President Obama's push for health care reform during the third quarter of 2009 has seriously damaged his public standing, according to new data from the Gallup Daily tracking poll. His job approval rating dropped nine points from the second to the third quarter, from 62 percent to 53 percent.
The nine-point second-to-third quarter drop is the highest Gallup has ever measured for an incumbent president during his first year in office, and among the highest quarter-to-quarter drops measured for any president at any point:
“Obama's 9-point slide between quarters ranks as one of the steepest for a president at any point in his first year in office. The highest is Truman's 19-point drop between his third and fourth quarters, followed by a 15-point drop for Gerald Ford between his first and second quarters. The largest for an elected president in his first year is Bill Clinton's 11-point slide between his first and second quarters,” Gallup said.
Gallup also noted that Obama's average job approval rating has plummeted to among the worst since the polling organization began measuring presidential popularity and job approval.
“In Obama's first quarter and second quarter, his job approval average compared favorably with those of prior presidents. But after the drop in his support during the last quarter, his average now ranks near the bottom for presidents at similar points in their presidencies. Only Clinton had a lower third-quarter average among elected presidents,” Gallup said.
Even Gerald Ford averaged 39% during his third quarter in office, in 1975, which coincided with severe economic problems, continuing political fallout from Watergate and the pardon of disgraced former President Richard Nixon, and the election in November 1974 of the Watergate class in Congress.