[Posted by Karl]
President Obama’s slow ride down Gallup’s daily presidential job approval index has finally passed below Jimmy Carter, earning Obama the worst job approval rating of any president at this stage of his term in modern political history.
Since March, Obama’s job approval rating has hovered above Carter’s, considered among the 20th century’s worst presidents, but today Obama’s punctured Carter’s dismal job approval line. On their comparison chart, Gallup put Obama’s job approval rating at 43 percent compared to Carter’s 51 percent.
Indeed, that 43% edges out the postwar record low 44% Lyndon B. Johnson had at this point in his full term… before deciding against standing for re-election. Carroll notes the biggest drop this year has been among pure independents and moderate/liberal Republicans — the two demos Obama needs most to eke out a second term.
Obama really needs an approval rating closer to 48% to stand a chance. There’s plenty of time for him to get there. But attacking the eventual GOP nominee or a do-nothing Congress likely won’t do it for him. Absent unforeseen circumstances, he has to hope the economy recovers more than current forecasts suggest, or that voters suddenly decide that the current malaise is the new normal.
Update: Ace notes that Carter was technically lower earlier and perked up to 51% at this point due to the Iranian hostage crisis… but we all know well that played out for Jimmah.