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Gallup: Obama Is Far More Liked Than His Policies

From Gallup:

Obama’s Job Approval Easily Outpaces U.S. Satisfaction

His 50% average job approval thus far in 2013 compares with 26% for satisfaction

By Lydia Saad | June 19, 2013

PRINCETON, NJ — President Barack Obama’s job approval rating thus far in 2013 has averaged 24 percentage points higher than Americans’ satisfaction with the direction in which the country is going. This gap is typical for the Obama presidency, but represents a much greater presidential job approval premium than most other presidents since Ronald Reagan have enjoyed.

More specifically, so far this year, an average of 50% of Americans have approved of the job Obama is doing as president. At the same time, an average of 26% have been satisfied with the direction of the country. Similarly, since the start of his presidency in 2009, Obama’s average job approval rating has been running 26 points higher than Americans’ average level of satisfaction with the nation, and has ranged from 22 to 30 points higher each year.

By contrast, the average gap in approval vs. satisfaction for George W. Bush across the eight years of his presidency was 12 points. For Bill Clinton and for Ronald Reagan, it was 10 points. The only other president who consistently logged much higher job approval ratings than the prevailing level of U.S. satisfaction was George H.W. Bush during his one-term presidency from 1989-1993. However, even his average 21-point job approval premium falls short of Obama’s.

Obama is also faring better than Congress in the court of public opinion, as his overall job approval rating averages 35 points higher in 2013 — 50% vs. 15% — and 30 points higher since 2009…

Putting both comparisons together underscores the degree to which Obama is performing above par relative to Americans’ satisfaction with the direction of the country, while, since 2012, Congress has actually performed below par…

It probably helps that Obama has been campaigning against Congress since 2012. And he plans to continue his campaign until the mid-terms.

Bottom Line

President Obama’s job approval rating has been sagging of late, consistently registering below 50% in Gallup Daily tracking in June. Nevertheless, it is well above Americans’ overall satisfaction with the direction of the country, now in the mid-20s, and remains far ahead of Congress’ job rating.

In other words, CNN’s poll yesterday was probably an outlier.

All of this suggests Obama does not receive the full brunt of Americans’ blame for the nation’s economy and other factors that may be contributing to their general dissatisfaction with the country’s direction. Obama’s "likability" could play a role, in that his favorable rating is averaging about five points higher than his approval rating, potentially lifting it. However, at 55%, his current favorable rating is not unusually high for recent sitting presidents. Perhaps more important may be Obama’s ability to appear above the fray of the intense partisan debates that have defined Washington in recent years and that appear to be tarnishing the image of a politically divided Congress.

So it turns out that you can fool too many of the people too much of the time.

This article was posted by Steve on Wednesday, June 19th, 2013. Comments are currently closed.

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