Monday, July 8, 2013

Obama Approval Rating Dipping Even as the Econometer Continues Increasing (July 8, 2013)

President Obama jumped from the month of May frying pan of IRS/AP/Benghazi into the fire of the NSA “data mining” project in June.  June was a wildly eventful month (even apart from the NSA) with an array of issues that may indeed have distracted the American public from the trio of troubles that dogged Obama in May…though not necessarily to Obama’s benefit.  See my “June Month in Review” post “Let it Snowden, Let it Snowden, Let it Snowden...Too Much Else Going On...Immigration, Syria, The Court...” at:  http://www.borntorunthenumbers.com/2013/06/june-month-in-review-let-it-snowden-let.html.

ECONOMETER

The Econometer continued to move favorably, inching upward from 23.9 to 27.5, solidly in the blue.  Remember, the Econometer measures how the economy has moved since Election Day 2012, and is designed to answer Ronald Reagan’s old question:  “Are you better off today than you were four years ago?”  A positive (blue) Econometer indicates the answer to that question is “Yes” and will thus be a boon to the incumbent party, the Democrats, come the 2014 congressional elections.

Today each measure in the Econometer (except GDP) is better than it was on Election Day, and while the stock market took a modest hit in June, Consumer Confidence jumped significantly while gas prices fell and the job market continued to show signs of improvement.

Econometer
7-Nov Baseline
8-Apr
8-May
8-Jun
8-Jul
Econometer
0.0
-1.6
12.8
23.9
27.5
  Unemployment Rate
7.9
7.6
7.5
7.6
7.6
  Consumer Confidence
73.1
59.7
68.1
76.2
81.4
  Price of Gas
3.71
3.75
3.62
3.70
3.64
  Dow Jones
    13,330
    14,520
    14,747
    15,230
    15,013
  GDP
3.1
0.4
1.8
1.8
1.8

OBAMA APPROVAL RATING

Obama’s approval rating has now dropped five points in the last two months, and he is in a net negative position for the first time since his re-election.  Clearly the Snowden/NSA affair was another hit, creating a cumulative effect of the various controversies.  The good news on the economy has likely cushioned what could have been a bigger blow.

Obama Approval Rating
7-Nov
8-Apr
8-May
8-Jun
8-Jul
  Approve
49.6
49.0
50.9
48.0
46.0
  Disapprove
47.4
46.7
48.0
47.1
48.7
  Net
2.2
2.3
2.9
1.0
-2.7






As we all know, second-term Presidencies are often disastrous…each incumbent since WWII has faced major scandals and/or charges of incompetence.  But Obama’s dip is still in the relatively benign zone of Ike and Bill Clinton (it is amazing that Clinton’s approval rating never fell below 53% throughout the Monica Lewinsky ordeal), and has a long way to go to match the seismic drops of Richard Nixon, George W. Bush and even Ronald Reagan.  Of course he started at a lower point than the others, and he still has three years to go.

APPROVAL RATINGS (GALLUP)






At Second
Second


Term
Term


Inauguration
Low Pt.
Diff
Eisenhower
57
49
-8
Nixon
66
22
-44
Reagan
63
40
-23
Clinton
59
53
-6
Bush (43)
57
25
-32
Obama
52
46
-6

GENERIC CONGRESSIONAL BALLOT

The so-called Congressional Generic Ballot is basically a dead heat, with the Republicans now even a few tenths of a point ahead.  It’s hard to imagine what is driving this, except perhaps that  public ire about the NSA program is falling disproportionately on the incumbent party. 

I do find it odd, though.  The Republicans were clearly in the minority on the gun control issue, the major legislative battle to date, as Americans of both parties favor increased restrictions of various kinds, and are almost universally in favor of expanded background checks.  One might have thought that the failure of Congress to act on gun control would have damaged Republicans, but their ballot position has held steady throughout that battle and others.  It has also held steady through the improving economy and the growing impatience with the Republican “debt-first” economic theory.

Generic Congressional Ballot
7-Nov
8-Apr
8-May
8-Jun
8-Jul
  Democrat
46.3
43.8
40.7
42.0
40.8
  Republican
46.0
38.0
38.3
40.0
41.0
  Net
0.3
5.8
2.4
2.0
-0.2

2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLLS

Public Policy Polling has been the only consistent pollster on 2016 and they did not run a new national poll last month, so I have carried the June 8 data forward.  It will be interesting to see how Chris Christie’s and Marco Rubio’s figures might change; they are the only recent headline makers, Christie with his decision on the New Jersey Senate special election timing, and Rubio for his leadership on the Senate immigration reform bill.

Presidential Preference - Dem.
7-Dec
8-Apr
8-May
8-Jun
8-Jul
  Clinton
61
64
64
63
63
  Biden
12
18
18
13
13
  Cuomo
5
3
3
4
4
  Warren
4
5
5
3
3






Presidential Preference - Repub.
7-Dec
8-Apr
8-May
8-Jun
8-Jul
  Rubio
18
20
20
16
16
  Christie
14
15
15
15
15
  Bush, Jeb
12
11
11
15
15
  Paul, Rand
7
16
16
14
14
  Ryan
12
15
15
9
9
  All other



31
31






Head-to-Head
7-Nov
8-Apr
8-May
8-Jun
8-Jul
  Clinton
n/a
49
49
51
51
  Rubio
n/a
42
42
41
41






  Clinton
n/a
46
46
47
47
  Christie
n/a
42
42
44
44






Net Favorability - Dem. (among Dems)
7-Dec
8-Apr
8-May
8-Jun
8-Jul
  Clinton
76
79
79
69
69
  Biden
66
62
62
55
55
  Warren
33
25
25
23
23
  Cuomo
16
22
22
15
15






Net Favorability - Repub. (Among Repubs)
7-Dec
8-Apr
8-May
8-Jun
8-Jul
  Ryan
59
62
62
47
47
  Rubio
51
43
43
35
35
  Paul, Rand
31
39
39
40
40
  Bush, Jeb
49
33
33
42
42
  Christie
21
9
9
14
14








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