August 17th, 2011
08:33 PM ET

New low of 26% approve of Obama on the economy

By Lydia Saad, Gallup 

A new low of 26% of Americans approve of President Barack Obama's handling of the economy, down 11 percentage points since Gallup last measured it in mid-May and well below his previous low of 35% in November 2010.

Trend: President Barack Obama's Approval Ratings on the Economy, February 2009-August 2011

Obama earns similarly low approval for his handling of the federal budget deficit (24%) and creating jobs (29%).

The president fares relatively better on foreign policy matters, with 53% of Americans approving of his handling of terrorism and roughly 4 in 10 approving on foreign affairs and the situation in Afghanistan. Also, 41% approve of Obama on education.

President Barack Obama's Approval Ratings on Issues, August 2011

Obama's overall job approval rating in the Aug. 11-14 stand-alone Gallup poll is 41%, similar to the 39% and 41% approval ratings measured in Gallup Daily tracking over the same days.

Read: Obama's weekly approval rating at lowest of presidency.

Approval on Afghanistan Sinks 15 Points

Americans' approval of Obama on Afghanistan is down 15 points since mid-May, the most of any issue Gallup tracked during this period, though the resulting 38% approval rating is not the lowest he's seen on this issue. The decline follows a bounce to 53% after the killing of Osama bin Laden on May 1, and may partly reflect public reaction to the recent downing of a U.S. military helicopter in Afghanistan in which 30 American troops, many of them Navy SEALs, perished.

Trend: President Barack Obama's Approval Ratings on Afghanistan, February 2009-August 2011

Obama also suffered a nine-point decline in his foreign affairs rating, to 42% from 51% in May. His current rating is a new low, but is not much lower than his prior low 44% and 45% foreign policy approval ratings in the second half of 2010; however, it is down nine points compared with the start of 2010.

Read: Congressional job approval at a historic low.

Terrorism is the only issue on which Obama's current approval is higher than it was at the start of 2010, although it is down 10 points from 63% in May after bin Laden's death.

Barack Obama Issues Approval -- Selected Trends

Democrats Alone Back Obama's Performance on the Issues

Obama earns scant support on the issues among Republicans, and does not do much better among independents. In contrast to Democrats' majority approval of Obama on all seven issues tested, fewer than half of independents approve of the president's handling of any of these.

Barack Obama Issues Approval, by Party ID, August 2011

Bottom Line

President Obama's approval rating has dwindled in recent weeks to the point that it is barely hugging the 40% line. Three months earlier, it approached or exceeded 50%. History will remember this period for the messy political debate in Washington over the debt ceiling, followed by distress on Wall Street and tragedy in Afghanistan. How much each of these factors is responsible for the overall decline in Obama's approval rating is unclear. But Americans' unhappiness with each of them is reflected in recent declines in Obama's specific job ratings for the economy, the federal budget deficit, and various foreign policy measures, as well as in his markedly low rating for creating jobs.

Read more at Gallup.

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Topics: Politics • Poll • United States

soundoff (11 Responses)
  1. David johnson

    A BIG plan: Allow unemployed to keep unemployment payments in exchange for working for an equal reduction in pay by new employer for 6 months or a year to encourage hiring.

    Employ youth as apprentices on public works projects doing similar unemployment compensation to employers. This would give skills to desperate kids.

    Identify projects in ALL congressmens districts to shame cooperation from right. Make a website where people can identify projects needed....LOCAL PEOPLE KNOW WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE. A lot of simple necessary projects means lots of jobs. The more local the larger percent of money goes to employees. Make HUGE penalties UP FRONT for fraud etc...then people will know they need to do right thing for country!

    August 17, 2011 at 8:52 pm | Reply
    • johnadamsxii

      You could just cut out the middleman and have the government hire everybody.

      August 17, 2011 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  2. kumar

    There you have it. Yet again proof that India is the super duper power that matters in the world.

    Dunn@Bradsheet just released data showing that India will grow 14% each year to 2020 and will be the greatest economy in the world. Now, it is becoming true and true everyday with Obama becoming -26%, China collapsing right on schedule as predicted, Brazil overheating and then imploding. India and India alone is the world's standing economy.

    This is because India is the world's greatest democracy, and its super duper power.

    We will rule the world with our Hindu democracy in the best tradition of the Gandhi dynasty, our two PM's Singh and Sonia will be the truly deserving leaders of the world, including the United Nations, and world bank, and the IMF. We shall denote vast sums to rescue your all the so many unemployed.

    Submit to your fate under our Hindu democracy. Jai Hind!

    August 17, 2011 at 11:21 pm | Reply
  3. j. von hettlingen

    Momentarily Obama is not higly regarded as a saviour of the nation's crisis. History will remember him as a president, who had burdensome tasks. Future generations would understand his difficulties and critics would be kinder.

    August 18, 2011 at 6:17 am | Reply
    • nobama

      He will be remembered favorably only if the liberal media and educators continue to rewrite history and portray him that way. He's a failure and has not accomplished anything positive for our country. Health care is a fail, the lack of focus on the economy is a fail, his inability to lead is a fail – but at least some of our citizens continue to put blind faith into his brand of 'hope' and 'change'.

      August 26, 2011 at 11:06 am | Reply
  4. shorty

    I get so fustrated watching all the shows. They all the people I watch seem to have no ideal and NO deductive reasoning experence on what has taken place. Its a darn FACT that if you raise engery prices it creates a paradox and will ripple everything we make or do to increase in price except one thing. Wages. If you dont believe that, then tell me something it has no effect on. One of the reason we had the industrial revolution was the fact that energy was cheap and available. Then they got this ideal that it wont last forever. Well they could be right or they could be wrong. But there is not excuse to wait till it happens unless you are in to energy business and want to make alot of money.

    I myself, think that any commodity that has ANY EFFECT ON THE WORLD ECONOMY should be regulated which includes oil and energy. I think we have had enough of this.

    August 18, 2011 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  5. William

    U.S. President, Barack Obama, had re-nominated economist and Nobel prize winner, Peter Diamond, to the Federal Reserve board and yet again...the tea baggers didn't want it. It's not like he hasn't tried to fix things...they don't want our country fixed. They want Obama to be a failure before elections begin. Shows how much they care about our country.

    August 18, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Reply
  6. nobama

    Why isn't this story on the front page? Can the Messiah really be a complete failure after all? Shocker....

    August 26, 2011 at 11:07 am | Reply

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