According to Gallup, Obama’s approval average hit an all-time low in the last quarter (his 11th) falling as low as 38%.
Gallup reports that from July 20-Oct. 19, 2011, Obama’s approval rating “ranged narrowly between 38% and 43% for all but a few days of the quarter.”
His 41% average is a full six points down from his 10th quarter. President Obama's most recent quarter in office was his worst to date, and these lower levels of public support could put his re-election chances in peril unless things start to improve in the next few months. Currently, voters say they are more likely to vote for "the Republican candidate" than for Obama for president in 2012.
This is not just a low for Obama it’s also an historical low. Gallup notes that the only president since Dwight Eisenhower to have a lower 11th quarter was Jimmy Carter who hit 31%.
Americans' satisfaction with the way things are going in the United States remains low at 13% in October, similar to the 11% last month and still among the lowest on record.
Americans' low satisfaction level does not bode well for an incumbent president's re-election. U.S. satisfaction was also low before two recent incumbent presidents were defeated for re-election. In November 1979, 19% of Americans were satisfied with the way things were going in the United States, the last Gallup reading before Jimmy Carter's defeat in 1980. Also, in August 1992, 22% were satisfied prior to George H.W. Bush's unsuccessful re-election bid.
Satisfaction levels were higher when Ronald Reagan (48% in September/October 1984), Bill Clinton (39% in October 1996), and George W. Bush (44% in October 2004) all won re-election.
It is not just the president with low ratings. The percentage of Americans who approve of the job Congress is doing returned to 13% in October, matching the all-time Gallup low on this measure, first recorded in December 2010 and repeated in August.
Americans are more than twice as likely to say President Obama and the current Congress are doing a poor job (67%) as a good job (30%) of dealing with the most important problems facing the United States.
These results are based on a Sept. 15-18 USA Today/Gallup poll. They fit in with the broader theme of relatively low presidential approval ratings, historically low congressional approval ratings, and low levels of trust in government.
Other key findings:
· 82% of Americans disapprove of the way Congress is handling its job.
· 69% say they have little or no confidence in the legislative branch of government, an all-time high and up from 63% in 2010.
· 57% have little or no confidence in the federal government to solve domestic problems, exceeding the previous high of 53% recorded in 2010 and well exceeding the 43% who have little or no confidence in the government to solve international problems.
· 53% have little or no confidence in the men and women who seek or hold elected office.
· Americans believe, on average, that the federal government wastes 51 cents of every tax dollar, similar to a year ago, but up significantly from 46 cents a decade ago and from an average 43 cents three decades ago.
· 49% of Americans believe the federal government has become so large and powerful that it poses an immediate threat to the rights and freedoms of ordinary citizens. In 2003, less than a third (30%) believed this.