weeks ago the president was at 50 percent. How significant is this?

Here is the CNN article concerning the poll results, and some additional details again from CNN.

The president’s sagging poll numbers couldn’t come at a worse time for congressional Democrats, themselves facing a nine-point deficit in the so-called “generic ballot” question heading into the midterm elections. In fact, the president’s approval rating is the same as that of President Clinton’s in 1994 – the midterm election year that saw Republicans wrest control of both the House and Senate.

In even worse news for congressional Democrats, likely voters say they are considerably more likely to vote for a candidate the president opposes than one he supports. On the other hand, 50 percent of voters said they would be more likely to vote for a Tea Party-backed candidate while a third of Americans said Tea Party support would dissuade their vote for a candidate.

With nothing super-significant happening within the halls of Congress the past couple of weeks, you would think the quiet would stabilize or improve the approval rating for the president. I know there has been a few things going on … don’t ask don’t tell, the DISCLOSE Act and the DREAM Act, but we’re not talking Cap and Trade or health care legislation.

Maybe all of the political ads are stirring up the pot on their own, reminding people they need to start getting involved since the mid-term election is 39 days away (wow!)?

Ed Morrissey at Hot Air calls it downright gruesome, and points to a comment at Ace of Spades noting this is a poll not just of likely, registered voters – rather the general population.

As Ace points out, this isn’t even among registered or likely voters, both of whom one would think are more politically attuned and therefore angrier right now than the general population. This is among adults.

Hang on here guys, as I quickly review prior to publishing, I swear I did not see the last sentence in the second CNN story linked above, but now I see it. Ace got his information from our friend Jim Geraghty at National Review, but here it is, with my emphasis in bold.

There is a 4.5 percent margin of error for the 506 likely voters questioned in the poll.

Most polls currently have Obama at an approval rating of less than 50 percent; recently between 44 and 49 percent.

16 replies
  1. JollyRoger
    JollyRoger says:

    There was too much irrational exuberance with this young wizard of smart, expectations were inflated, and his bubble has burst!  If I had to choose between Camelot, pedigrees, and platitudes, or a short, dour  man with an evil (some say annoying) laugh- I'd vote for Jim!

  2. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    When you have two feet sinking in an economic QUAGMIRE of your own making, of course you are sinking!


    It is one thing to believe your own BS, but quite another to live up to it.  Epic fail.

  3. chris-os
    chris-os says:

    38 percent approve of how congressional Democrats are handling their jobs, and just 31 percent like how Republicans are doing theirs. Fifty-nine percent are unhappy with how Democrats handling the economy, 64 percent are upset by the GOP's handling of it.
    Clinton, Reagan and Jimmy Carter found their support at 42 percent at this point in their first term. Of course, Clinton and Reagan went on to big reelection wins only two years later.


  4. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    You might want to check out the actual poll: http://www.ap-gfkpoll.com/pdf/AP-GfK%20Poll%20Sep… I know how you feel about politically subjective sites like HuffPost, chris!  I think HuffPo is trying to make the best of a bad situation for Democrats.


    In the poll, you will find that most people don't know what the Tea party is about, and the numbers in support refect that.  Congress, and in particular, Democrats, fare pretty poorly.  Say what you will about Republicans, the Democrats have had an insurmountable majority up until last January, and that is who will bear the brunt of Congress' action/inaction.  Most importantly, the sampling was done of the general population, not likely voters, although there is a sprinkling of likely voter info in there somehow.  This kind of poll has been shown to be much less reliable than a likely voter poll.


    I think the most telling bit of info is on the front page of the AP-GfK poll site: http://www.ap-gfkpoll.com/ : 57% say the country is headed in the wrong direction.  Well, consider who is driving.  Is that a ditch coming up?  Or a cliff?

    <!–Session data–>

  5. chris-os
    chris-os says:

    If you had bothered to read the whole article like you drool over your righty sites, Dims, it discloses all this. it also said that repubs are better at getting people to vote-always have been.

    And, in a midterm, because less than 40% of voters go to the polls, a general sampling is not too far off.

    However, you really expect someone to say the repub members of congress are doing a good job? Where are their solutions for the economy….for jobs??

    Oh, I know, return to the policies of the last administration…… that worked well!


  6. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Well, ad hominem attacks aside, I prefer to read and analyze the polls myself, without the drool inducing spin filter of "righty" or "lefty" websites.  That's why I direct people to the actual polls.  That is why I directed you to the question that asked about what this sampling of voters thought about  the direction of the country.  Your article did not point that out.  As Øbama says, he and the Democrats have the wheel and are driving the bus.  They have the keys tightly clutched in their hands.  Too bad nobody, even in this poll, likes the destination.  Or the ride.


