Obama’s “Strong” Approval Not Above Average

We keep hearing from the Obama loyalists that his approval numbers are “strong” and they indicate wide support for all his policies and socialism. The only problem with that statement is that it’s complete bunk, and here’s why.

Gary Langer, director of polling at ABC News, ran back to the last 9 presidents to look at approval ratings shortly after taking office and this is what he found:

There are a couple of data points worth keeping in mind as we await President Obama’s address to the nation tonight – and as we digest an aide’s claim today, as Jake Tapper reports, that his strong approval rating is “earned.” One, while his rating is high, it’s also dead average for a new president. The other is the impressive partisanship beneath it.

We have approval ratings for each of the last nine elected presidents after their first month in office, back to Dwight Eisenhower. (We’re leaving Johnson and Ford aside.) There’s been a healthy range, from a low of 55 percent for George W. Bush after the disputed election of 2000 to a high of 76 percent for his father 12 years earlier. (I’m using ABC/Post polls since Reagan, Gallup previously).

But the average? Sixty-seven percent. And Obama’s? Sixty-eight percent, as we reported in our new poll yesterday. His initial rating, then, is strong – but it’s also generally typical for a new guy.

Obama’s approval is a generic average, even lower than the first President George H. W. Bush, so there you go. Don’t listen to people who use his poll numbers as a means to justify his socialist policies, it’s a pathetic argument which holds no water.

What’s more, for all the talk of being a bipartisan uniter, Obama has continued the trend of doing the opposite, Langer continues:

An increasing factor, though, is partisanship. I’ve previously described a steadily rising correlation between political party allegiance and ideology over the past generation. It shows up in presidential approval, too. The gap between a president’s rating in his own party vs. the out party has been markedly wider for the last three officeholders compared with their six elected predecessors.

Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush were the last two presidents of the less-partisan era. Reagan started with 89 percent approval among Republicans, 71 percent among independents and 56 percent among Democrats. Bush’s first-month approval ratings from these groups were 90, 74 and 64 percent, respectively. Those are 18- and 33-point gaps for Reagan, 16- and 26-point gaps for Bush.

That changed with Bill Clinton: He started with 86 percent approval from Democrats, but just 59 percent from independents and 40 percent from Republicans – gaps of 27 and 46 points, respectively. Then George W. Bush – 86 percent in his party, but dropping to 54 percent among independents (-32 points) and 37 percent among Democrats, 49 points lower than in his political base.

And now there’s Obama, who’s made reaching across party lines a point of principle in his presidency, with little to show for it so far. After a month in the hot seat, 90 percent of Democrats approve of his work, dropping to 67 percent of independents and 37 percent of Republicans. The 53-point difference between Democrats and Republicans in assessing Obama is numerically the biggest in data back to Eisenhower, albeit within sampling tolerances of the gap for George W. Bush.

So not only is a 67% approval rating barely average, Obama has done nothing to “unite” anyone behind his failed socialist policies of the past.

Keep this all in mind while you (don’t) watch his address tonight, he’s nothing more than a socialist politician with average approval ratings, that’s about it. If he succeeds in his socialist policies, the country fails. I’m praying for the opposite as I hope you are as well.