A new Wall Street Journal/NBC poll finds Obama’s job approval continuing to slip in the months after his successful reelection. Today, only 47% of Americans approve of the job Obama is doing, while 48% disapprove. It is the first time his approval has been underwater since the middle of last year.
In the immediate aftermath of his reelection in November, 53% of Americans approved of the job Obama was doing and only 43% disapproved. The change since then represents an 11-point swing away from Obama. The poll also showed, however, modest, but general, agreement with Obama on his two recent priorities; immigration reform and stricter gun laws. So, even though Obama and the public are in some agreement over broad aspects of these policies, it isn’t carrying through to his job approval numbers.
Today’s poll shows Obama has a deeper problem than any specific issues. The mood of the public is souring, with 61% of Americans thinking the country is on the “wrong track.” Only 31% believe the country is on the “right track” an extraordinary 30-point gap. Worse, it represents an 18 point swing to the downside in just a few months.
A majority of Americans, 50%, disapprove of Obama’s handling of the economy. Even though the media goes to pains to not cover the stagnant economy, the public stills feels the effects in their daily lives. Obama can talk about particular issues in a way with which the public generally agrees, but none of these issues are anything close to a priority for them. The only issue that matters to them is the economy.
The longer Obama avoids addressing that in a meaningful way, the further his approval rating will drop.