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Thursday, December 10, 2009


President Obama's Approval Ratings Lower Than...

Prez is poll-axed

First-term approval lags behind even Ford, Carter


Last Updated: 6:00 AM, December 10, 2009

Posted: 3:43 AM, December 10, 2009


Numbers are not kind to President Obama so far -- his 47 percent approval rating in the crucial Gallup tracking poll is the lowest ever notched for a US commander in chief at this point in his term.

 That under-50 percent figure is less than what unpopular presidents like Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and scandal-plagued Richard Nixon scored 10 to 11 months into their Oval Office tenure, according to Gallup.

Bill Clinton, who came in at a time of economic and political unrest, also stayed above 50 percent.

And Ronald Reagan, who took office in tough economic times, was at 49 percent at this point in his first term.

Nobel Peace Prize laureate, US President Barack Obama talks ...

 George W. Bush was at a remarkable 86 percent at this point in 2001, shortly after 9/11. Bush's poll number skyrocketed in the wake of the attacks.

Obama hit the less-than-magic number despite getting a brief popularity bump for his planned Afghanistan troop surge.

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs tried to wave off the number, saying he doesn't put "a lot of stock" in the famous tracking poll that is one of the most venerated yardsticks for rating presidents.

"If I was a heart patient and Gallup was my EKG, I'd visit my doctor," Gibbs said after questions from Fox News.

"I'm sure a 6-year-old with a crayon could do something not unlike that. I don't put a lot of stake in, never have, in the EKG that is the daily Gallup trend. I don't pay a lot of attention to the meaninglessness of it."

That prompted Gallup editor-in-chief Frank Newport to zing back, "I think the doctor might ask him what's going on in his life that would cause his EKG to be fluctuating so much.

"There is, in fact, a lot going on at the moment -- the health-care bill, the jobs summit, the Copenhagen climate conference and Afghanistan."

Obama has faced increasing concerns from nervous Americans over the painful unemployment rate, his health-care reform efforts, and the troubled Afghanistan war. Some question whether he's biting off too much at once.

Meanwhile, in ominous news for the Democrats heading into the midterm congressional elections next year, 59 percent of voters think the country is headed in the wrong direction, a Bloomberg News poll showed.

Just 32 percent are happy with the direction of the nation, the survey found.

While 54 percent approve of the job the president is doing, according to that poll, he gets negative marks on his key policy issues such as health care, the deficit and the economy.

When likely voters were asked for which candidate they'd vote if the 2010 congressional races were held now, they gave Republicans a four-point lead, and independent voters were trending GOP.

Many Democrats have been privately conceding they could face significant losses in Congress if things don't turn around.

The survey was taken from Dec. 3-7.

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