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article imageTwo Polls Have Obama Below 50 Percent

By Bob Gordon     Nov 21, 2009 in Politics
Two major polls released this week indicate that President Obama's job approval and support has fallen below 50 percent for the first time since he took office.
A survey by Quinnipiac University released on Wednesday, November 18, gave the President 48 percent support. On Friday Gallup released a second poll that gave the President a 49 percent job approval ranking.
When he took office in January 2009 President Obama's approval rating was hovering around 70 percent while his disapproval rating was only slightly more than 20 percent. Today, those two figures are virtually equal, 49 percent of those surveyed approve of the job he is doing and 44 percent disapprove of his performance, according to pollster.com.
Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, told Reuters, "the percentage who approve of the way he is handling the economy has dropped from a split 47-46 percent approval in October to 52-43 percent disapproval today."
On dnaindia.com, Venkatesan Vembu, attributes the tumble to more than just economic free fall:
President Barrack Obama's approval ratings dipped below 50% for the first time on the back of continuing job losses and a swing through Asia that provided few dividends and worse, made him look weak and ineffectual abroad, especially in dealing with the Chinese.
USA Today also credits multiple factors for the current situation, suggesting that the numbers were "pulled down by concerns about the economy, federal spending and health care legislation."
Atlantic.com writer Chris Good focused on the importance of the Gallup numbers:
It's not his lowest approval number--Zogby put him at 42 percent in August, and Harris reported him at 45 percent in October--but Gallup has usually given him the friendliest numbers of any polling agency, which is what makes this number significant.
Since President Truman, job approval polling has been conducted and every President has fallen below 50 percent at some time. Every one has also recovered. Therefore, it is not unexpected that President Obama finds himself in this situation. However, the depth to which he sinks before the falls stops and the pace of his 'bounce back' will reveal a great deal about the depth of the President's support and his long-term prospects.
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