The latest Gallup tracking poll finds that just 41% of Americans approve of President Obama’s job performance. A solid majority, 52%, disapprove of Obama. This latest Gallup poll is the first in which all the interviews were conducted after the government shutdown and ObamaCare came into effect. It is a clear sign that Obama and the Democrats are bearing some blame for the current funding impasse.
Obama’s falling approval rating is a dramatic drop from the beginning of the year. At the end of 2012, on the heels of his reelection, 56% of Americans approved of Obama and only 39% disapproved. The current fall-off in support represents a 28-point swing against Obama.
Interestingly, Obama’s weak approval numbers also match his previous low-point in the Gallup poll. That occurred in August 2011, after the last fight over the debt ceiling. In the aftermath of that “deal”, Obama’s approval dropped to 39% against 54% who disapproved.
These numbers suggest the conventional wisdom that Obama has a political edge in fights over spending and federal debt are wrong. It is only when those issues are out of the headlines that Obama’s approval numbers inch back up.
This provides an interesting back-drop for the current debt debate, which is set to be larger and louder than the debate two years ago.