The meaning of 49%

As John noted earlier today, Rasmussen reports that only 49 percent of the public now approves of the job President Obama is doing. From this, John concludes that “the honeymoon is over.”
I think that’s a fair statement, but would add that some residue of the honeymoon remains. If Obama were a year into his presidency in this economy, I’m pretty sure his approval rating would be significantly lower. What president has ever had the approval of half the country in an economic climate like this one?
Obama’s decline comes at a propitious moment. He is pushing radically misguided health care legislation, but finding that the words, however eloquent, of a president who is not particularly popular don’t carry great weight.
Unfortunately, Obama’s current approval rating tells us almost nothing about what his approval rating will be next year at this time, when, with congressional elections looming, the rating will matter more than it does today.

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