27 different groups feed historic decline in approval rating for Obama

Monday, Aug 22, 2011 at 11:29 AM EDT

Nate Silver of the New York Times, had an interesting post the other day about the falling approval rating of President Obama which included this handy/dandy chart.

You’ll notice that all 27 groups listed have lowered their approval of the President since the beginning of the year.  I suppose that’s the Tea Party’s fault too?

The media is selling the decline as if liberal democrats are angry that Obama isn’t being liberal enough.  But, the numbers don’t seem to back that up.  Among the biggest declines–pure independents:

As well as CONSERVATIVE democrats:

Also, the poor and retirees also are among the biggest drops.   How can that be?  With Paul Ryan’s evil plan to steal needy old people’s money?

Silver also makes a point that is worth further examination:


The drop in Mr. Obama’s approval ratings has not been especially deep by historical standards. So far for the third quarter (which began July 1), his Gallup approval rating has averaged 43.3 percent as compared with 46.8 percent in the second quarter, a decline of 3.5 points. There have been 76 occasions in the past when a president’s approval ratings have dropped by more than that from quarter to quarter.

While that’s true when you look at approval solely on a quarter to quarter basis, let’s zoom out a bit.   Regardless of what you think the reason for it is, George W. Bush did not have a good trend in approval rating during the second half of his presidency.  Here is his Gallup approval rating in the period immediately following the Iraq war.

Not pretty.  Remember what the press coverage of Bush was in this period?  He was the worst president ever, in the midst of a historic collapse never before seen.  Yet, while Obama’s press coverage is definitely different—is his chart any different?

In case you’re not seeing the similarities–here are both charts on top of each other.  I did this a couple of weeks ago to make this point, but since, Obama has fallen further, and it’s even a better match.

According to the Gallup approval rating, the first 2.5 years of the Obama presidency has essentially mirrored the post-Iraq war Bush presidency.  I don’t need to remind you how that all ended up–with Bush’s approval rating in the low 30′s.

Who knows if Obama can turn this around (with the assistance of the press, it’s surely possible).  But, shouldn’t this be seen as an utter disaster so far?