Obama’s Popularity Slipping

In today’s Rasmussen survey, President Obama’s approval rating is down to 61 percent. There’s nothing wrong with that, but there’s nothing special about it, either. It’s in line with what most Presidents have experienced near the beginning of their terms; slightly lower, actually, than George W. Bush’s approval rating in the Gallup poll 60 days into his first term, notwithstanding the acrimony surrounding the 2000 election.

Obama’s decline was inevitable once he actually started making decisions. His approval rating will probably fall further as more voters learn details about the Democrats’ pork bill, as foreign policy setbacks continue, and as he continues to govern like a traditional Democrat. Again, there is nothing particularly wrong with this. But there seems to be a myth inside the Beltway that Obama enjoys some sort of super-popularity that makes his policies difficult to challenge. That is simply untrue. Two weeks into his administration, Obama’s approval rating is what one would expect from any newly-elected, generic Democrat. Where it goes from here depends on how the public perceives the administration’s successes and failures. Based on what we’ve seen so far, there will be plenty for Republicans to criticize.

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