Tuesday, November 17, 2009

A Tale of Two Presidencies

Today, 5 major polls of President Obama's approval rating were released.

ABC News has Obama at 56% approval; CNN 55%; CBS News 53%; Gallup 50% and Rasmussen 49%. Combined, that comes to an average of 53% approval, 43% disapproval.

Considering the state of the economy (and numerous other flubs - Henry Louis Gates, Khalid Sheik Muhammed, you name it), I'm surprised Obama's been able to stay above the 50% mark.

Then I thought to myself: I wonder what Jimmy Carter's job approval rating was during his first year in office (1977)?

Well - as luck would have it - Wikipedia has a chart of Carter's approval rating (which I've pasted below. Click to enlarge).

Note: After cresting above 70% shortly after his inauguration, Carter falls into the 60s range and then the 50s range until the end of 1977 when he's hovering just above 50%.

Now look at Obama's approval rating (courtesy of Realclearpolitics.com).

Note the eerie similarity to Carter's first year in office. Obama starts his Presidency in the 60s and then the 50s, and then by today he's barely able to stay above the 50% mark.

So, given Carter's track record, what does the future hold for Obama? Well, in another surprise, Carter finished his second year in office still around 50%. It wasn't until the middle of his third year that Carter became one of the most unpopular Presidents in history.

What's the bottom line?
It might take people awhile before they realize how awful Obama is.

**UPDATE, NOV. 23, 2009**

USA Today has a fun graphic in which you can compare the poll ratings of different Presidents over time. And yeah, if you punch in Obama and Carter, the similarity is pretty uncanny.

**UPDATE, NOV. 25, 2009**

Also, the RealClearPolitics chart above is updated in real time. So, as you can see, just in the last 7 days, Obama's approval rating has fallen from 53% to 50%.

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