Public Opinion Polls And President Obama: What Do They Forecast For 2012?

As the midterm elections come upon us, there is contradictory evidence on the popularity of President Obama!

The Washington Post-ABC News poll reports that only 43 percent approve of the job President Obama is doing. Nearly 60 percent do not trust him to have solutions to the problems the nation faces!

But the President is not running for reelection this year, so the question is this: Even if Obama is slipping in popularity, does that truly mean that the country is ready to kick his party out of control of the Congress, and put in a party that has had no ideas or agenda, except to oppose the President in difficult economic times?

The CNN Poll of Polls, a combination of the aforementioned Washington Post-ABC News poll, the CBS poll, and the Gallup poll shows a bit better situation for Obama, with 47 percent in favor and 46 percent against his leadership!

So is this contradictory evidence, which still makes clear that Obama has slipped at least somewhat in popularity, mean he is in trouble for reelection?

The odds are NO, as he is at a higher level of popularity with 47 percent, as compared to Bill Clinton and Ronald Reagan, at the same point of their first terms (both 42 percent)! And guess what? Both went on to reelection by substantial margins!

At the same point, George H. W. Bush was at 60 percent, and lost reelection! His son, George W. Bush, was the highest with 76 percent, less than a year after September 11, and won reelection handily!

The odds are still heavy that Obama will win reelection, but he may lose control of Congress as Harry Truman did in 1946, Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954, and Bill Clinton in 1994 in their first terms; and as Woodrow Wilson, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush lost control in the midpoint of their second term in the White House in 1918, 1986 and 2006!

One comment on “Public Opinion Polls And President Obama: What Do They Forecast For 2012?

  1. Andrew Dumas July 19, 2010 6:45 pm

    I was quite impressed with your analysis of this subject, and not a little intrigued. I hadn’t thought to compare the approval ratings of Obama to Reagan and Clinton, so when I read your post, it seemed completely contradictory to all the doom and gloom I’ve been seeing on other websites. It seems to me that there is a precedent that people are choosing to ignore in terms of possible reelection. I think in this case it’s important that people quit fixating on the now and look ahead to the political atmosphere of a time when the dust has settled and the Obama administration has gone from radical to normal in the minds of voters. Maybe then we’ll be able to more accurately guess what is going to happen in 2012.

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