The collapse in sentiment of all kinds continues. Concern over jobs and unemployment are at the top of the list of worries.
Gallup report Americans' Satisfaction With National Conditions Dips to 11%
Americans Not Satisfied with Obama
Americans' satisfaction with the way things are going in the United States has fallen back to 11%, the lowest level since December 2008 and just four percentage points above the all-time low recorded in October 2008.
Gallup began measuring Americans' satisfaction with national conditions in 1979. Since then, satisfaction has been lower than the current 11% in only a few measurements in the final months of 2008. The all-time low of 7% came in an Oct. 10-12, 2008, poll, conducted shortly after stock values plummeted following Congress' passage of the TARP legislation in response to the September 2008 financial crisis.
Economic Concerns Paramount in Americans' Minds
In all, 76% of Americans mention some economic issue as the most important problem facing the country, the highest percentage since April 2009.
Low national satisfaction ratings make incumbent politicians vulnerable to defeat, and Presidents Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush were defeated for re-election at times when Americans were largely dissatisfied with the state of the nation. Satisfaction ratings tend to be low when the economy is struggling, so economic progress over the next 15 months will be a crucial factor in determining whether Obama is elected to a second term.
President Obama's job approval rating dropped to 40% during the week spanning Aug. 8-14, the lowest weekly average of his administration. During this period, Obama's three-day rolling average also hit a new low of 39% for Aug. 11-13, the first such average below 40% since he took office, though it recovered to 41% for Aug. 12-14.
Although the new lows in Obama's job approval rating represent only a slight drop from his previous low readings, they symbolically underscore the weaker position the president is in as he begins a "listening tour" of the Midwest this week.
Ten incumbent presidents have sought re-election since World War II, and none has won a second term with final pre-election job approval ratings below 48%. The last two presidents who lost their re-election bids -- George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter -- had job approval ratings in the 30% range in the fall of the election year. Thus, Obama's challenge is not only to move his rating back above 40%, but also to push it close to or above 50%.
Just 26% Satisfied with Obama's Handling of Economy
Gallup reports New Low of 26% Approve of Obama on the Economy
August 17, 2011Satisfaction the Rolling Stones
A new low of 26% of Americans approve of President Barack Obama's handling of the economy, down 11 percentage points since Gallup last measured it in mid-May and well below his previous low of 35% in November 2010.
President Obama's approval rating has dwindled in recent weeks to the point that it is barely hugging the 40% line. Three months earlier, it approached or exceeded 50%. History will remember this period for the messy political debate in Washington over the debt ceiling, followed by distress on Wall Street and tragedy in Afghanistan. How much each of these factors is responsible for the overall decline in Obama's approval rating is unclear. But Americans' unhappiness with each of them is reflected in recent declines in Obama's specific job ratings for the economy, the federal budget deficit, and various foreign policy measures, as well as in his markedly low rating for creating jobs.
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