In stumbling around on the internet, I found this rather interesting graph from Real Clear Politics showing President Obama's approval rating history:
Right now, 49.0 percent of those polled approve of the job that President Obama is doing while 48.7 percent disapprove.
Let's look back in time for a minute, noting the small graph below the main graph which shows net approval and disapproval. When Obama took office, 63.5 percent of Americans approved and only 19.3 percent disapproved for an overall net approval of 44.2 percentage points when subtracting the disapproving from the approving. That net approval rating was as good as it got. Obama's approval rating peaked at 65.5 percent on February 17, 2009 however, with his disapproval rating rising to 25.5 percent, his net approval fell to 40 percentage points. By February 27, 2010, the number of Americans that approved of his performance and those that disapproved met at 47.3/47.2 percent for the first time. On March 18th, 2010, the number of Americans that disapproved of his performance rose above the number that approved for the first time, yielding a net approval rating of -0.5 percentage points. Oddly enough, this is around the point that the global economy hit its post-Great Recession peak, unfortunately, the same could not be said for the American economy. To put things into perspective, this is what the unemployment rate in the United States looked like at the time:
We were just one month and 0.2 percentage points short of the worst monthly unemployment rate since the 1981 – 1982 recession.
The current President's net approval rating remained negative between July 22, 2010 and January 9, 2011, hitting a nadir of -6.4 percentage points on August 16, 2010. Obama's longest stretch in the opinion penalty box fell between July 17, 2011 and February 4, 2012; his net approval rating hitting a new low of -10.2 percentage points on August 30, 2011. Since July 2010, the President's overall net approval rating has been negative (in red) for a far longer period than it has been positive (in black) as shown here:
Since February 2012, the President's overall approval rating has been modest at best with a maximum net approval of +3.1 percentage points and a maximum net disapproval rate of -2.2 percentage points as shown here:
Despite the fact that the housing market is showing signs of recovery, GDP is growing at positive albeit modest rates and headline unemployment data has dropped from its peak of 9.9 percent to its current level of 7.8 percent, the current President seems unable to convince voters to approve of his performance. From this data alone, it certainly appears that November 6th will be a very, very tight race.
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