As America’s polarization continues unabated and he prepares for next week’s State of the Union address, CBS News reports that a new poll finds Americans are split on President Barack Obama’s approval rating. The news could be worse for Obama but it’s not good news for the Democrat Party as it heads into mid-terms where some analysts believe the GOP could take control of the U.S. Senate.
The poll finds that 46 percent approve and 47 disapprove. His approval has risen four points from December and is up from his lowest approval, 37 percent in November.
His 46 percent approval is up four points from December (42 percent) and up from his all-time low of 37 percent in November.
As the president begins his sixth year in office, his approval rating is slightly higher than that of George W. Bush at a similar point in his presidency (42 percent approval in January 2006), but lower than the ratings of both Bill Clinton (56 percent in January 1998) and Ronald Reagan (65 percent in January 1986).
More Americans disapprove than approve of the president’s handling of many of the specific issues measured in the poll. Approval is especially low on the president’s handling of the budget deficit (35 percent approve) and the surveillance activities by the National Security Agency (34 percent approve).
The president’s favorability rating is lower now compared to a year ago, just after his re-election. Forty-two percent now have a favorable opinion of him, down from 50 percent last February. Almost as many (40 percent) view Mr. Obama unfavorably.
It’s important to look at a poll in the larger context of other polls.
RealClearPolitics in its average of polls has Obama at 43.2 percent approval and 51.7 percent disapproval:
Pollster has Obama’s approval at 41.8 percent and disapproval at 53.1 percent:
Joe Gandelman is a former fulltime journalist who freelanced in India, Spain, Bangladesh and Cypress writing for publications such as the Christian Science Monitor and Newsweek. He also did radio reports from Madrid for NPR’s All Things Considered. He has worked on two U.S. newspapers and quit the news biz in 1990 to go into entertainment. He also has written for The Week and several online publications, did a column for Cagle Cartoons Syndicate and has appeared on CNN.