Obama, Congress approval ratings sink


As far as the public is concerned, President Barack Obama and Congress are circling the disapproval drainpipe.

Obama had an approval rating of 63.0% after he took the oath of office for his first term as president. He's down to 44.5%.

When a president drops below 50% he's wading in the cellar of Americans' expectations.

The 19th quarter - which ran from July 20-Oct. 19 - is the third in a row in which Obama's job approval rating has declined, according to the Gallup Daily Job Approval Ratings.

Three post-World War II presidents - Ronald Reagan, Dwight Eisenhower and Bill Clinton - had significantly higher 19th-quarter averages, all near 60%.

Two presidents had lower 19th-quarter averages than Obama: Richard Nixon, whose 19th quarter came during the Watergate investigations, and Lyndon Johnson, because of his mishandling of the Vietnam War.

"Obama is suffering through another approval slump, something he experienced during the latter part of his first year into his second year as president, and during the latter part of his third year," a Gallup press release said.

"After a relatively strong fourth year that included several quarters of higher ratings that aided his re-election, his approval rating has now declined in each of the last three quarters," Gallup reported.

Obama signed the Senate-brokered deal to end the government shutdown and raise the federal debt limit before the Oct. 17 deadline without gutting the Affordable Care Act. During the partial government shutdown that began Oct. 1 and included the late-hour negotiations to increase the debt limit, his job approval dipped as low as 41%.

As for the House of Representatives and the Senate, in a nationwide USA Today/Princeton Research Poll, just 4% of those surveyed - equal to the margin of error - said Congress would change for the worse if we got rid of all of them.

In the survey, 47% said it would work better if nearly every seat changed hands next year. About one-fifth said a wholesale overhaul wouldn't make much difference.

The survey of 1,001 adults, taken Oct. 15 through Oct. 20, has a margin of error +/-4 percentage points.

The only way that future approval ratings for the president and the Congress could rise is if they took actions that will significantly improve employment and elevate prosperity for all Americans.

If not, we have a loser president and a loser Congress no matter how many elections they squeak through while driving the country to the edge of the cliff.


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