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Thursday, August 15, 2013

Obama's Economic Approval Plummets (They Ain't Buying What He's Selling)

President Obama recently pivoted to the economy for the 13th time during his 55 months in office. In case there was any double as to the reason for the pivot, the latest Gallup and Rasmussen polls will eliminate all doubt.

In reading polls trends are as important as the actual number and for President Obama, the trend is downward

Overall both Gallup and Rasmussen reflect that Presidential approval is moving southward, and has been heading in that direction since his second inaugural just seven months ago.

The reason for the overall movement is the lack of confidence in Obama's handling of key economic-related issues.  Gallup has released a comparison of  June/August presidental job ratings for major issues. His approval rating on the economy, now 35%, is down seven percentage points, and his ratings on taxes and the federal budget deficit are each down five points.  During the same period, his overall approval rating is down three points (47%-44%)

Focusing solely on the economy we see Obama's economic ratings haven't been this low since the end of 2011.

While trend data is for Rasmussen is not available without a subscription--a look at their latest polls for each issue (taken from late June through 8/12) indicate Obama's lowest job ratings (the blue bars below) are mostly economic. The most notable exceptions are the two recent non-economic issues he focused before this latest pivot, Gun Control and immigration.
A macro view of the polling data reflected here points to two probable contributing factors for Obama's recent pivot to the economy.

The Rasmussen polling suggest that the President's messages earlier in the year, gun control and immigration, were not resounding with the public.

More broadly, each of the polls suggest that despite his rhetoric, Americans are not happy with the way the economy is performing.  The economy continues to be voters number one issue, so as we approach the 2014 mid-term elections, it would serve the GOP well to focus on the economy first, followed by the economy and the economy.

James Carville was correct when he said "Its the Economy Stupid."

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