Obama Most Popular 1st Quarter President in 30 Yrs

Gallup has the numbers:

Barack Obama's first quarter in office concludes on Sunday, and during this early stage of his presidency he has averaged a solid 63% job approval, reaching as high as 69% in the initial days of his presidency and falling as low as 59% on a few occasions.

Obama's 63% first-quarter average matches the historical average of 63% for elected presidents' first quarters since 1953. However, it is the fourth highest for a newly elected president since that time, and the highest since Jimmy Carter's 69% in 1977. The historical first-quarter average includes two presidents whose scores exceeded 70% (John Kennedy's 74% and Dwight Eisenhower's 71%).

In the past three decades, every President -- including the Republicans' favorite Ronald Reagan -- has earned lower ratings during his first three months in office than Barack Obama. According to Gallup's numbers, George W. Bush earned an average 58 percent rating during the same period in his presidency, Bill Clinton earned a 55 percent rating, George H.W. Bush earned a 57 percent rating, and Reagan earned a 60 percent rating.

But perhaps even more remarkable than the fact that President Obama is more popular than either of his for most recent predecessors at the same points in their terms, Barack Obama has seen his approval rating remain stable throughout this period. Take a look at a graph of the President's approval rating since inauguration day, excluding internet polls and with the smoothing turned down so an not to read too much into small blips:

Throughout a period of great turmoil in the country, particularly on the economic front (and not just broadly, but also without American households), Barack Obama has not only been able to maintain his approval rating but been able to maintain an impressive one at that. So much for the tea parties representing some real, broad-based sentiments within the electorate.

Tags: Barack Obama (all tags)



That's great.

Especially when the rightwing has ratcheted up the mudslinging to a level I've never seen in my life.  

by GFORD 2009-04-18 12:38PM | 0 recs

Especially since Obama didn't really get a honeymoon. How many things have the media tried to pin on him? Blago, the stock market crash, socialism, fascism, weakening national security by not torturing, etc.  I love that Obama and his team don't get distracted by the idle chatter. This is a lesson I hope all Democrats learn.

by Lolis 2009-04-18 02:36PM | 0 recs
I like Barack

I may not agree with him on everything but no matter what I feel that my concerns and grievances have at the very least heard and noted.

And that budget is beautiful.

by Charles Lemos 2009-04-18 05:00PM | 0 recs
I like him too

Especially on foreign policy, I think he has moved masterfully so far.

But part of the reason Obama has great poll numbers is because he has avoided making any strong, controversial policy changes. Reagan and Clinton took on big ideological issues early in their presidencies, some they lost and some they won, but the issues they won on shaped the rest of their presidencies. Obama, thankfully, has been reversing deeply unpopular Bush administration policies, which is only controversial in the Alice in Wonderland world of cable tv punditry and tea parties.

He will have to make some enemies to get real health care reform through, but that would be important, long lasting change. So in a way I'm hoping his poll numbers look worse next year, after he successfully passes health care.

by souvarine 2009-04-19 07:38AM | 0 recs
I think his popularity is primarily because

He looks like he is working hard, and, he gets it.

Bush was both lazy and disconnected.

Most Americans don't expect miracles overnight, they know how the world works.

Us crazies jump from daily outrage to daily outrage, but the public is focused on if they will have a job next quarter, when is their house value going to stop going down.

I think Obama is NOT ignoring the issues they want to deal with...

Seriously, we want big changes, we want UHC and Marriage Rights for All...

But the public is focused more on pocket book issues.

I never thought Obama would be my dream candidate positionally, but I am basically some crazy cross between a boderline socialist and a libertarian.

For the most part (If I could just make Larry Summers disapear, and put Joe Stiglitz or Paul Vocker in charge of the Economics Team) I think he is doing what I hoped for.

Addressing the issues of where Reaganism went way too far in puting corporations above the law, really shifting the burden on to the middle class, while the top percentiles moved further and further up and out of any level of tax or economic justice...

Taking Foriegn Policy away from the Neocon and Chicken-Hawk Bullies and Cowboys...

And, one other advantage.

Hard to say the Republicans have the Family Values mantra locked up.

The image of Michelle and the kids in the WH is pretty hard for any but the Palin Army Pyschos to not crack a smile at....

by WashStateBlue 2009-04-19 08:00AM | 0 recs

There can't be 100% agreement with anyone.  For instance, there is plenty to find in Kucinich's and Feingold's (progressive champions) records that makes some progressives go up the barricades.  One reason Obama's numbers are so good compared to the previous 4 presidents is the fact that he is truly a populist president.  That means that he listens to all concerns but comes down more often than not primarily on the side of populist sentiment (i.e. no appetite for massive criminal trials of Bush and Cheney.) That sometimes goes against our progressive instincts.  

What helps is that generally the country has shifted massively to the left over the last 5 years, even on hot-button issues like gay marriage conservatives used reliably to score with, so overall the strongly populist position Obama has staked out serves us progressives quite well.  

As Obama comes down on the side of populism more often than not it virtually guarantees that his numbers continue to remain favorable, which should give him and his position firepower that helps us in the 2010 mid-terms (see unknown Murphy beating well-known state Senate minority-leader Tedisco in a conservative NY district that has 70,000 more Republicans than Democrats.)

by devilrays 2009-04-19 09:32AM | 0 recs
populist or what?

Yours is a peculiar definition of populism. Protecting the privileged and defending Wall Street is more typically defined as establishment, populists defend the people.

Obama has his reasons for these policies, and they may be for the greater good, but they are not populist.

by souvarine 2009-04-19 09:46AM | 0 recs
Re: populist or what?

Yours is a peculiar line of reasoning altogether. You essentially argue that the "entire body of work" Obama has assembled so far consists of Wall Street bailouts.  That is, of course, nonsense.  Thus, my point stands, yours fails.

by devilrays 2009-04-21 09:28PM | 0 recs


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