A new Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll registered a new low for President Barack Obama as his job approval rating plunged to 41%, sinking from the 43% he garnered in January.
Obama’s drop in job approval may send a chill down the spine of some Democrats running in the midterm elections this fall and could dampen the ability of Democrats to retain their majority in the Senate.
Although the November elections are still some seven months away, Obama’s ability to help Democratic candidates appears limited, said Republican pollster Bill McInturff, who runs the WSJ/NBC poll with Democrat Fred Yang.
“The president is being taken off the field as a Democratic positive,” McInturff said. “These numbers would suggest that, beyond his behind-the-scenes fundraising, it’s hard to imagine the president on the road and hard to imagine where he would campaign.” Yang concurred and admitted that for Democrats, “the wind is in our faces.”
Ten additional findings of the WSJ/NBC News poll, conducted March 5-9 on nationwide telephone interviews with 1,000 adults:
- 54% disapproved of the job Obama is doing, matching a previous high from December when Obamacare flaws were prominent in the news.
- This is the lowest-ever approval in WSJ/NBC polling for Obama’s handling of foreign policy.
- GOP leads slightly when the public is asked which party should control Congress.
- Americans were less inclined to support a candidate if the person had been endorsed by Obama.
- Approval of Obama is particularly weak in the South and Midwest, regions where Democrats could have a tough time defending Senate seats.
- Only 34% said their member of Congress deserves another term.
- Sixty-five percent of those polled said the country is on the wrong track, compared with the 26% who said it was on the right one.
- This is the highest-ever disapproval rating from fellow Democrats, at 20%.
- Obama’s support is softening among blacks, Hispanics, and women.
- 57% believe the U.S. is still in a recession.