President Obama’s approval rating has fallen to an even 50% in the latest poll by Quinnipiac University. His numbers have been steadily declining since the economic stimulus package was passed several months ago. While half of those responding in the poll said they approve of the job the president is doing, 42% said that they disapproved. The poll shows an overall drop in the president’s approval of 7% in one month. The number stood at 57% when the poll was last taken in late June.
On the two most prominent issues in the public eye right now, a majority of voters are against the president’s performance. 49 percent of those polled said they disapprove of the way Obama is handling the economy, while only 45% agree with the actions he is taking. When it comes to the heated debate over health care, the numbers get even worse for the president. Only 39% approve of voters said they were in favor of the president’s plan for a health care overhaul, while 52% came down against the proposal.
This information comes on the heels of two polls released in the last two weeks by Rasmussen Reports that were also extremely negative for Obama. The first poll showed that if the 2012 election were to take place today, the president would be tied with Republican challenger Mitt Romney at 45%. The second poll was Rasmussen’s version of the presidential job approval poll, and it actually showed less than half of respondents approving of Obama’s performance, with the percentage coming in at 49. The difference between the Rasmussen poll and many others is that it is a measure of only likely voters, whereas the Quinnipiac poll, for example, measures all voters. Much of Obama’s support comes from young people who historically do not show up at the voting booth, meaning polls of likely voters are less favorable for the president. Links to the stories about each of these previous polls can be found at the bottom of the article.
The most important reasons for the president’s decline in overall job approval can be seen in the polling numbers above on individual issues. The most buzzed-about issue in the media right now is the battle over health care reform, and Obama is clearly losing the fight for public opinion. The fact is that the overwhelming majority of Americans already have health insurance, and most of those who have insurance are pleased with it. This leaves a huge number of Americans who are afraid of what might happen to the care they already have if major reform is passed, particularly if it adds a “public option” which will have to be subsidized by all tax payers.