Obama’s approval rating reaches lowest point of his presidency

Alexis Levinson Political Reporter
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President Obama’s approval rating dropped to the lowest level of his entire presidency on Sunday, according to Gallup’s presidential approval rating tracker.

Just 39 percent of the public say they approve of the job Obama is doing as president, a new low for the president. Fifty-four percent of the public say they disapprove of his performance.

By comparison, former President Bill Clinton’s lowest approval rating of his entire presidency was 37 percent, which he reached in June of 1993.

The number is based off of Gallup’s three-day rolling average. Previously, Obama’s lowest approval rating was 40 percent, reached just two weeks ago as the clock was winding down to raise the debt ceiling and negotiations were becoming increasingly chaotic.

Since then, the debt ceiling was raised, but it did not stave off an economic rollercoaster. Standard & Poor’s downgraded the United States’ triple-A credit rating for the first time in the country’s history. In the aftermath of the downgrade, the stock market plummeted, then rose, then plummeted again before ending the day up on Friday.

“We usually don’t know exactly what causes presidential job approval to go up and go down,” explained Gallup’s Editor in Chief Frank Newport, “but it’s a reasonable hypothesis that the proximate causes are the same factors that are affecting most measures we put in front of the public…the disapproval of how Washington has been handling the debt crisis, increasing worry about the economy, and the gyrating stock market – perhaps coupled with the Republicans and their criticisms of Obama occupying a lot of news space with the Iowa straw poll and Perry’s announcement.”

Gallup’s polling also found that economic confidence tanked from July to August, measuring the economic confidence index at -53, down from -34 in July.

The approval rating is based on Gallup’s telephone interviews with approximately 1,500 Americans over a three-day period. The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points.