What Does A 45 Percent Obama Approval Rating Mean?

Maybe Americans have gotten smarter. Maybe we have started to realize, despite the disembodied economic statistics delivered by the serious and profound voices that ooze out of our TV's every night, that President Obama isn’t the one in charge of firing more people in America than the number of people hired overseas during the last decade.


The US unemployment rate rose to 9.2 percent in June, the government reported earlier this month. And a Gallup poll conducted July 7-10 found that just 16 percent of Americans expressed satisfaction with the way things are going in the country – the lowest figure in two years. Still, Mr. Obama posted a 45 percent approval rating in the USA Today/Gallup poll conducted July 15-17.

Gallup chief puzzled by Obama's poll numbers

Maybe we have begun to understand, regardless of the political rhetoric by the country’s right wing conservatives to the contrary, that cutting taxes for the rich really and truly doesn’t do diddly for anybody who doesn’t live in Country Club USA. Maybe we have failed to grasp, after dismissing the seemingly non-existent memories of the people in our nation’s leading news publications who write opinion editorials about our current economic troubles as if they all sprang to life fully formed on January 20th, 2009, that a decade long economic slide is supposed to be neutralized and reversed by the president in 30 months.

"Satisfaction with the way things are going is ... correlated with economic perceptions fairly strongly." At the same time, Obama "is overperforming. Based on where every president has been, his approval rating now is higher than we would predict it to be based on" how satisfied American adults say they are.

Gallup chief puzzled by Obama's poll numbers

Maybe we as Americans are intelligent enough to comprehend, unlike the president’s latest adversaries and cable news political pundits who howl about the debt ceiling talks, that “negotiation” is not just saying what you want over and over and over. Or maybe, just maybe, those 45% of Americans the Gallup organization says approve of President Obama are bright enough to see that the political hurdles we find our conservative legislators manufacturing for the Obama Administration to jump over, month after month, are often fictional creations with less basis in reality than the entire Harry Potter series.

Related Articles
Playlists
Keep reading Show less

Five foods that increase your psychological well-being

These five main food groups are important for your brain's health and likely to boost the production of feel-good chemicals.

Mind & Brain

We all know eating “healthy” food is good for our physical health and can decrease our risk of developing diabetes, cancer, obesity and heart disease. What is not as well known is that eating healthy food is also good for our mental health and can decrease our risk of depression and anxiety.

Keep reading Show less

For the 99%, the lines are getting blurry

Infographics show the classes and anxieties in the supposedly classless U.S. economy.

What is the middle class now, anyway? (JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs

For those of us who follow politics, we’re used to commentators referring to the President’s low approval rating as a surprise given the U.S.'s “booming” economy. This seeming disconnect, however, should really prompt us to reconsider the measurements by which we assess the health of an economy. With a robust U.S. stock market and GDP and low unemployment figures, it’s easy to see why some think all is well. But looking at real U.S. wages, which have remained stagnant—and have, thus, in effect gone down given rising costs from inflation—a very different picture emerges. For the 1%, the economy is booming. For the rest of us, it’s hard to even know where we stand. A recent study by Porch (a home-improvement company) of blue-collar vs. white-collar workers shows how traditional categories are becoming less distinct—the study references "new-collar" workers, who require technical certifications but not college degrees. And a set of recent infographics from CreditLoan capturing the thoughts of America’s middle class as defined by the Pew Research Center shows how confused we are.

Keep reading Show less