Obama's 47 Percent Approval
Lowest of Any President at This Point
President Obama's job approval rating has fallen to 47 percent in the
latest Gallup poll, the lowest ever recorded for any president at this
point in his term.
FoxNews. December 08, 2009. Jimmy Carter, Gerald Ford and even Richard
Nixon all had higher approval ratings 10-and-a-half months into their
presidencies. Obama's immediate predecessor, President George W. Bush,
had an approval rating of 86 percent, or 39 points higher than Obama at
this stage. Bush's support came shortly after he launched the war in
Afghanistan in response to the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said he doesn't "put a lot of
stock" in the survey by Gallup, which has conducted presidential
approval polls since 1938, longer than any other organization.
"If I was a heart patient and Gallup was my EKG, I'd visit my doctor,"
Gibbs said in response to questions from Fox. "I'm sure a six-year-old
with a Crayon could do something not unlike that. I don't put a lot of
stake in, never have, in the EKG that is daily Gallup trend. I don't pay
a lot of attention to the meaninglessness of it."
Gallup Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport responded: "Gibbs said that if
Gallup were his EKG, he would visit his doctor. Well, I think the doctor
might ask him what's going on in his life that would cause his EKG to be
fluctuating so much. There is, in fact, a lot going on at the moment --
the health care bill, the jobs summit, the Copenhagen climate conference
The new low comes as Obama struggles to overhaul the nation's health
care system and escalates America's involvement in the Afghanistan war.
He is also presiding over a deep and prolonged recession, with
unemployment at 10 percent.
"There's no doubt Obama's 47 percent is mainly a result of the
continuing bad economy," said Larry Sabato, director of the University
of Virginia's Center for Politics. "But there is also a growing concern
about government spending and debt, and a sense that Obama is trying to
do too much, too soon."
He added: "President Obama has reason to be concerned about his ratings.
Even in tough times, presidents have usually been able to stay above the
critical 50 percent mark in the first year, when the public is most
inclined to give the new incumbent the benefit of the doubt."
Obama officials have not always shown disdain for Gallup. During last
year's presidential campaign, Obama adviser David Plouffe, trumpeted
"the latest Gallup poll" to reporters because it showed that 53 percent
of Americans did not find Obama Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton,
When Gallup began taking presidential approval polls 71 years ago,
Franklin Roosevelt had been president for more than five years. During
his remaining time in office, his job approval rating never fell below
The next 11 presidents, both Democrats and Republicans, all had higher
job approval ratings than Obama at this stage of their tenure. Their
-- George W. Bush, 86 percent
-- Bill Clinton, 52 percent
-- George H.W. Bush, 71 percent
-- Ronald Reagan, 49 percent
-- Jimmy Carter, 57 percent
-- Gerald Ford, 52 percent
-- Richard Nixon, 59 percent
-- Lyndon Johnson, 74 percent
-- John Kennedy, 77 percent
-- Dwight Eisenhower, 69 percent
-- Harry Truman, 49 percent
The poll has a margin of error
of 3 percentage points.