A senior administration official said Friday that it is too early to know whether the report will impact any bounce in the polls that Mr. Obama may have had coming. But he said it doesn’t help that the report of 96,000 new jobs in August came in below what economists had expected.
With two months to go before Election Day, Republicans are clearly more charged up: 51 percent of GOP voters say they are more enthusiastic than usual to cast votes this November, compared to 39 percent of Democrats. Four years ago, 62 percent of Democrats were more motivated than usual. Two key pro-Obama voting blocs are suffering enthusiasm gaps: young voters and Latinos
Although the president's personal approval rating has slipped from 79 percent to 50 percent since he took office, more Americans have a favorable view of him than an unfavorable one (44 percent), according to the Washington Post/ABC News poll. Romney's likability level is dangerously deficient, particularly among swing voters. The NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that only 16 percent of undecided voters have a favorable view of the Republican nominee.
Obama's image is not as positive as it was in 2008, when his favorable rating was consistently above 60% from mid-June through the election. However, his 2008 ratings were well above the average for presidential candidates, which is typically in the 50% range. And Obama has maintained higher favorable ratings than Republican opponent Romney throughout the 2012 campaign.
Although such a gap in favorable vs. approval ratings is typical for presidents, the fact that Obama's favorable ratings are just above -- and his approval rating just below -- the 50% mark makes his re-election prospects uncertain. Obama has maintained a slim one-percentage-point advantage, 47% to 46%, over Mitt Romney in registered voters' presidential preferences for the last week of Gallup Daily tracking.
Clinton’s average approval rating in his second term was 61%, although approval ratings in his first term were lower. Moreover, Clinton had a 60% approval rating upon reelection. Obama’s average approval rating is 49% to date, with 44% this past week (August 28 to September 2).
On the overall economy, Obama gets a 36 percent approval rating, while 60 percent disapprove. Just 37 percent approve of his work creating jobs (58 percent disapprove). And on the federal budget deficit, Obama gets an awful 30-64 approval-to-disapproval split.
Obama's job approval on specific issues paints a little less rosy picture, however. He's stuck at a 44 percent approval rating on the economy in the ABC/Post poll, though that's up from just 42 percent in May. And in the CNN poll, he's trailing presumptive Republican Mitt Romney by a 7-point gap on which candidate would best handle the economy
Nearly every incumbent president with a rating of 49 or higher has won reelection while nearly every one rated 48 percent or lower lost, according to New York Times number cruncher Nate Silver. George W. Bush had the lowest rating upon reelection at 48 or 49 percent, depending on which estimate you go with.
The poll, conducted Sept. 4-6 and released today, found that 52 percent of Americans approve of the president’s job performance, up three percentage points from the previous survey, conducted Sept. 3-5. In the latest poll, 43 percent disapproved of the job Obama is doing, down from 45 percent.