Obama's approval rating fell to 48% in polling done by Quinnipiac University. The Quinnipiac University Poll surveyed 2,518 registered voters November 9-16 and has a margin of error of +/- 2%. The 48% approval rating is down from a 59% approval rating in February/March.
Further, the percentage of registered voters who approve of Obama's handling of the economy also declined, to 43% in November from 47% in October. On the economy, the approval rating was split along party lines: 13% of Republicans approved, compared to 38% for Independents, and 77% for Democrats.
Political/Economic Analysis: In general, to govern effectively, a president's approval rating should remain above 50%, although a momentary dip below 50% is not serious. However, if the approval rating drops below 45%, presidential power, particularly the power to persuade Congress to implement his legislative agenda, deceases.
If a president's approval rating drops below 40%, his legislative agenda will slow considerably, with selected members of his party – particularly those up for re-election in that year – attempting to distance themselves from the president.
The key issues for the Obama administration in 2010, a Congressional election year, in order to maintain/increase his approval rating? 1) Job creation and a growing U.S. economy, 2) Congressional passage of health care reform legislation, and 3) a foreign policy strategy that leads to a victory in Afghanistan and a successful, just resolution of the Iraq War.
Financial Editor Joseph Lazzaro is writing a book on the U.S. presidency and the U.S. economy.