Gallup polling indicates that Obama‘s approval rating on a state-by-state basis puts him in a difficult position to earn an electoral college victory if the vote were held today. Residents of ten states gave the president a positive job approval rating last year, based on surveys throughout the year.
While Gallup is one of the top names in polling, and these make for interesting results, it’s still quite a stretch to posit definitive meaning from these ratings.
- Firstly, it’s still nine months out.
- Secondly, it looks like U.S. Residents are polled, as opposed to just straight-up voters (i.e. “likely voters”).
- Thirdly, what’s being reported are approval ratings as measured by the year in aggregate. In other words, how people felt in January and February of 2011 shows up in this report (and that’s ancient history).
- Fourthly and perhaps mainly, this is a look at job approval, not a look at “who would you vote for?”. Granted, presidential re-election efforts are referendums on a president’s performance. But there’s always a choice on the ballot, and that choice matters.
So what can we take from all this?
President Obama’s support has declined broadly and substantially, and he faces major challenges in getting re-elected. That being said, the Republicans have yet to settle on a candidate, and November is a long way off.