No president in the modern era has won re-election with a Gallup Job approval rating of below 47 percent on election day. Right now, President Obama’s rating stands at 43 percent. Jimmy Carter’s approval rating at this same point in 1979 was 51 percent, and we all know what happened to him. Paul Bedard At U.S. News has more:
President Obama’s slow ride down Gallup’s daily presidential job approval index has finally passed below Jimmy Carter, earning Obama the worst job approval rating of any president at this stage of his term in modern political history.
Since March, Obama’s job approval rating has hovered above Carter’s, considered among the 20th century’s worst presidents, but today Obama’s punctured Carter’s dismal job approval line. On their comparison chart, Gallup put Obama’s job approval rating at 43 percent compared to Carter’s 51 percent.
According to Gallup, here are the job approval numbers for other presidents at this stage of their terms, a year before the re-election campaign:
– Harry S. Truman: 54 percent.
– Dwight Eisenhower: 78 percent.
– Lyndon B. Johnson: 44 percent.
– Richard M. Nixon: 50 percent.
– Ronald Reagan: 54 percent.
– George H.W. Bush: 52 percent.
– Bill Clinton: 51 percent.
– George W. Bush: 55 percent.
What’s more, Gallup finds that Obama’s overall job approval rating so far has averaged 49 percent. Only three former presidents have had a worse average rating at this stage: Carter, Ford, and Harry S. Truman. Only Truman won re-election in an anti-Congress campaign that Obama’s team is using as a model.
Many pundits believe that job approval ratings are the key number to look at when determining if a president will win re-election. Generally, they feel that a president should be higher than 47 percent to win re-election.