Dr. Francis Townsend

The Mid Third Year First Term Presidential Slump: Perfectly Normal!

When one looks at the history of the Presidency, in the third year of the first term of a President, it is very normal that he suffers a loss in public opinion support, and is usually the low point of his first term, but often has had no effect on future electoral success.

Witness the following examples:

1, Franklin D. Roosevelt in his third year (1935) was denounced as a socialist, a communist, a fascist, and every other dirty name by opponents, including the American LIberty League, Huey Long, Dr. Francis Townsend, Father Charles Coughlin, and others. He went on to a smashing reelection victory, winning all but two states in 1936.

2. Harry Truman in 1947 was very unpopular and predicted to have no chance at reelection, particularly with the opposition party in control of Congress, and some members of his party suggesting he resign, because of the vote of no confidence represented by the Republican 80th Congress. He proceeded to win a miracle upset victory for reelection!

3. John F. Kennedy in 1963 was in deep trouble in the South because of his stand on civil rights, and he was on a campaign swing in the South, trying to mend fences, when he was assassinated.

4. Richard Nixon was at a low point in 1971 over the Vietnam War, with the Pentagon Papers being revealed and attempts of Congress to end the war by cutting funds. It was fear that his Democratic opponent might be strong that convinced Nixon operatives to become involved in the Watergate scandal, but Nixon won all states but one in 1972.

5. Ronald Reagan in 1983 had the highest unemployment rate since FDR, and low public opinion ratings similar to those of Barack Obama now (low 40s), but went on to win all but one state in 1984.

6. Bill Clinton had low public opinion ratings in 1995, particularly after the Republicans took over both houses of Congress, but won reelection in 1996.

7. George W. Bush had a lot of opposition and criticism about the war in Iraq in 2003, but went on to win reelection in 2004.

So it is not a danger sign that Barack Obama is suffering a low point in the summer of 2011, as despite many problems, he still has strong popular support personally, and the opposition Republicans are being blamed by many for the Debt Ceiling Crisis and its aftermath!

So don’t count the President out by any means, as the odds still strongly favor his reelection in 2012!