The president's approval rating slipped to 46% in January from 50% in December 2009, according to a new CBS News poll, CBSNews.com reported Tuesday.
President Obama still has very strong support among Democrats, about an 80% approval rating, but his approval rating has slipped among Independents, down 10 percentage points to 42%. Obama's approval rating among Republicans is low: only 13% approve of the president's performance.
Further, only 41% of Americans polled approved of the way the president was handling the U.S. economy.
The most recent Gallup Poll had 50% of Americans approving of the way Obama is handling his job as president.
Political/Economic Analysis: For a president to have maximum persuasion with Congress and inside the Washington community, his approval rating needs to stay above 60%, preferably above 65%. Once it drops to 50%, power declines, and when it drops to 45%, it enters 'the area of concern' -- a level at which opponents feel they can challenge/oppose the president and still retain the backing of a majority of the American people.
President Obama's approval rating has dropped primarily due to the high U.S. unemployment rate and massive number of jobs lost during the recession. However, some of the approval decline also stems from the costs perceived from the federal health care reform bill, and increased public concern about national security, in light of the failed terrorist attack on a commercial airplane in Detroit.
The best way for President Obama and Congressional Democrats to increase their approval ratings? In addition to a strong national security policy (obviously) -- implement programs -- fiscal stimulus, tax credit, or direct federal hiring -- that create jobs and that lowers the U.S. unemployment rate. The American people are realistic -- they don't expect miracles -- but they do want the president and Congress to do more to create jobs: job growth also is required for a sustained U.S. economic expansion with increasing corporate revenue and earnings.
Financial Editor Joseph Lazzaro is writing a book on the U.S. presidency and the U.S. economy.