    As for what policies work, well, 5% unemployment always trumps 9.5%, particularly when there is no light at the end of the tunnel for at least the next year  (It all went in the crapper after 2007.  An unfortunate "coincidence" for the Congressional Democrats that they never point out).  I recall this administration promising nothing higher than 8% unemployment if we just spent all that money.  What happened?  What do you expect the Republicans to do when they are shut out of all negotiations and legislation writing, and an insurmountable majority for the Democrats?  The Dems didn't need Republican votes (unless they could cop one to say a bill was "bipartisan") and legislated exactly like they knew it.

  7. Tbone McGraw
    Tbone McGraw says:

    Minus chris and VR, who are these 42% people? I can't find any of these; mentally ill, mind numbed, nut jobs. I've not met a single person in favor of the Obumbler. Talk about poll twisting! This goes far beyond tweaking,  it is out right rigging. Chavez thinks he has it good with puppet pollsters? I even think Castro is jealous of our Hope and Change —!

    If it weren't for throwing parties, vacationing and stealing more and more tax dollars. This incompetent, egotistical —, wouldn't have anything to show for his first two years in office. 42%? —-, this is another State run media campaign to prop up the Incompetent One! I can't believe there are 42% of the population, that are still enamored by this joke.

    Sure there are going to be your token chris  and VR's, every family has someone they want to hide in a closet, but to think that 42% of American's are still behind the biggest idiot to be elected to the Presidency? Nope!

  8. RoBrDona
    RoBrDona says:

    Everybody in the United States should have access to the information necessary to break down and understand polls. Most have some bias built in through the actual couching of the questions themselves. Most use specifically targeted respondents and too few of them, also, ONLY likely voters should be polled otherwise you get huge skew. Polls of "all adults" taken at specific locations are by definition faulty. Its called oversampling. Indication of reliability and margin of error are also critical. The Huffpo "piece" is a classic example of crafted junk.      

  9. weregettinghosed
    weregettinghosed says:

    Polling is always done with an agenda behind it.  No matter what the agenda is these days it is hard to find those lost in space willing to give support to such an egotistical Nero ruling President, such as he is. Even former Pres. Carter recently noted that the White House / Washington has never seen such stress and turmoil within its walls since the days before the Civil War. When Carter is starting to see, feel and hear such rumblings there is definite trouble brewing.

    Go out into the landscape begin asking and talking to the people, your real life polling shall give you a percentage far less than 42% in favor of this man.  We need not feel we have won, there is much all patriots still need to do for our restoration. This man and his colleagues shall not back down easily and once their seats have been lost, the days after the election are rough ones for the people as the poor losers shall begin to destroy all they can before leaving. I fear much damage shall be done, more freedoms shall be taken from us and much more restoration will be needed.

  10. NH-Jim
    NH-Jim says:

    I receive 1-2 polling calls per day (PER DAY!) at my residence.  I'm tired of answering the polling questions.  I think I will change my outgoing message on my answering machine with a recorded statement with all my responses.

  11. Dom Rosa
    Dom Rosa says:


    "The more intriguing example may be 1982, when unemployment was 10.8% on election day (a full percentage point above today's jobless rate) and the president's approval was near 40% (Obama's is about 45%). Democrats won 26 House seats and many pegged Reagan as a one-term president.

    "His approval sank to 35% before springing back and climbing throughout 1983. The main reason was a strong economic recovery, which buoyed Reagan to a landslide reelection."

    It should be noted that a key factor in the "strong economic recovery" was the huge military spending by Caspar Weinberger–the biggest, most wasteful spender in U.S. history–as exposed and documented in "Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed" by David Stockman.

  12. Dimsdale
    Dimsdale says:

    Yeah, there's no wasteful spending here.  I think Weinberger has been trumped.  And at least Weinberger has the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Soviet Union to his credit.  Øbama, Pelosi and Reid will have nothing but a room temperature "recovery" and generations of debt for which to claim credit.


    The Dems were hoping that the normal cycling of the economy would work to their advantage, and it might very well might have done so if they hadn't gone on a political "supermarket sweepstakes" ride that put fear, uncertainty and doubt (FUD) into both the voters and businesses.  Force feeding us wildly unpopular and poorly thought through legislation was the condiment on a crap sandwich.  And the recent refusal to have a vote on the Bush tax cuts simply continues the FUD.


    They have deepened and thickened their economic QUAGMIRE.


    They stupidly pulled the rug out from under themselves.  Or is that hoisting yourself on your own petard?

  13. VictimsRevenge
    VictimsRevenge says:

    Tbone Mcgraw, <!–[if gte mso 9]> Normal 0 <![endif]–>

    <cite>Maybe you should read it again, and add these words to your vocabulary.</cite> Satire, lampoon, parody, spoof.

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