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article imageObama approval ratings dip to lowest point in early presidency

By Michael Krebs     Jun 21, 2009 in Politics
Arguably one of the more ambitious presidents in American history, Obama's approval ratings have hit their lowest point since he took office.
President Obama has sought to take on a large number of policy challenges at once, and his ambitions have led him into the thorniest of issues - both domestically and internationally. Obama's ambitions are also of a full-throttle nature, seeking often to skirt public discourse on lofty and complicated issues such as healthcare reform - at a $1.6 trillion price tag - and cap and trade (price projection yet unknown).
The latest Gallup poll numbers on presidential job approval now have Obama at a 58 percent job approval rating. While 58 percent is certainly an admirable number, it represents a new low for Obama.
Republican legislators have been issuing concerns over the skyrocketing debt - a U.S. record - and the nature of America's national security, citing North Korea, Pakistan, and Iran. Republican and Independent voters appear to be listening, reflecting a deepening fracture between Republican/Independents and Democrats.
"The latest decline in Obama's approval score, to 58%, results from a drop in approval among political independents as well as among Republicans. Democrats remain as highly supportive of the president as ever," Gallup reported.
One third of Americans now disapprove of the job President Obama is doing. Only 21 percent of Republican voters approve of Obama's work.
Unemployment continues to rise nationally, with many states swelling into record territory - and state governments across the country are reporting nasty slides in tax revenue. New rounds of layoffs loom, with more bankruptcies reported this week.
However, the issues behind Obama's decline in job approval seem to be found in both domestic and international problems.
"It is not clear what's behind the decline, but two issues have received considerable play in the news this week, and could be contributing factors," reported Gallup. "On Monday, the president received bad news on healthcare reform from the Congressional Budget Office, whose estimate of the cost of one reform plan caused sticker shock on Capitol Hill. This may be feeding into public concerns about the administration's deficit spending. At the same time, the disputed Iranian presidential election has been front-page news. Obama's cautious response has sparked sharp criticism from Republican Sen. John McCain and many on the political right who are eager for him to declare the election a 'fraud,' and to show more solidarity with the Iranian protesters."
More about Obama, Gallup, Poll, Approval rating, Presidency
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