ANOTHER POLL STUNNER - AT 6:10 P.M. ET: Gallup today has more bad news for the president, and states it rather bluntly:
PRINCETON, NJ -- Barack Obama's latest job approval rating is 51%, according to Aug. 23-25 Gallup Daily tracking. Should his rating continue its downward trend and fall below 50%, he would -- like most post-World War II presidents -- have less-than-majority approval at some point in his presidency. However, Obama, in his eighth month in office, could hit this mark in a shorter time than has typically been the case. If his rating falls below 50% before November, it would represent the third-fastest drop to below majority approval since World War II, behind the declines for Gerald Ford (in his third month as president) and Bill Clinton (in his fourth month).
Gallup has Obama's disapproval rating at 44%. But there's a cautionary note here:
However, falling below 50% would hardly mark a point of no return for Obama. All presidents went back above the 50% mark after their initial loss of majority public support. And Clinton and Reagan, who dropped below majority approval faster than most other presidents, easily won second terms in the subsequent election.
COMMENT: And that's the point. You can't beat somebody with nobody, and with nothing. Elections are about choices, with no prize for second place. Even candidates with approval ratings below 50% have won.
We have continued work to do.
August 26, 2009