After a difficult start in June, will President Obama’s approval rating drop? His rating recovered to the upper-40 percent range since January after hitting the low 40 percent range during much of 2011.
Following Real Clear Politics’ approval index since Obama’s January 2009 inauguration describes a great start (62% approval on February 1, 2009) to the lows in late 2010 when the Democrats lost the House of Representatives (46% approval November 1, 2010). The killing of Osama bin Laden in 2011 caused a surge in May (52%), but, in general, the President has remained below 50 percent approval since late 2009.
However, compared to presidents Carter and George Bush Sr., he did not descend to below 40 percent as they did in their failed re-election efforts. (Both had 39% approval ratings in the April of election years.) Democrats have mostly remained supportive and he’s received a sufficient percentage of independents to avoid a collapse. Obama begins his final election push vulnerable, but with sufficient approval to win.
The key question is after the terrible couple of weeks, will his approval rating drop and will he fall behind Mitt Romney in the head-to-head polls, who he has led consistently since Romney secured the nomination (post Rick Santorum’s dropping out). On June 1, Gallup reported a 48 percent approval to 48 percent disapproval and he was only one point up over Romney (46% to 45%).